Sisi calls on Egyptians to rationalise consumption during Ramadan, says no shortage in staples

Mai Ghandour, Wednesday 23 Mar 2022

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Wednesday that Egyptians should rationalise food consumption during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, which is usually characterised by increased consumption.

A still photo of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi addressing the attendees during a ceremony to honour Egyptian women in Cairo on Wednesday

However, El-Sisi stressed this does not mean Egyptians should eat less.

“No, eat and do what you want... there is no problem with goods inside Egypt, and [will not be] during the month of Ramadan,” he said.

El-Sisi made the remarks during a ceremony to honour Egyptian women held on Wednesday in celebration of Mother’s Day.

The president said that he himself rationalises consumption.

“People think [because I am a president] my dining table looks different, [but] I am responsible before God,” he said, indicating that balanced rationalisation is important regardless of the amount of money one has.

“There is no problem in our needs, and [by the grace of our Lord] there is abundance thanks to the state’s effort and yours,” he said, citing the role of the state’s national projects in increasing strategic stockpiles.

"We are dealing with challenges and demands… with a country of 100 million [citizens], this is not simple and requires planning, from the wheat shipments to the availability of bread to the people; it is a chain.”

He said that the Russian-Ukrainian war is a major crisis with economic impacts on the whole world, expressing his wishes for the war to come to an end.

“Had it not been for the implementation of the economic reform program, our situation in light of the current global economic crisis would have been very difficult,” he pointed out.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Monday that Egypt is capable of overcoming the current price hike crisis as well as the repercussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and is ready for all scenarios, even the worst-case scenario of a prolonged crisis.

Moreover, the Ministry of Finance approved on the same day a package of financial and social protection procedures, worth EGP 130 billion, to address the ongoing global economic challenges and their repercussions.

Ahead of Ramadan, which set to start in early Arpil and typically sees an increase in the rate of food consumption, Egypt has been calling for the rationalisation of consumption to ensure that food commodities are secured in the local market throughout the whole month.

Egypt formed a crisis committee earlier in March to confront the impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, similar to committee formed when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country in 2020, with the aim to continuously assessing the repercussions of the crisis, especially on the country’s strategic commodities.

The emergency plan aims to curb prices and prevent food shortages, while penalising those who exploit the crisis to raise prices unjustifiably.

Egypt’s Armed Forces has launched a nationwide campaign to provide low-cost food commodities to help reduce the burden of hiking prices on Egyptians ahead of Ramadan.

Nearly 80 percent of Egypt’s consumed wheat comes from Russia and Ukraine, whereas the latter recently announced that it will no longer be exporting commodities.

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