Climate Risk Profile: Egypt
This profile provides an overview of climate risk issues in Egypt, including how climate change will affect coastal zones, water resources, agriculture, and the health and tourism sectors. The brief includes an overview of Egypt, the climate and projected changes. Also included is information on sector impacts and vulnerabilities to climate change, the policy context and ongoing climate change projects in Egypt.
Modern Egypt has one of the most diversified economies in the Middle East. However, Egypt’s dependence on the Nile River for 95 percent of its freshwater leaves the country vulnerable to climate shocks and transboundary water conflict. Egypt has undergone two significant political transitions since 2011, and the current government is engaged in significant development-oriented reforms including a massive land reclamation project known as the “1.5-Million Feddan Project,” which seeks to draw water from aquifers and divert water from the Nile River to convert desert area into productive land.
High rates of inflation, increases in food prices, high unemployment, and a poverty rate of 25 percent continue to plague Egypt’s economy, despite recent healthy growth in gross domestic product (GDP). Further, the economy remains sensitive to climate shocks due to its reliance on the Nile and the important role of agriculture in the economy. Through its long-recorded history, Egypt has been vulnerable to climatic changes, resulting in famine and political unrest during periods of drought.