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The rate of poverty is more than 60% in this governorate but recently some social safety networks have been provided in the form of financial assistance and job opportunities. The funding has been coordinated by the country's Ministry of Finance and with assistance from international organizations.
The governorate is divided into municipal divisions with a total estimated population as of July 2017 of 4,407,335. In the case of Asyut governorate, there is 1 new city, three aqsam[check spelling] and eleven marakiz. Sometimes a markaz and a kism share a name.
According to population estimates from 2015 the majority of residents in the governorate live in rural areas, with an urbanization rate of only 26.5%. Out of an estimated 4,245,215 people residing in the governorate, 3,119,112 people live in rural areas as opposed to only 1,126,103 in urban areas.
Asyut governorate has a population of over 4 million people, with a significant Coptic presence. In 1914, it had the second largest proportion of Copts in Egypt, where they made up 20.7% of the population. However, they now make up 48.5% while the remaining population are Sunni Muslims. Evangelical (Protestant) religions had significant growth in some districts of Asyut, as evidenced in 1907 census data, where half of the citizens of a village were counted as Protestant Copts. Muslims and Christians have lived together in Asyut and at times there have been clashes. In July 2013, a large number of Christians took to the streets to protest Muslim extremism in Asyut. Whether Christian or Muslim, Asyut is home to a very conservative society and in October, 2016 Upper Egypt's first beauty pageant, which was to be held in Asyut, had to be canceled due to death threats and security issues.
According to the Egyptian Governing Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), in affiliation with the Ministry of Investment (MOI), the following industrial zones are located in this governorate:
Al Awamer Abnoub
Al Zarabi in Abu Tig
Al Safa (Beni Ghaleb)
Projects and programs
In 2016, Switzerland committed to funding a solid waste management program in Asyut, a project with the Egyptian Ministry of Environment that will conclude in 2021. The National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP) involves the construction of infrastructure for new as well as the expansion and improvement of existing waste treatment, landfill, and recycling facilities.
Ancient quarries are an important feature of Asyut. There are about 500 rock-cut tombs and limestone quarries all around Asyut. The governorate of Asyut includes the Ancient Egyptian tombs of Meir, and the town of Durunka, which is a pilgrimage site for many Copts who come to visit a monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary.