Creating new perspectives since 2009

Egypt expands access to subsidised bread

January 17, 2023 at 10:48 am

A man sells bread at a bakery in Egypt on 20 March 2022 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

Egypt is expanding access to cheap bread so that people who do not have ration cards can use prepaid debit cards to purchase subsidised bread.

Egypt supplies subsidised bread to more than 70 million people.

Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi told MBC that under the new scheme Egyptians will be able to buy between 10 and 20 loaves of subsidised bread for a price to be determined monthly.

As one of the world’s top importers of wheat Egypt has been suffering from a shortage since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This has been exacerbated by a foreign currency crisis which has meant that wheat stocks are being held at Egyptian ports as importers have struggled to pay to release the wheat.

In November most private flour mills in Egypt were forced to shut down due to a supply crisis.

For roughly a month, from early September, 2,000-3,000 tonnes of wheat successfully made it through customs where the private sector needs roughly 450,000 tonnes, according to Reuters.

The Egyptian pound has lost nearly 50 per cent of its value in just over a year following the devaluation of the currency in line with a $3 billion IMF loan agreement.

Loss in tourism revenues from decreasing tourism has also added to the crisis as has an almost 40 per cent surge in food prices.

READ: Egypt: private wheat mills shut due to supply crisis