Sisi warns Egyptians against having more than two children

Sisi warns Egyptians against having more than two children
The Egyptian dictator has advised people to hold back on having more children due to pressure on the country's budget.
2 min read
17 February, 2021
Egypt has a population of more than 100 million [Getty]
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has urged Egyptians to have no more than two children, claiming that the country needs one trillion dollars to cope with its growing population.

More than 100 million people live in Egypt, making it the most populous country in the Arab world and the third most populous in Africa.

"Living conditions are getting worse and we need a trillion dollars to match the population increase," Sisi said during the opening of a medical complex in Ismailia province this week.

Families should avoid having more than two children due to the prohibitive cost, he added.

Egypt currently has a fertility rate of around 3.3 children per woman.

It is not the first time Sisi has warned of overpopulation since becoming president in 2014.

The Egyptian dictator, who was propelled to power by a 2013 military coup, has previously referred to "overpopulation" as one of two major crises facing Egypt, the other being "terrorism".

The military controls a significant proportion of the Egyptian economy and critics of the Egyptian government have identified corruption as a source of continued poverty in Egypt.

In 2019, Sisi's government launched a family planning campaign called "Two is Enough", pledging thousands of volunteers to "help change the mindset about the high birth rates".

A longer-running campaign partially funded by the European Union has promoted awareness of contraceptives and other family planning methods.

Contraceptives are heavily subsidised but critics say the government must address a wider range of issues in order to tackle overpopulations.

Egypt must also address early marriage and the prohibition of abortion, experts say. Termination is only permitted in Egypt in cases where the pregnancy threatens the life of a pregnant woman. 

The issue is also connected to widespread poverty in the North African country. Having more children is widely seen as a source of future income for poor families.

Around a third of Egypt lives under the poverty line, according to official statistics.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected