- When Habitat started in Egypt: 1989
- Individuals served in FY16: 23,615*
- Volunteers hosted in FY16: 559
- Housing solutions: New homes, Renovations, Repairs, Home improvements, Housing microfinance
* includes construction and market development
- Capital: Cairo
- Main country facts: Fastest growing population in the Arab world
- Population: 94.67 million
- Urbanization: 43.1 percent live in cities
- Life expectancy: 72.7 years
- Unemployment rate: 12.8 percent
- Population living below the poverty line: 25.2 percent
Habitat for Humanity in Egypt
Habitat for Humanity Egypt was founded in 1989, and has constructed or renovated more than 30,000 homes to date, turning despair into hope for those living in 30 communities. Habitat Egypt partners with the homeowners and with local associations to achieve its goal. By working with these organizations at the grassroots level, Habitat Egypyt builds on their established knowledge and insight in the community. A group of local, representative volunteers serve as the housing committee which selects loan recipients from within their community.
Housing need in Egypt
In Egypt, more than 20 million people live in substandard housing conditions, with minimum means of improving their situation. Poverty housing is particularly common in the rural areas, where many families live in old mud brick houses with dirt floors, no doors or windows, and inadequate roofs made from thatch, branches or even sugar cane. These conditions provide little protection from snakes, insects, intruders, rain, or the extreme variations in temperature. The houses are dangerously hot in summer and below freezing temperatures in winter. Access to toilets and clean piped water is limited, causing severe health problems to occur. Moreover, large families are often crowded into one or two room structures. Some even share their homes with their livestock or poultry.
How Habitat addresses the need in Egypt
Houses built by Habitat Egypt are simple and affordable, decent and durable. They are built using appropriate, locally-available building materials, which meet specific housing requirements. Houses have cement or tile floors, plaster or limestone brick walls, inside plumbing and sanitary systems, secure wooden roofs, and enough rooms to separate parents from children, boys from girls, and families from their livestock. These changes create secure homes, protecting the families from the elements and also allow families the opportunity to build a second floor in the future.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Egypt:
Habitat Egypt provides housing loans to families in need, ranging from EGP 2,000 to EGP 12,000. Loans are used for building, repairing and improving homes.
Habitat Egypt believes in the importance of the continuity of the program. Families who partner with Habitat Egypt repay their loans and the repayments of these revolving loans are used to build more houses in the village. The loans are usually repaid in a period of three years. Monthly repayments cannot exceed the value of 25 per cent of the family´s monthly income.
“Poorest of the poor” program
Based on the belief that every Egyptian has the right to a healthy house, Habitat Egypt has agreed with their local partners to contribute towards the poorest of the poor communities by allocating 7 per cent of the annual housing to the “Poorest of the Poor” program, targeting those who are unable to pay in the form of non-refundable grants. This intervention succeeded in building and renovating homes for more than 10,000 people in financial year 2016.
This great success encouraged some of the donors to allocate a fair part of their donations to serving the “Poorest of the Poor” program allowing Habitat Egypt to continue serving this disadvantaged group.
Meet the family of Aid Adb El Gaber
What is your motivation to participate in the program?
I used to feel guilty towards my family, as I couldn’t provide them with a proper safe house.
What were the difficulties before your living conditions improved?
We were facing a real danger as we used to live under a thatched roof which did not only expose us directly to the weather but it also carried insects, rodents, rats and snakes in its branches. This affected our safety and health and destroyed our clothes, blankets and food.
How much are you satisfied with your new home?
I couldn’t gather the money to build a wooden roof, but thanks to Habitat Egypt we were finally able to do it. Now, we can live in peace and happiness. My family lives in a safe place. Our health improved dramatically. No more snakes or rodents.
What you can do
You can help needy Egyptian families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Donate: Go to habitat.org/donate and designate your gift to Habitat Egypt.
Volunteer: Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Europe, Middle East and Africa or lead your own.
Tithe: Establish a strong and rewarding tithe partnership to help build houses globally! Quote 862400, EGYPT on your checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 322 West Lamar Street, Americus, Georgia 31709-3543 USA.
To learn more about Habitat projects in Egypt, please contact us.
Ayman Awny, Finance & Admin manager
Christine Gamil, RD Coordinator
Michal Kruzliak, Program Manager
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa