Household Vulnerability and Resilience in Egypt: The Role of Social Policies - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Household Vulnerability and Resilience in Egypt: The Role of Social Policies

Rania Roushdy and Imane Helmy

October, 2019


Economic Research Forum

J. Labor and Demographic Economics

Key questions:

  • What are the shocks experienced by Egyptian households and how did they cope?
  • How do social programs in Egypt mitigate the vulnerability of poor households?

In a nutshell:

  • Almost a quarter of Egyptian households experienced food inse- curity and 16 percent were exposed to at least one type of shock during the year 2017/18.
  • Poor households were four times as likely to have experienced food insecurity and more than twice as likely to have experienced shocks compared to rich households.
  • Job informality of household members increased the likelihood of shocks and food insecurity. Also, a higher disability rate was as- sociated with higher food insecurity.
  • Households mostly used consumption rationing—reduced spend- ing on health, food or education—and social capital to cope with shocks or food insecurity.
  • Social protection schemes need a stronger role in mitigating the vulnerability of poor households.
  • Interlinked policy measures are needed to increase Egyptian households’ resilience to shocks and prevent them from using stressful strategies that may harm their human capital and render them more vulnerable to shocks in the future.
Research Associates

Rania Roushdy

Associate Professor, American University in Cairo


Imane Helmy

A Ph.D. candidate in Economics at German University in Cairo (GUC)



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