Although classified as a middle-income country, Egypt faces a set of development challenges characterized by substantial regional disparities with the rural parts of Upper Egypt ranking lowest on the socio-economic scale. Egypt is the world’s largest importer of wheat and is highly vulnerable to fluctuations in international food prices. Poverty continues to be the main barrier to education in Egypt. The Egyptian government invests US$60 million annually in the National School Feeding Programme, which reaches 5.3 million of the 17 million school pupils. However, food distribution is not consistent in all schools throughout the academic year, and girls living in rural areas are least likely to attend schools. There are at least 1.6 million children involved in hazardous work in Egypt.