Egypt Watch

Sisi announces the price of subsided bread is rising

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced, on Tuesday, that he will supervise a plan to raise the price of subsided bread that is currently priced at five piasters.

“It is time to raise the price of bread,” said Sisi at the opening of Silo Foods Industries, which is owned by the military, in Menoufia. “It is unreasonable that 20 loaves of bread are worth of the price of one cigarette.” Sisi said that he holds the responsibility of this decision himself, so he preferred to announce it instead of the government to relieve it of embarrassment. Sisi’s statements came in line with his administration’s decision to cut social spending, starting with the food subsidies.” In Egypt, 66.7 million individuals have access to subsided bread as part of food subsidies, which costs the governmental budget EGP 87.2 billion.

According to a report by the World Bank on Egypt’s food subsidies in 2010, the food subsidies are important for political stability as was evident in 1977, when the late president Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat attempted to cut them and ignited an uprising in response. “Food subsidies lifted nine per cent of Egyptians out of poverty in 2008/09,” said the World Bank’s report. “Although food subsidies provide only a small proportion of total per capita consumption in Egypt, the incidence of poverty in Egypt would have increased from 20 per cent to 30 per cent in the absence of food subsidies.”

This is the second increase of the real price of bread. In August 2020, the government reduced the weight of the subsided loaf of bread from 110 gm to 90 gm.