Hope and Healing

Egypt’s ongoing crises

March 01, 2011General

Disability in Egyptian Crises

Egypt is a special place to me! Having lived and worked in the Middle East, managing a CIDA funded project in Egypt focussing on child labour, I know how vulnerable people are in that country. Many Egyptians live on the edge of survival – and are just a day’s income away from hunger. When prices rise, or the country shuts down for a period of time, or tourist stop coming it affects everyone. The poorest are always hit the hardest.

We know that the poorest and most vulnerable are those with or having a family member with a disability. Families in Egypt stick together and support each other – which is good. Yet, when one family member has difficulty finding work, or needs extra medical attention, or needs a wheelchair or new crutches, it makes the whole family that much closer to hunger.

The democracy movement recently in Egypt was – on a political scale – exciting and impressive. What is not being said is the resulting affect on prices for food, the economy, and those most vulnerable. People on day labourer’s salary cannot afford to lose one day, much less months of pay. When a family or person is vulnerable, the economic hit on a country like Egypt will mean real hunger and hurt.

cbm Canada is active in Egypt through wonderful partners. These partners, focussing on families and people with disabilities, have asked for our help. They want to alleviate some of the immediate vulnerability for these families by distributing rice, bread, milk, and other staple items to families. This is the short term response. Longer term they want to begin income generating projects for families – small businesses like selling vegetables and fruit in the market. Things that will reduce the vulnerability in the longer term.

We want to help. Please read what we are doing

for families and people with disabilities in Egypt, hit hardest by the economic crises in that country.