EGYPT - Government Tells Families, ‘Two Is Enough’

Arno Froese

As Egypt’s population heads towards 100 million, the government is trying to change the minds of people. “Two Is Enough” is the government’s first family-planning campaign aiming to challenge traditions of large families in rural Egypt. 

Egypt’s population is growing by 2.6 million a year, a high rate for a country where water and jobs are scarce and schools and hospitals overcrowded. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says the two biggest threats to Egypt are terrorism and population growth. 

“We are faced with scarcity in water resources ... scarcity in jobs, job creation, and we need to really control this population growth so that people can feel the benefits of development,” Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali told Reuters. 

“Two Is Enough” is mainly financed by Egyptian money, with the Social Solidarity Ministry spending 75 million Egyptian pounds ($4.27 million) and the U.N. providing 10 million pounds, according to the ministry. 

The two-year campaign targets more than 1.1 million poor families with up to three children. The Social Solidarity Ministry, with local NGOs, has trained volunteers to make home visits and encourage people to have fewer children. 

Deeply rooted traditions and lack of education explain why many Egyptians have big families. Al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Sunni Muslim authority, endorses family planning, but not all Egyptians agree. 

Some view children as a future source of support. Others who only have girls keep having more until they get a boy who can carry on the family name. 

-www.reuters.com, 20 February 2019

Arno's commentary

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel. Although this agreement seems to be more theoretical than real, it does save Israel’s military resources significantly; funds can be prioritized more to the enemies in the north and east. 

How successful Egypt’s program “Two Is Enough” will be is a matter of time. Communist China, for example, which implemented a one-child policy, now has authorized two.

Some 3,700 years ago, Israel’s population exploded in the land of Egypt. “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them” (Exodus 1:7). Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, resorted to cold-blooded murder. “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive” (verse 22). During those days, the end result was the destruction of Egypt and the liberation of the children of Israel.

What’s new today is that the president of Egypt encourages Jews to come to his land, and he promises to build them a synagogue. For Jews, however, to return to the land of Egypt is most unlikely. Repeatedly, the Lord God of Israel warned the Jews not to return to the land of Egypt. Obviously, some will. Regarding the future, the prophet Isaiah has this to say: “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land” (Isaiah 19:23-24).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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