Egypt poverty








Egypt Poverty


Egypt Poverty


The Egypt poverty is still a sensitive problem. The poverty makes the poor Egyptians to sell some cheap things on the streets in order to survive, although there are limitations of the trade.


In Egypt is a kind of street society, the needing families trying to make some extra money by selling things on streets. The big informal sector of Egypt (the employment that is not registered and who doesn’t pay taxes) includes the street vendors in a percent of 30% form the national economy.

Egypr Poverty


The Egyptian street sellers` synonym of the merchandise is the farsha. The farsha may vary from shoes to food. They don’t afford shops so they sell on wooden tables on the streets` sides. There are Egyptians selling their bosses things; one of them is paid by his boss with about $3.50 (20 EGP) to sell underwear and socks on the streets.




He wants to earn about 200 EGP to have his farsha. After that he has to earn enough money for the fines and the bribes which are included in the expenses of a street seller.


The economics professors from the Cairo University as well as the specialists in the informal economy of Egypt estimate the number of the street vendors at about 300, 000, only in Cairo.

According to the vendors that have a rich experience, the limitations of the street vending are severe. If you travel in the downtown of Cairo, on the Al-Bustan Street you can met a 72 years old woman who has been selling things for 15 years, after her husband passed away.

Among the things she sells are the plumbing tapes, the batteries and the insoles for shoes. The woman pays 100 EGP for a rented shack, and the pension of her dead husband is of 65 EGP.


She has no other pension or healthcare, and she has three sons. One is unemployed, one is in jail and one has mentally problems. So, it is very hard for her and her family to survive.




She tries to face the poverty by selling things.


In the last five years the Egyptian economy registered a growth of 5% per year, but this growth doesn't bring benefits to the informal workers. The growth of the economy doesn`t imply the equal distribution or the equality among workers. It seems that there are no mechanisms to transmit the growth to the informal workers. The street sellers of Egypt have to endure the harassments of the police and of the security services which repeatedly arrest them.

It is a permanent game between the street sellers and the baladiyya – the municipal police. The sellers have to give bribes to the police to be sure that they will continue to sell. The normal police come and the sellers have to pay them; if they don`t do so, the police call the baladiyya. When the baladiyya comes the sellers have to give 110 EGP for the fine and have their stuff definitively taken.

Poverty in Egypt






















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