Egypt's army distributes 'largest food supplies' in bid to ease economic hardships

Ahram Online , Tuesday 1 Nov 2016

Soldiers preparing food packs
Army soldiers preparing food pack as a step intended to overcome economic hardships (Photo Courtesy of Egypt's Army spokesman page on Facebook)

The Egyptian army announced on Tuesday it would distribute its "largest quantity of food supplies" to date at reduced prices nationwide, in a bid to help citizens survive current economic hardships.

The army has prepared 8 million food boxes "to distribute them nationwide at half of the market price," a statement by military spokesman Brigadier General Mohamed Samir read.

The move is aimed at "easing the burden on citizens and helping to create a decent life for them," the statement added.

Military trucks have already started to distribute one million boxes in all cities and governorates nationwide, the statement added.

The army said that it — along with local business partners — paid special attention to the quality of goods included in the boxes, the statement added.

It said each box, which will be sold at EGP 25, contains packs of sugar — which has all but vanished from many supermarkets — rice, beans, margarine, tea and tomato sauce.

Egyptians have suffered from soaring food prices in recent months amid a foreign currency crisis.

The country has been facing a weeks-long shortage in sugar which the government has largely blamed on hoarding by traders and bad consumption habits.

Egyptians have also recently faced shortages in rice, cooking oil and medicines.

Last week, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said the country has sugar stocks sufficient to cover at least three months.

This is not the first time the army has sponsored initiatives to solve shortages and economic problems.

In September, the army imported large shipments of baby formula and put them on the market at half price following severe shortages that sparked street protests by mothers and families.

Army-run food outlets have been selling basic food commodities, including meat, at reduced prices.

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