Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly speaking during a press conference held on Thursday 25 August 2022 in the government's headquarters in New Alamein City (photo courtesy of the official Facebook page of the Egyptian Cabinet)
Madbouly made the announcement Thursday at a press briefing at the Cabinet's summer headquarters in New Alamein city.
The Egyptian government had announced in July the provision of an exceptional package of programmes for low-income citizens, in cooperation with civil society organisations, as per a directive by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
The new package includes an increase of EGP 100 – per month and for the next six months – for the current beneficiaries of 8.1 million ration cards used by around 9.1 million needy families - around 37 million citizens, Madbouly noted.
The new sum will be disbursed in the form of rationed commodities determined by the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, according to the prime minister.
The six-month long assistance programme, which will cover the neediest families and pensioners who earn less than EGP 2,500 per month and state employees whose monthly salaries are less than EGP 2,700, will cost the state EGP 1 billion per month, the government announced in July.
Furthermore, the package adds one million new families to the Takaful and Karama (Solidarity and Dignity) Programme, a monthly cash-support initiative launched in 2015 to support poor families with school-age children, the elderly, and people with special needs.
The new Takaful and Karama beneficiaries will start receiving monthly pension in September, raising the total number of beneficiaries from 4.1 to five million, at a total cost of EGP 3 billion, according to Madbouly.
The cost will be shared between the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), with the government shouldering the cost for adding 500,000 families, and NGOs covering 400-500,000 families.
The programme gives EGP 425 a month to each family; EGP 60 for each child in primary school; EGP 80 for each child in preparatory school; and EGP 100 for each child in high school, provided the family has enrolled two children in school.
The programme provides healthcare coverage to beneficiaries. It also grants EGP 450 to the elderly, people with special needs, widows, and divorced women.
The government has announced the new social support measures to needy families as prices of several commodities have soared over the past several months due to rising cost of wheat and oil globally after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Egypt’s headline annual inflation accelerated to 14.6 percent in July – more than double the corresponding month in 2021 – up from 13.2 percent in June, according to a recent report by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistic (CAPMAS), adding pressures on citizens with limited incomes.
Earlier in August, the prime minister had said that the government earmarked a large allocation of the 2022/2023 budget for emergencies in anticipation of any further increases in fuel and commodity prices.
On Thursday, Madbouly said the country's has a reserve of up to EGP 130 billion, which has enabled the government to implement a number of initiatives and social protection packages.
The state will remain ready to intervene with additional measures if necessary, Madbouly stressed.