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Egypt

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is bordered by the Gaza Strip, Israel, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea, Sudan, and Libya. Across the Gulf of Aqaba is Jordan, across the Red Sea is Saudi Arabia.

Egypt with a population of about 10.3 million people is the most populous country in the Arab world and the third most populous country in Africa, after Nigeria and Ethiopia. About 75 per cent of the Egyptians abroad are temporary migrants in other Arab countries (Libya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates) and 25 per cent of are predominantly permanent migrants, mainly in US, UK, Italy, France, and Canada. Most of the country’s land is desert with about 95 per cent of the population concentrated in a narrow strip of fertile land along the Nile River, which represents only about 5 per cent of Egypt’s land area.

Economic growth in Egypt, estimated at 5.6 per cent in 2019 was reportedly strengthened by economic reform programs that started in 2016 and supported by a three-year US$12 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the International Monetary Fund. As part of this program, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) undertook bold economic measures, including a substantial reduction in fuel subsidies, the liberalization of the exchange rate regime and several policies targeting a reduction in the deficit.

Economic activities however, declined due to socio-economic impact of COVID-19 containment measures; unemployment has increased by about two per cent with job losses high among informal workers especially manufacturing, tourism, transport and construction.

Risks, Hazards and Preparedness
Egypt is prone to flash floods, earthquakes, droughts, landslides and sandstorms. Extreme temperature, windstorms and epidemics have also been witnessed in the past few decades. Seismic activity in Egypt is highest in the southern end of the Gulf of Suez, the northern Red Sea and around the Gulf of Aqaba.

The worst natural disaster in the past two decades was the November 1994 flash floods that affected 134 villages in Upper Egypt with 600 deaths and over 300 injuries reported while about 140,000 people were rendered homeless following the destruction of more 20,000 houses and buildings.

The National Committee for Crisis Management and Disaster Risk Reduction (NCCMDRR) is the multi-stakeholder mechanism that coordinates and facilitates the integration of Disaster Management and Risk Reduction into national policies, planning and programmes. Following its establishment in 2006, a comprehensive National Plan to manage disasters and risk reduction was adopted in 2007. At the local level, Crisis Management Committees were established in all governorates, ministries, agencies and institutions. People affected by disasters are compensated through Committees of the Social Solidarity Directorate. Alternatively, the relevant governorate assesses and evaluates the damages and losses and later reimburse people in need of support.

Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Egypt is a transit and destination country for economic migrants and asylum seekers. According to UNHCR, Egypt hosts refugees and asylum-seekers from 56 different countries. As of October 2019, the refugee population registered with UNHCR comprised of 130,000 Syrians, 47,000 Sudanese, 18,000 South Sudanese, 18,000 Eritreans, 16,000 Ethiopians, 9,000 Yemenis, 7,000 Somalis, 7,000 Iraqis and more than 50 other nationalities. A growing population of concern is stranded in the most overcrowded and poorest neighborhoods of the largest cities such as Cairo and Alexandria.