Mona El-Nahhas , Tuesday 5 Jul 2022


WB lends Egypt $500 million

THE WORLD Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved last week a $500 million loan to help ensure efforts that low-income Egyptian families have uninterrupted access to bread, to deal with food crises and help reforms in food security policies.

The loan will help cushion the impact of the war in Ukraine on food and nutrition security in Egypt. “In addition to ensuring sustained food security, the World Bank supports national climate efforts by increasing agricultural resilience,” Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said.

The loan will finance the public procurement of imported wheat, equivalent to one month of supply for the bread subsidy programme, which helps 70 million low-income Egyptians. It will also boost national efforts to upgrade climate-resilient wheat silos to reduce wheat waste and improve domestic cereal production.

“The new financing is part of broader World Bank efforts to support Egypt’s green, inclusive and resilient recovery,” said World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti Marina Wes.


Wheat shipments on the way

THE GENERAL Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), Egypt’s buyer of grains, bought 815 tons of wheat in a tender, marking its biggest single purchase in years as prices slightly eased. The purchase comprised 350,000 tons of French wheat, 240,000 tons of Romanian wheat, 175,000 tons of Russian wheat, and 50,000 tons of Bulgarian wheat, GASC said. The amount will be shipped in August, September and October 2022.

The purchase comes days after Egypt’s supply minister said the government was looking for ways to trim its imports of wheat, including opting for potatoes in bread making.

Egypt aims to save 500,000 tons of imported wheat. It relies mainly on imported wheat to make heavily subsidised bread available to more than 70 million of its 103 million population.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 7 July, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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