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Egypt Index

In spite of progress in the 1980s, by the end of the decade Egypt still had a long way to go in expanding and improving existing services such as housing, transportation, telecommunications, and water supply. Housing remained inadequate; urban dwellings were often very crowded, and residents lived in makeshift accommodations. Housing was essentially a private activity, and the government tended to underinvest in the sector. The electric grid reached essentially all villages in Egypt by the early 1980s, but blackouts in Cairo and other cities were not uncommon. A major sewage project was under way. It aimed at revamping and expanding the overflowing, antiquated network of sewers, pumping stations, and treatment plants. Some of the work was scheduled for completion by 1991. With help from the United States Agency for International Development (AID), telephone lines doubled at the end of the FY 1982-86 Five-Year Plan.

Because infrastructural improvements and additions were costly and required a long lead time, no relief was anticipated before the mid-1990s. The FY 1987-91 Five-Year Plan allocated more than £E4.1 billion for infrastructure. The problem that faced the government was how to balance the badly needed improvement of the infrastructure against the fact that such investments created only temporary employment and had small impact on industries that served or were served by the infrastructure.

Data as of December 1990

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