Living standards in Egypt are low by international standards, and have declined consistently since 1990. According to United Nations figures, some 20 to 30 percent of the population live below the poverty line. Despite widespread poverty, however, uneven development has led to the emergence of an affluent class that controls most of the country's wealth and enjoys an elevated standard of living that includes shopping at centers that feature the best imported goods. Living in such Cairo suburbs, the wealthy send their children to private schools and to universities abroad. Yet not far from these affluent neighborhoods, a significant number of poor Egyptians live in squalor, with poor and overcrowded housing, limited food supply, and inadequate access to clean water, good quality health care, or education.
The rapidly growing population of Egypt is a challenge to government officials responsible for meeting the country's housing needs. Nevertheless, post-MUBARAK governments have not made curbing population growth a priority. Population size, a shortage of skilled laborers, and a shortage of construction materials have resulted in a shortage of affordable housing. The growth of slums has caused an increase in crime, violence, and religious militancy (forceful expression of religious beliefs). Another major problem is the illegal use of drugs.
The major criticism of Human Rights watchdogs is that not only violent opponents, but also nonviolent political opponents, are being denied their political and civil rights in the government's attempt to maintain control.
Heath Care—Technically speaking, Egypt offers a universal health care system. Yet the quality of care in public hospitals is far lower than in private and foreign clinics. On the whole, Egyptians prefer to see private doctors for check-ups and outpatient care (provided that they can afford it). In a recent government survey, over half of the respondents said that they attempted to obtain private care before government care. The same survey concluded that around 90% of inpatient beds are located in public medical facilities (public hospitals, university hospitals, military hospitals).
Geography: Egypt is a transcontinental country situated in northeastern Africa and on the Sinai Peninsula in Western Asia (Middle East). It is the driest and the sunniest country in the world, and most of its land surface is desert. Average high temperatures are high in the north, but very to extremely high in the rest of the country during summer.