There were two worrying pieces of news from Egypt this week. One was the reshuffling of Prime Minister Hisham Kandil’s cabinet based on partisan calculations, rather than competencies as was initially hoped. The second piece of news was the report that Egypt’s population now stands at more than 84 million. This is the result of the birth rate doubling during the revolution due to the decline in birth control programs, which had previously been sponsored by the government and international institutions. The population increase is a concern for a very simple reason; it will present additional financial and environmental burdens on Egyptian society, particularly in the country’s already overcrowded cities and slums.
Delaying the crisis
More than 60% of foreign currency reserves have evaporated, talk about a program of economic reform is not just necessary, it is crucialAdel al-Toraifi