Egypt’s poor spend US$8.5 annually on medical care

Egyptians spend 50 percent of their annual incomes on food and medical care, said a government study released Thursday.

Based on income and expenditure surveys for the period 2008-2009, Egyptians spent 43.6 percent of their annual incomes on food and beverages.

According to the study which was conducted by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistic (CAPMAS), 17.6 percent of Egyptian households' income went to housing rentals and housing maintenance, while only 6.4 percent went to medical care.

The study said that the poorest 20 percent of Egypt’s households spent LE51 (US$8.5) on average annually for medical care, while the richest 20 percent spent LE482 ($81) on average.

Egypt’s per capita income stood at $6000 in 2009. However, government statistics estimate that around 40 percent of Egypt’s 85-million people live around or below the internationally defined poverty line of $2 per day.

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