The Built Environment (BE) budget for fiscal year (FY) 2015/16 for six sectors that make up Egypt’s built environment reached EGP 98.9bn, which translates to a per capita spending of EGP 1,098 per person, according to 10 Tooba for Applied Research on the Built Environment.
The centre issued the BE budget FY 2015/16, titled An Analysis of Spatial Justice in Egypt, in June 2016, adding that the BE budget analyzes public investment sectors, which includes housing, urban development, water, wastewater, electricity, and transport. The analysis also includes 4 ministries, 27 governorate directorates, and 14 state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
“Spending was almost equal between the two local administration structures particular to the existing built environment that includes over 200 cities and 4,000 villages where almost 98% of Egyptians live, and the new cities, about 31 new desert towns, where about 2% of Egyptians live,” said Yahia Shawkat, the author of the research. “The spending on new cities amounted to EGP 29.8bn compared to 28.4bn for the existing built environment.”
This spatial inequity was revealed through per capita spending calculations which fluctuated between EGP 322 per person in the existing BE, about a third of the national average, to EGP 15,537 per person in new cities, about 15 times the national average.
Shawkat noted that the analysis found that 7% of the BE budget has been directed solely to two new cities. The first is the New Administrative Capital with total investments of EGP 5bn, and the second is New Alamein, a large coastal tourist resort in Marsa Matruh, with investments of EGP 2bn.
The research said that around 59% of the BE budget FY 2015/2016 is spent on local projects in housing, water, wastewater plants and networks, local electricity networks, local transport, and urban development.
The remaining 41% is spent on regional projects such as power stations and networks, railroads, and highways.
The research revealed that these investments are comparable to local investments for all sectors in Cairo’s existing BE, EGP 5.8bn, and are double those in Marsa Matruh, EGP 0.9bn. They are also one and a half times more than the total investments for much needed wastewater infrastructure across Egypt, estimated at EGP 4.8bn, and over two and a half times more than investments in water plants and networks needed by millions of Egyptians, estimated at EGP 2.7bn.
On the local level, the research has shown a wide range of per capita spending across the regions in each sector, omitting spending on new cities.
“The frontier region received the highest per capita expenditure in all six sectors, with an average of EGP 440 per person. This is partially explained by their far below average population sizes as well as the region’s above average area,” the research read. “The Suez Canal region had the second overall per capita spending at EGP 141 per person. Greater Cairo was third among the regions in per capita spending at EGP 63 per person, with generally below average spending per sector.”
In fourth place was rural Upper Egypt, at EGP 45 per person, 35% of the average overall per capita share.
Alexandria, an urban governorate and Egypt’s third largest city, was, surprisingly, next to last at EGP 44 per person.
The rural and industrial Delta was the region with the least per capita spending at EGP 37 per person, 29% of the average overall per capita share.
The research claimed that all regions suffered from internal spending disparities, with one or two governorates receiving above or high above average spending in a number of sectors and others receiving below or well below average per capita spending in most if not all sectors.
This large disparity of per capita share of expenditure between the regions is evidence that not enough work has gone into controlling spending based on needs, where the two most deprived regions in Egypt, the Delta and Upper Egypt, received much lower spending than the other regions, with the only exception being Alexandria, according to the research.