Egypt has a population of approximately 90 million. Its status as a lower middle-income country overlooks a reality of extensive poverty, with about 25% of the population living below the national poverty line in 2010.
In 2013 its GDP was an estimated 272 billion USD with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In that same year the government debt amounted to 80% of their GDP and the unemployment rate reached 13%. The tax-to-GDP ratio is around 14%.
Since the revolution of 2011, there is neither a clear government public finance policy nor any long term economic vision. The government is predominantly focused on attracting international loans, which all come with their specific strings attached. In order to qualify for a (IMF) loan, controlling the budget deficit through increased taxation has taken the precedence over the welfare of citizens.
Since 2012, the Egyptian government proposed several major amendments to the tax system. Various tax rates were increased – among which income tax and general sales tax – with the poor sections of society bearing the heaviest burden. Though income taxes were made more progressive, this mainly counts for the low and middle income classes, as progressivity stops at a relatively low income level.

CRAFT Country Strategy

Due to Egypt’s unpredictable political climate and negative environment for civil society, the CRAFT program is currently not implementing activities in the country and doesn’t expect implementation will be possible in the near future. We are confident however, that the firm foundation that was built over the past few years will stay present for the program to build on further once it becomes possible to continue with our work on the ground.
Even without an active project, the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), the Egypt lead partner, will continue to be part of the CRAFT group. They will take part in knowledge sharing, will join us in International CRAFT Strategy Meetings and will be in the Advisory Group for the Fair Tax Index.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and when opportunities arise we hope to pick up activities as soon as possible.

Lead Organization

Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) is an non-governmental legal & research entity which seeks to empower the community through the promotion of social movement.