Egypt raises price of bread by 300%

For 35 years, Egyptians have paid 5 piastres for bread. Now, President Sisi's government has elected to increase the price of subsidized bread to 20 piastres. An increase in a food staple like bread tends to lead to civil unrest, as seen before in Egypt, where an increase in subsidized bread in 1977 led to riots across the country.

This is an austerity measure imposed on the poor to alleviate the financial tomfoolery of the rich and powerful who guide Egypt.

During Sisi's 10-year presidency, foreign debt has reached $164bn, almost four times the amount it was at the beginning of his tenure. 

The debt crisis is attribued to a variety of factors, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, but many blame it on Sisi's spending spree on megaprojects and weapons deals since his election in 2014.

In March, the IMF increased its bailout deal with the Sisi government by more than twofold, to reach approximately $8bn, as the government struggled to secure cash.

Following Sisi's decision to float the Egyptian pound in agreement with the International Monetary Fund's bailout conditions, the currency has lost a whole third of it's value.

In 2024, Egypt is due to pay around $32bn in debt service, according to the finance ministry.

Following the IMF deal, Cairo also signed other investment deals to alleviate the debt crisis, including the unprecedented $35bn deal with the United Arab Emirates to develop the coastal area of Ras el-Hekma. Another multibillion-dollar deal is also expected to be signed with Saudi Arabia to develop a Red Sea coastal area, MEE has reported. 

Noor Bayoumi, Middle East Eye