Although classified as a middle-income country and despite its high and steady economic growth during the period between 2005 and 2010, Egypt suffers from substantial regional disparities with the rural parts of Upper Egypt having the lowest socio-economic standards. The country has, in addition, suffered from the effects of a number of major international shocks since 2006; the avian influenza epidemic followed by the food, fuel and financial crisis. By 2011, 25.2 percent of the population were unable to meet their basic needs.
Malnutrition in its various forms has increased over the past decade. Egypt faces a double burden of malnutrition with both under-nutrition and obesity on the rise. According to the national Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of 2008, stunting among children under the age of five increased from a stable rate of 23 percent in 2000 and 2005 to 29 percent in 2008.
Political instability triggered by the 25 January Revolution cast its impact on economic growth; annual real GDP growth averaged 0.4 percent since Jan 2011 and until the end of the first quarter of 2012. Economic losses – estimated at US$300 million a day immediately after the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak – could deeply impact economic and social conditions for the majority of the population, who are already living on the brink of food and nutritional insecurity.
Revenue from tourism, one of Egypt's main sources of income, has reportedly been affected by the political instability following the 25 January Revolution. Furthermore, foreign direct investment has declined in the Egyptian market after credit rating agencies revised several of Egypt’s key ratings down.