SOS Children Egypt has remained in daily contact with local leaders at our Villages in Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta. Despite unrest in the key cities of Cairo and Alexandria, no violence has been reported near the Villages, and the young people we support in Cairo are currently away from the city on summer vacation. However, we have been unable to reach all families we support as part of our community work in Cairo.
Violence peaked on Wednesday 14th August, when between 600 and 2,000 people died in protests against former President Morsi's removal from office. Due to disruptions to public transport and potentially hazardous commuter routes, staff at our main office in Cairo remained at home for two days after these events.
Following action by the army to quell unrest, a month-long state of emergency was declared by the interim government. This allowed the army to make arrests and unlimited detentions. A dawn-to-dusk curfew was imposed in Cairo, Alexandria and twelve other cities. Violence spread beyond urban centres, and on 19th August, at least 24 policeman were killed in an ambush attack in the town of Rafah in the Sinai peninsula.
SOS Children continues vital work
Demographically, Egypt is a young nation, with a third of its population aged under 14 years. In 2011, 60% of Egyptians were under the age of 30. A desire for change amongst young people discontented with a longstanding and hardline regime was a key driving factor behind the uprising against President Morsi.
Living conditions are tough for Egypt's large youth population. Nearly half of all Egyptian children live on less than US$2 per day, and more than one in ten are born malnourished. An estimated one million children live on Egypt's city streets, mostly in Cairo and Alexandra.
As well as providing a home for many of the 1.7 million Egyptian children who have lost their parents, SOS Children helps vulnerable Egyptian children in the community by supporting families in Cairo and Alexandra. Through medical care, we help healthy childen stay healthy, and make sickly or malnourished children better. Daycare allows parents to work, as well giving children the opportunity for play and ensuring them a decent meal. At times of need, we deliver emergency relief to families in need, such as in 1994, when devastating floods hit the country.