In spite of progress in the 1980s, by the end of the decade
Egypt still had a long way to go in expanding and improving
existing services such as housing, transportation,
telecommunications, and water supply. Housing remained inadequate;
urban dwellings were often very crowded, and residents lived in
makeshift accommodations. Housing was essentially a private
activity, and the government tended to underinvest in the sector.
The electric grid reached essentially all villages in Egypt by the
early 1980s, but blackouts in Cairo and other cities were not
uncommon. A major sewage project was under way. It aimed at
revamping and expanding the overflowing, antiquated network of
sewers, pumping stations, and treatment plants. Some of the work
was scheduled for completion by 1991. With help from the United
States Agency for International Development (AID), telephone lines
doubled at the end of the FY 1982-86 Five-Year Plan.
Because infrastructural improvements and additions were costly
and required a long lead time, no relief was anticipated before the
mid-1990s. The FY 1987-91 Five-Year Plan allocated more than ŁE4.1
billion for infrastructure. The problem that faced the government
was how to balance the badly needed improvement of the
infrastructure against the fact that such investments created only
temporary employment and had small impact on industries that served
or were served by the infrastructure.
Data as of December 1990