UNDP Report Acknowledges Muslim Brotherhood Role in Fighting Poverty

UNDP Report Acknowledges Muslim Brotherhood Role in Fighting Poverty

The UNDP annual human development report 2008 released Tuesday highlighted the positive role played by the Muslim Brotherhood in political, social, and charity areas, and showed the astronomical increase in the levels of poverty, unemployment and deterioration of medical services and education in Egypt.

The report tackled the rise of protest movements as a result of poor public services. Kefaya movement for change, Egypt Judges Club, March 9 movement, Copts protests, and women movements are examples.

The report called for the enhancement of civil society in order to combat poverty. It set three conditions for what is called “Growth with Justice.” These are the policies that can eliminate poverty, the involvement of civil society and the public sector, implementing relevant policies and drafting new laws and regulations for that purpose.

Concerning the Muslim Brotherhood, the report acknowledged that it represents the largest and most influential opposition group in Egypt that derives its nationwide support from the licensed medical and other services it provides to the poor and the lower middle class. Moreover, the movement has won significant support through its calls for political reform. With the attempts of political exclusion it faces, the MB has encouraged diverse parallel political movements and called for repealing the emergency law and other freedom-restricting laws.

The report mentioned that the violent interference of security forces in public life indicates lack of cooperation and coordination between the government and civil society, which adds fuel to the absence of mutual confidence between the two sides. Even worse, the state blocks the emergence of new civil society movements by preventing them from registering in the ministry of social affairs.

Economically, poverty rates have reached 19.6%, a relatively high rate although it has shown little decline compared to the 24.3% of the year 1990. This means that poverty rates go down by only 1% annually, which is an extremely slow progress. Nevertheless, figures show that poverty levels in Cairo will soar from 4.6 in 2005 to 7.6% in 2015.