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Egypt's poverty rate hits 27.8 pct in 2015: statistics

Xinhua, October 16, 2016 Adjust font size:

Egypt's poverty rate jumped to 27.8 percent in 2015 compared to 25.2 percent in 2010/11, the state-run Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said on Sunday.

In a press statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, celebrated every year on Oct. 17, the agency said that the extreme poverty rate has increased, reaching 5.3 percent of the population in 2015.

It attributed the rising poverty rates to the increase in food prices.

Egypt's economy has been struggling in the past five years due to political instability resulted from two uprisings that toppled two heads of state.

The foreign currency reserves at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) declined since the 2011 uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak from 36 billion U.S. dollars in early 2011 to 19.59 billion at the end of September.

The CBE has put the official value of the pound steady at 8.78 to the dollar in the official market to bridge the gap between official and black market rates.

However, prices at the parallel market kept skyrocketing and the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar has recently exceeded 14 Egyptian pounds in the black market, the first time in Egypt's modern history.