Mother and two children

Egypt: 2 Is Enough – Hooray!

Kudos to Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wall for launching a program to curb the country’s population growth. The new program is called “Itnein Kifaya” (“Two is Enough”), described in this news report:

Two is Enough: A Fix for Egypt’s Overpopulation

The new program is aimed at 1.3 million mothers under 35 years old who already have one or two children.

“…the Itnein Kifaya program aims to raise Egyptian women’s awareness on the need to curb population growth through workshops, conferences and door-to-door activities. The program also includes the distribution of birth control methods to the targeted 1.3 million mothers to encourage them to have only two children.”

Thanks, also, to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi:

“President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed population growth July 24 during one of the sessions of the Fourth National Youth Conference, saying, ‘Terrorism and population growth are the two biggest threats in Egypt’s history.”

It’s unfortunately a real shocker to hear an elected official concerned about population growth. Most are so hooked on everlasting economic growth they worry if the number of workers, consumers and taxpayers shows any signs of stabilizing or – God forbid – contracting. So a major bravo to this leader. I’m glad to report this awareness and intent to rein in the growth is pretty widespread:

“Egypt’s parliament is also seeking to cap population growth. Member of parliament Ghada Ajami submitted a bill June 1 linking parents’ rights to receive state benefits to family planning.

The bill is expected to be discussed during the third session, which begins Oct. 5. It aims to deny families who have more than three children the services provided by the government, such as education in government schools and other subsidized goods and public services.”

Now, some may feel that’s a bit extreme. I know there are concerns about the welfare of children. I wrestle with this, but still, I’m inclined to believe that the severity of the overpopulation crisis warrants consideration of this type of policy.

We learn from this report that:

“…the population growth rate in Egypt is 2.3% per year, with 2.7 million births every year and 500,000 deaths; this means that the population is growing by around 2.2 million people every year.”

Of course, on an overpopulated planet, ANY growth in human population is bad news, but 2.3% annual growth is particularly alarming. The global average today is 1.1%. Also alarming:

“Egypt, which long saw its fertility rate drop, has seen it rise in recent years.”

I’m glad this is getting Egypt’s attention. The reasons for this rise are noteworthy:

“Ayman Zohry, a population and migration studies expert, told Al-Monitor there were various factors behind the increase of population growth rate in Egypt…. Zohry said this is mainly due to the decline in health services, including reproductive health as well as the state’s neglect of family planning methods, including the lack of training of physicians on these methods. He also said, ‘Uncontrolled birth was a means of expression [by the people] against the Mubarak regime. The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood was also one of the reasons explaining the high rate of population growth in light of a reduced age of marriage … and other phenomena such as the prohibition of birth control methods.”

Keep in mind the global average fertility rate is 2.5.

“Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Emad el-Din Rady…said Egypt’s current total fertility rate is 4 and warned that by 2030 the country’s population may reach 128 million if the strategy is not implemented. Rady said the strategy’s objective is to reach a total fertility rate of 2.4 children per woman in order to limit the population to 112 million people by 2030.”

Of course it would be best if Egypt’s current population of about 94 million didn’t increase at all. SLOWING population growth really doesn’t cut the mustard when we’re already overpopulated. But it’s still a plus to see a country’s leaders begin to talk and do something to get out of the population growth business.

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Dave Gardner

Producer of the documentary, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth. Dave writes and speaks regularly on the subject of growth addiction, including the pro-growth media bias that perpetuates prosperity-from-growth mythology.

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