Egypt was ruled by pharaohs and is a nation that connects northeast Africa to the Middle East. Along the fertile Nile River Valley are ancient structures like Giza’s enormous Pyramids and Great Sphinx and Luxor’s Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings, both of which are lined with hieroglyphs. The Egyptian Museum, a treasure trove of antiquities, and Ottoman landmarks like the Muhammad Ali Mosque can be found in Cairo, the capital.

Egypt pledged to eradicate poverty by 2030 and cut poverty in half by 2020. It is taking the wrong course. A long-delayed report on household finances was released on July 29 by the national statistics agency. It found that 33% of the 99 million people in Egypt were poor in 2016, up from 28% in 2015. Even that gloomy result might not be bad enough.

Many economists contend that the official poverty line set by the government is too low, at just 736 pounds ($45) per month. The World Bank said in April that 60% of Egyptians were “either poor or powerless”