Govt: Poverty rate up 2%

Minister of Economic Development Othman Mohamed Othman said on Tuesday that the poverty rate in Egypt has gone from 19 per cent of the population to 21 per cent due to the effects of the global financial crisis on the Egyptian economy.

Othman also said that a decrease in foreign investment from US$13 million to US$8 million means there will be only 600,000 new jobs this year, a decline of 13 per cent from last year.
Yet the minister’s outlook for the economy was not all bad. Othman projected a five per cent growth rate for the 2009/2010 fiscal year. "It could reach 10 per cent in the coming few years if overpopulation is regulated to two children per family," he said.

He also said that the global financial crisis caused a deficit of US$20 billion in foreign currency revenues, while the total investment rate stayed the same this year.

Calling for confidence in his ministry’s reports, Othman said it would take some time, even after global financial crisis is over, to be able to asses if the situation was a result of the crisis or a shortcoming of the Egyptian economy. Egypt’s economy has not attained a steady growth rate for ten consecutive years.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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