Country profile: Egypt
Total population: 105 million
Total children under the age of 18: ca. 40 million
The situation of children in Egypt
There are no accurate statistics about the orphan children in Egypt, but the estimates show that they are about 3 to 5 % of the population. This means there are around 4 million orphans. Most of them live in 30,000 orphanages. It is also estimated that there are half a million children at risk or living on the streets. In 2021 there were 11,825 children fostered by 11,633 families, with a percentage of 85% under 18 and 15% above 18 years old. Due to some religious and cultural concerns, Christian parents generally prefer placing their children in orphanages rather than in foster families. A lot of orphanages are often seeking ways to attract funds and the attention of donors rather than providing professional services to the children, which is a real challenge especially because there is little outside control.
Egypt without Orphans:
The core challenges faced in Egypt are the cultural mindset of people, taking the easy solution to send their children to orphanages, and leaving all the responsibilities to the institutions. Added to that is the poverty and violence that is extremely high in poor communities There is little understanding in the country about laws regarding children and people are not aware of helplines for children and don’t use them. The (shame) culture of the country makes it difficult to report abuse in the family.
In Egypt, WWO is cooperating with the NGO Life Vision for Development to start “The Rock” project that focuses on providing childcare support to children in their families. “The Rock” is a model that is centered around the child’s best interest while offering specialized family care services and family strengthening solutions. Target groups will be children who are at risk of family separation from the garbage collector’s area, children who are at orphanages and can be reunified, re-integrated, or fostered, and also children from other underprivileged communities in Cairo.
Other Information about Orphaned and Vulnerable Children and Family Care in Egypt