Egypt’s population rose from 72 million in 2006 to 100 million in 2020. This growth is primarily due to an increasing birth rate, from an average of 3.0 births per woman in 2008 to 3.5 in 2013. If this trend continues, Egypt’s population is expected to reach 128 million by 2030. The government of Egypt is acutely aware of the economic and social impact of a rapidly increasing population.

The USAID-funded Strengthening Egypt’s Family Planning Program Activity (SEFPP), managed by JSI, works with the Egyptian government, through the Ministry of Health and Population/Family Planning Sector and National Population Council, to decelerate Egypt’s rapid population growth by reducing the unmet need of women and men for family planning counseling services and methods through evidence-based planning, decision making, and policy formulation. SEFPP is prioritizing its support in the nine governorates of Upper Egypt and 11 slum areas in Cairo and Alexandria, where the need for increased access to family planning is greatest. In rural Upper Egypt, only 45 percent of women are using any modern method and 53 percent are not using any method at all (compared with 41 percent nationally). While data for slums in Cairo and Alexandria are limited, access to family planning counselling and methods are known to be inadequate.

SEFPP is working to change this through the following objectives: strengthening the quality of services provided; changing behaviors to increase family planning uptake; and building capacity to advocate for policy change. SEFPP is committed to gender equity, which is central to the success of family planning, as well as to partnering with the private sector to ensure quality services are available and accessible. SEFPP advocates for voluntary access to family planning services for all segments of society, with a focus on the most vulnerable, and provides people with information to make the right decisions for themselves and their families.

JSI implements SEFPP in partnership with the Population Council

The project aims to create sustainable solutions that will help address Egypt’s growing population by increasing the use of family planning methods and promoting healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies leading to a positive change in contraceptive use over time. The project's activities are expected to work to address some of the major drivers behind Egypt’s fertility reversal documented in the 2014 EDHS, namely:

  • Decreased exposure to family planning (FP) / reproductive health (RH) messages in the media
  • Decreased FP/RH information and counseling
  • Limited contraceptive method mix and shift in method choice by women from IUDs to oral contraceptives
  • Discontinuation of methods due to mismanagement of side effects
  • Increased trends toward earlier marriage
  • Increased trends to having the first child sooner and having shorter birth intervals; and
  • Fewer young women using contraception.
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NO Comment 30th September 2020

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