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Types of Migration
Internal Migration
Global Labour Mobility
Child Migration
Skilled Migration
Forced Migration
Return Migration

Key Themes
Modelling Causes
and Consequences
Links between Migrations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods
Social Protection
Gender and Generations
Health and Education

UK / international
Albania / Eastern Europe
Ghana / Africa
Egypt / the Middle East
Bangladesh and
South Asia




Project 5a
Internal and International Migration in Egypt

The interconnections between internal and international migration in developing countries have been little researched: the two kinds of migration have generally been treated as different processes. In reality most poor countries experience both, often involving the same households or even individuals. Various combinations and sequencings of the two types of movement can be mapped out, and the complex interrelationships are many and varied, as are their respective impacts on livelihoods and coping strategies against poverty. These urgently need to be investigated, particularly since, at least in some settings, a combination of internal and international mobility may represent an optimal strategy for livelihood improvement.

Egypt has significant internal and international flows. This project has examined the extent to which internal and international migration systems are distinct, and the circumstances in which internal migration leads to international migration or vice versa. The aim was also to shed light on livelihood outcomes and their inter-generational and gendered impacts, when different combinations of internal and international migration emerge. The study involved fieldwork conducted in two sites between which there was known to be migration -- Beni Madhi village in Upper Egypt and the Imbaba suburb of Cairo – exploring the extent of onward international migration.

Key Research Questions

What are the different regional and temporal origins of internal and international migration circuits?
Do internal and international migration involve different social classes, differences in length of migration or permanency, and/or different outcomes for migrants and their families?
What explanations can be found at the micro and macro scales for relationships between internal and international migration? Is there a choice or substitutability between internal and international migration, especially as regards income-earning and poverty-coping strategies?
Can conceptual or policy lessons be learned from comparing different types of migration?

Interrelationships between Internal and International Migration in Egypt: A Pilot Study


Key Theme(s)
Links between Migrations

Egypt / the Middle East


Ron Skeldon

Ayman Zohry (FMRS)

Key Activities


Background review of literature.

2. Field research in Egypt , including survey work in sending communities.
3. Data analysis and comparison with project 5b.

Key Outputs

Ayman Zohry’s study provides ethnographic documentation of individuals/families’ migration histories and current socioeconomic settings. The ethnographic evidence presented is from an Upper Egyptian village and a suburb in Cairo, but illustrates similar processes taking place in all Egyptian governorates. Although there are slight variations within the different governorates, these do not invalidate the general picture which this study aims to construct regarding the interrelationships between internal and international migration in Egypt.

Findings of the study were presented at the DRC partnership meeting in Ghana in July 2005, together with findings of two other studies researching the links between internal and international migration, one in Albania, and the other in Bangladesh (Project 5b). Chapters based on these studies will go towards a DRC volume on the links between internal and international migration, edited by Ron Skeldon.


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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs