Egypt will raise price of subsidised bread without heavily affecting needy citizens: PM

Amr Kandil , Wednesday 16 Feb 2022

The Egyptian government will raise the price of subsidised bread loaves – sold at 5 piastres for over 30 years – but will make sure that the neediest and most marginalised citizens are not affected, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has said.

A number of Egyptian citizens queue to buy subsidised bread. File photo/Al-Ahram

Madbouly’s remarks come a few months after President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said it was time for the price of subsidised bread to increase, saying: “I cannot provide 20 loaves of bread at the cost of one cigarette.”

Although El-Sisi affirmed that the state will not raise the price of subsidised bread loaves all the way to their real cost, a number of parliament members have expressed fears that the Ministry of Supply will take El-Sisi's directives as a green light to completely lift bread subsidies.

MPs from the leftist Tagammu Party called for a national dialogue, with the participation of parliament and civil society organisations, to discuss bread subsidies, saying 30 percent of Egyptians live under the poverty line.

The government provides tens of millions of Egyptians with subsidised bread through a system of food cards.

The government is currently setting up a system for raising the prices of subsidised bread, Madbouly said at a press conference on Wednesday, adding that the state will continue subsidising bread despite the price increase.

The premier said the government is studying applying a slight yet regular increase in the price of subsidised bread.

Madbouly said a loaf of subsidised bread had cost the state 17 piasters when its price was raised to 5 piastres in 1988. Currently, the cost of a loaf of bread is 65 piasters, he said.

“I confirm that [the rise] will be applied but in a way through which we ensure that the neediest people are not harmed,” Madbouly said.

In August, El-Sisi issued directives to increase the price of the subsidised bread in order to help cover part of the cost of providing much needed meals to millions of school students, among other urgent social needs that benefit the whole population.

The president made the remarks while inaugurating Silo Foods, a mega food industries complex built to provide school meals for millions of students nationwide.

El-Sisi said the government needs to procure EGP 7.7 billion to provide school meals to children, affirming that increasing the price of subsidised bread will help the state save money to serve meals to children in schools.

Short link: