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Egypt caps unsubsidised bread prices

March 16, 2022 at 2:30 pm

Woman prepares bread for the family in her home at Zerzara village on the west bank of the Nile river, off of Egypt’s southern city of Aswan, on February 26, 2022 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi yesterday ordered his cabinet to stabilise the price of unsubsidised bread in an attempt to reduce the impact of rising global prices.

Official media reported that Al-Sisi had also ordered security campaigns to be launched to ensure that the new pricing regulations were being implemented “across the country”.

The Egyptian leader’s move comes as citizens anticipate an increase in the prices of subsidised bread due to the Russian-Ukrainian war.

unsubsidized bread prices were recently reported to have increased by 50 per cent, reaching 75 piasters per loaf.

Currently, 70 per cent of Egypt’s population are eligible for five loaves of subsidised bread per day, a lifeline for many as roughly a third of Egyptians live below the poverty line and live on less than $2 a day.

Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world, the majority of which comes from Russia, which made up 50 per cent of the country’s wheat imports in 2021, and Ukraine at 30 per cent.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised fears in Egypt and across the Middle East that a protracted conflict will disrupt their wheat supply, which could bring further unrest in the region.

Russia is the top exporter of wheat worldwide and the biggest producer after China and India.

READ: Egypt slams ‘greedy merchants’ amid rise in wheat prices