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New Suez Canal and Displacement, Egypt


The Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his government embarked on a national project, led by the military, to expand the Suez canal through a new 45-mile bypass that allows two-way ship transport in a section of the canal (1; 2; 3). It was mostly funded by Egyptian citizens, who purchased $8 billion worth of government bonds (3). The project proceeded in August 2014, with no environmental impact assessment.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:New Suez Canal and Displacement, Egypt
Location of conflict:Suez Canal area
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Level of Investment:9,000,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:at least 2,000 to 2,500
Company names or state enterprises:Suez Canal Authority (SCA) from Egypt - Main moderator supervising and executing the project, along with the army
Numerous local companies in dry-digging phase
Relevant government actors:Egyptian Armed Forces
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Potential: Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project has been completed with disregard for the displaced and loss of their livelihoods, with little national and international media attention. No evidence suggests that compensations took place.
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(1) CS Monitor : Suez Canal 2.0: Egyptians pour savings into president's ambitious project (+video)
[click to view]

(2) Mada Masr: Over 2,000 residents forced from homes, denied work on Suez Canal project
[click to view]

(3) International Business Times: Sisi’s New Suez Canal: Egypt’s Great Development Project Might Not Develop Anything
[click to view]

(4) Middle East Eye: 'New Suez Canal' construction displaces over 2,000 people in Egypt
[click to view]

(5) The Guardian: Thousands of Egyptians evicted without compensation for Suez project
[click to view]

(6) Mada Masr: What Sisi didn't say about labor conditions in constructing the New Suez Canal
[click to view]

(7) Reuters: Egypt signs with six international firms to dredge new Suez Canal
[click to view]

(9) Daily News Egypt: Completion of new Suez Canal dry digging in early April
[click to view]

(8) Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: Suez Canal development in Egypt - reports of worker injuries and deaths
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

BBC: Egypt Launches Suez Canal expansion
[click to view]

Other documents

Map of project area source:
[click to view]

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Meta information
Contributor:EJAtlas affiliated researcher
Last update05/10/2015
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