Pathfinder Egypt

Since 1978, Pathfinder has worked with the government of Egypt to provide quality reproductive health and
family planning services, while simultaneously empowering individuals and communities.

Photo by Pathfinder Egypt

During that time, the country has seen fertility rates drop from 5.3 children per woman to 3, and modern contraceptive use among married women rise from 24 to 60 percent.

Photo by Pathfinder Egypt 3

During Pathfinder's five-year Takamol project, more than 500,000 home visits were made by community health workers to distribute information on family planning, reproductive health, and maternal, child, and neonatal health.

Photo by Pathfinder Egypt

This progress inspires our work today. Having carried out decades of successful programming in Egypt, Pathfinder is looking to the future. We are focusing on a critical, but underserved group—young people.

Photo by Courtney Howard

Half Egypt’s population is under 25 and their needs extend beyond reproductive health. In the poorest rural areas of two governates, Pathfinder helps provide immediate job opportunities for young people, while expanding access to quality health services.

Pathfinder International works in Egypt to improve the population's sexual and reproductive health through an integrated approach that positively contributes to economic growth and social stability.

Why Pathfinder Works in Egypt

Poverty is one of the greatest problems confronting Egypt today. Despite the relatively high levels of economic growth over the past few years, living conditions for the average Egyptian remain poor. Nearly 20 percent of the population lives on less than two dollars per day, with much of the poverty concentrated in Upper Egypt. (PRB) The recent political situation in Egypt has aggravated the problem, as many people have lost their jobs and the unemployment rate has risen. Contributing to the problem of poverty is continued population growth, as nearly all of the country's 82 million inhabitants (PRB) live on the 2.9 percent of land that is arable.

Since 1978, there has been mutual cooperation between Pathfinder and the Egyptian government to develop an institutional framework for family planning, promoting and distributing methods of contraception, and increasing the availability of quality reproductive health and family planning services among Egypt's most remote and underserved populations. In 2006, Pathfinder began the five-year, USAID-funded Takamol project. Takamol, meaning "integration" in Arabic, worked with the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population to promote an integrated model for strengthening maternal and child health, family planning, and reproductive health services. Pathfinder is currently implementing the Fostering Opportunities in Rural Southern Areas Project (FORSA ,which means "opportunity" in Arabic), which is funded by USAID. After recognizing the direct links between microfinance, economic growth, productivity, and improved health outcomes, the FORSA Project was designed to provide immediate job opportunities for young men and women in the poorest rural areas of two governorates, who will support improved health information, health-seeking behavior, and access to quality health services for Egypt's most vulnerable populations. FORSA also aims to build the capacity of women and provides them with in-kind support so they can start their own microenterprises, thus helping to alleviate poverty while improving health knowledge in the community.

Half the population in Egypt is under the age of 25.

Evidence for Decision-Making

A key aspect of Pathfinder's approach to systems' strengthening is collecting evidence that enables public, private, and community partners to make informed health-related decisions. In Egypt, examples of the kinds of data we collect range from "the number of primary health care units achieving a three percent improvement in providing couple years protection (CYP)" and "number of postabortion care and postpartum clients receiving family planning counseling" to "the number of hospitals that utilize at least ten percent of service improvement revenues (SIF) to pay for facility improvement." Noteworthy improvements to Egyptian health care over the course of the Takamol project include:

  • More than 500,000 home visits made by community health workers to distribute information on family planning, reproductive health, and maternal, child, and neonatal health.
  • In addition, the project managed renovation of one hundred and seventy-nine primary health clinics, and in Lower Egypt, 21 hospital OB-GYN and neonatal units. The average number of new family planning clients served in a primary health clinic each month rose from 26 clients, on average, in the year preceding interventions, to more than 33 by the end of the first year, averaging 31 new family planning clients per month for the twelve months following interventions. This represents an average increase of 19 percent in new family planning clients.

Building Capacity, Strengthening Systems

In 2012, through the new FORSA project, Pathfinder will implement several capacity-building activities targeting the non-governmental sector, focusing on local Community Development Associations in the project's intervention areas. Community Development Associations will be trained in proposal writing, financial management and reporting, and outreach workers training, allowing them to continue their valuable work at increased capacity after the end of their partnership with Pathfinder. In addition, the Egyptian Women Speak Out (EWSO) program, which intends to provide women participants with an impetus for socio-economic change, will hold a training-of-trainers session. Trainers will be trained on the EWSO program and will be taught to set educational objectives, design lesson plans, and use visual aids.


Nearly 20 percent of Egypt's population lives on less than $2 per day. That's why Pathfinder International works to improve the population's reproductive health through an approach that positively contributes to economic growth and social stability. Your gift of $25 or $50 ensures our work can continue.

Our Projects

I Know, I Decide

I Know, I Decide: eHealth in Egypt

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Contraception & Family Planning

I Know, I Decide is designed to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information to young people in ten governorates of Egypt.

Fostering Opportunities in Rural Southern Areas

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Gender Behavior Change Maternal & Newborn Health Contraception & Family Planning

FORSA provides employment opportunities for rural Egyptians by hiring youth as community health advocates and providing training and financial support for women to start their own microenterprises.

Related Publications

December 2014

Change Starts Here: Pathfinder International 2014 Annual Report

We believe change starts with expertly trained providers and pharmacies that never run out of supplies. It starts with open conversations among women, young people, men, religious leaders, mothers-in-law, policymakers, and others, joining to discuss their beliefs and remove barriers to their health and well-being. Our 2014 Annual Report shows a few highlights of how Pathfinder has served as a catalyst for change over the past year.

October 2014

Expanding Local Partnership Opportunities With a Two-Tiered Implementation Model

This technical brief discusses Pathfinder's experience designing and operationalizing a two-tiered implementation model for partnering with local organizations in Egypt.

May 2014

No More Stolen Futures

When a girl is robbed of her childhood, what happens to her future? This issue of Pathways explores Pathfinder's work to break the cycle of violence, early marriage, and unintended pregnancy that prevents millions of young people from having a choice.

December 2013

The Way We Live: Advancing Health & Rights Through Integration

In a year of remarkable achievement, including Pathfinder’s landmark victory at the US Supreme Court and our return to Bangladesh with a $53.8 million project, what was most exciting? The answer—integration—is the theme of Pathfinder’s 2013 Annual Report.

Related News

Egyptian women celebrate increased opportunity and empowerment at project’s close

Representatives from the Egyptian Ministry of Health, USAID, Pathfinder International, and Egyptian media gathered on August 20 at Cairo’s Intercontinental City Stars Hotel to commemorate the end of the Fostering Opportunities in Rural Southern Areas project.

Launching a New National Strategy for Preventing Child Marriage in Egypt

Group of stakeholders gather at launch
On June 16, with funding from the Ford Foundation, Pathfinder International in Egypt, in conjunction with the National Population Council, launched a new national strategy for preventing child marriage.
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