nep-ara New Economics Papers
on Arab World
Issue of 2010‒08‒06
four papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Global Food Price Shock and the Poor in Egypt and Ukraine By Maryla Maliszewska
  2. Impacts of the Economic Reform Program on the Performance of the Egyptian Agricultural Sector By Ibrahim Soliman; Jacinto F. Fabiosa; Mohamed Gaber Amer; Siham Kandil
  3. A profile of Cairo street children By L. Guarcello; N. Koseleci
  4. Coming Too Late? The EU’s Mixed Approaches to Transforming the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict By Benoit Challand

  1. By: Maryla Maliszewska
    Abstract: The global food price shock of 2006-2008 has particularly affected poorer strata of populations in several developing countries. In Egypt and some other countries it has put food subsidy schemes to the test. This paper develops two comparable computable general equilibrium models for Egypt and Ukraine which are used to simulate direct and indirect impacts of the food price surge and various policy options on the performance of the main macroeconomic indicators as well as on poverty outcomes. The results illustrate the limited ability of realistic policy responses to mitigate negative social consequences of an external price shock. Food import tariff cuts are a partial remedy faring better than other analysed options. Furthermore, the Egyptian system of food subsidies needs substantial reforms limiting the related fiscal burden and improving the targeting of the poor population.
    Keywords: food subsidy, agriculture, price shock, poverty, Ukraine, Egypt
    JEL: H24 H53 I32 I38 C63 C68 D58
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Ibrahim Soliman; Jacinto F. Fabiosa (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI)); Mohamed Gaber Amer; Siham Kandil
    Abstract: From 1986 to 2007 Egypt's agricultural policy transitioned from a tightly controlled to a more liberalized regime. This study examines the impact of this change on the performance of the wheat (imported grain) and rice (exported grain) sectors. In terms of profitability, we found that the cost of production increased substantially in both grains, driven primarily by the rise in land rent and labor wage. But the wheat and rice sectors' profitability did not suffer significantly, as advances in new seed technologies and adoption of better farm practices including farm mechanization increased yield and compensated for the higher cost. Considering market efficiency, we found that over the study period the farmer's share of the consumer's expenditure dropped from 51% to 37% in the case of wheat, while it increased from 24% to 26% in the case of rice. The reverse happened for wholesale and retail margin share, where it increased for wheat and decreased for rice. It is likely that the discipline from foreign suppliers of imported wheat and foreign market opportunities for exported rice may explain the difference in the changes of the distribution of consumer expenditure. Finally, we found that area response elasticity decreased over time from 0.58 to 0.12 for rice and 0.60 to 0.38 for wheat. The lack of response in rice area despite rising prices is attributed to the land limit strictly imposed by the Government of Egypt because of water supply constraint considerations. On the other hand, the lack of response in wheat area despite rising wheat prices may be attributed to the rising competitiveness of Egyptian clover, which is a main feed ingredient for the growing livestock sector.
    Keywords: agricultural liberalization, area response elasticity, market efficiency, profitability.
    Date: 2010–07
  3. By: L. Guarcello; N. Koseleci
    Abstract: In Egypt, the number of destitute children living and surviving in the street environment is becoming alarming, especially in Cairo, and has drawn growing attention by the Government, as well as by international and nongovernmental organizations. There is very little data on street children in Egypt, their characteristics and the severity of the problems they face. This study aims to fill this information gap. It makes use of a sample of street children in Cairo in order to provide a general profile of their lives, focusing on the realities of the street children’s world and highlighting why they are on the streets, what they do, why they do it, and the major difficulties they face in their lives.
    Date: 2009–11
  4. By: Benoit Challand (Graduate Institute, on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, Geneva)
    Abstract: As is well known, the amount of aid given by international donors both to Israel and to the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt) is unparalleled in the world, but the fact that people can turn violent against their own CSOs trying to promote reconciliation speaks abundantly about the resentment that external aid can generate. Studying the nexus EU-civil society-Palestinian-Israeli conflict cannot therefore be done without a general overview of the particular setting in which aid for conflict transformation takes place. This report is articulated in four parts. The paper first briefly discusses the nature of the conflict and recent trends in its development, affecting, inter alia, the domestic context in which civil society operates. It then looks at the EU’s involvement in the conflict and presents the tools that the EU uses in its support for civil society. Moving on, it analyses the impact and effectiveness of Israeli and Palestinian civil societies (with a view on CSO typologies and activities) and suggests why the effectiveness of civil society has remained limited. Finally the paper deals with the EU’s impact and the role of EU-funded programmes supporting civil society involvement in conflict transformation, testing the different hypotheses outlined in the guiding report issued for this work package.
    Date: 2010

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