Egypt reduces some subsidized basic food rations amid soaring prices globally

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 May 2023

The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade has reduced monthly allotments of subsidized sugar, rice and pasta - as the government attempts to streamline subsidies in order to deal with soaring prices of basic food commodities globally

Basic food
An Egyptian woman holding a ration card. File photo


According  to a statement released by the supply ministry on Tuesday, individual beneficiaries on the monetized ration cards will now be allotted one kilo of sugar with a maximum of six kilos per a family card, down from two and eight kilos, respectively.

Beneficiaries will also have to choose between purchasing either rice or pasta, instead of being able to have both as before.

Families of less than four individuals will have to choose between one kilo of rice or one 800 gram package of pasta.

Families of four or more will have to choose between two kilos of rice or two packages of pasta.

Beneficiaries will continue to be allotted one 800 ml bottle of cooking oil per individual with a maximum of four bottles per card, according to the ministry.

They can spend any remaining balance on their monetized cards on other subsidized food items.

In early May, the ministry raised the prices of subsidized rice, sugar and cooking oil by 20 percent due to the global hike in the price of commodities.

Beneficiaries will now pay EGP 12.6 instead of EGP 10.5 for a kilo of rice or sugar and EGP 30 instead of EGP 25 for a bottle of cooking oil.

More than 64 million Egyptians benefit from the ration cards, said Ahmed Kamal, the supply ministry spokesman, on Tuesday.

Holders of monetized ration cards receive a monthly allowance of EGP 50 ($1.62) per person to spend in designated government shops that offer basic food commodities at subsidized prices.

Last September, the ministry increased cash awarded on ration cards by EGP 100 to 300 ($3.24-$9.71) - according to number of beneficiaries on ration cards - to help the neediest families deal with the ramifications of soaring food prices.

This increase is set to expire in June.

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