Since 2011, Egypt has witnessed periods of instability related to the changing political environment. This instability has had a substantial impact on the population, comprised of almost 90 million Egyptians and more than 140,000 refugees. The population struggles to maintain its livelihoods in the wake of increased food prices, shortages of petroleum and natural gas, and decreased tourism. Additionally, the country has experienced increasingly high levels of tension and conflict between majority Muslims and religious minorities. The crisis entered a very violent phase in mid-August, 2013, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths, the destruction of over 60 Churches and Christian institutions, and the imposition of a State of Emergency and curfew. Amidst the challenges that accompany this changing environment, CRS/Egypt remains committed to playing a significant role in supporting Egyptian and refugee populations.
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|Population:||85,294,388 (July 2013 est.)|
|Size:||386,662 sq. mi.; slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico|
In 1956, at the invitation of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Catholic Relief Services began providing relief assistance in Egypt to people affected by the Suez War. During the decades that followed, CRS Egypt moved from large-scale food relief to long-term poverty alleviation and development programs.
Currently, CRS Egypt supports civic engagement activities for young people and creates economic opportunities for women and other marginalized groups. CRS Egypt also offers education assistance to refugees from Africa and Iraq and provides protection to female victims of trafficking and forces labor in Alexandria. CRS works closely with Egyptian organizations to carry out these programs, supporting each organization to become more effective, efficient and responsive—creating lasting positive change as this age-old society goes about reinventing itself.