Egypt’s Revolution Impacts the Most Marginalized

Mar 04, 2011 01:28 PM EST

Stouffville, ON, March 4, 2011 - “The recent uprising in Egypt has dramatically impacted the lives of families with disabilities,” says Ed Epp, Executive Director of cbm Canada. “The country was paralyzed for nearly three weeks. Factories, banks and post offices were closed. Trucks transporting food commodities were stopped due the lack of security.”

“As a result, the most marginalized families are now facing overwhelming debts, many can’t even afford food for their families,” says Epp.

Before the revolution, more than 40% of Egypt’s population were living below the poverty level with an income of less than $2 a day. Over 5.5% of the country’s population has a disability. Now the situation is dire.

cbm Canada supports approximately 1,200 families in Egypt through our partners on the ground. These are the most vulnerable families – families living with blindness and disability – who are in desperate need of food and aid to help them re-establish themselves and regain financial stability.

Like 34 year-old Hani who is blind, married with two children and supports his elderly mother.

In the past, cbm’s partner gave Hani a micro-finance loan to start a small business project – a grocery store in Egypt. But when the uprising began, the lack of security halted the delivery of grocery supplies for several weeks. He was forced to close his store. Now Hani is unable to pay his bills and he’s accumulating debt.

“People with disabilities are getting desperate. Many have lost their jobs. Farmers, store keepers and small business owners, like Hani, are faced with huge debts and no income. Some families are begging for food,” adds Epp.

These marginalized families need immediate assistance. cbm has close to 250 staff and volunteers in Egypt ready to purchase goods from wholesalers, package them and ensure that they are distributed to the families of those most in need.

For only $50, cbm can begin to treat injuries, distribute food, and provide income aid to those who are unable to work because of this crisis.

cbm Canada is a non-profit Christian international development organization focused on improving the quality of life of people struggling to survive the double disadvantage of poverty and disability.