The shortfall of affordable housing in Egypt will be resolved within four years based on the current rate of construction implemented under the social housing program, according to Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities, Al Borsa reported on Wednesday.

Speaking at the recently-concluded National Youth Convention in Sharm El Sheikh, he noted that the ministry is currently developing 62 informal settlements, and another 42 informal areas, the construction of which is considered structurally unsafe. Madbouly further claimed that if all such areas were developed in two years and half, it would serve 850,000 residents.

As opposed to the numbers cited by Madbouly, Leila Iskander, who had previously served as Egypt’s Minister of State for Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements before the ministry was dissolved and rolled into the Ministry of Housing, had stated just last year at a UN conference that “About half of the population of Egypt lives in informal settlements. Some of them are in habitable situations and others are not.”