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Egypt 2022/23 budget to include social protection programs worth EGP 490 billion: PM Madbouly – Economy – Business

Madbouly made the statements in a press conference detailing the new social packages directed by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to help Egyptians cope with the repercussions of global inflation.

The sum allocated to protection programs in the 2022/2023 budget is up from EGP 290 billion in the country’s 2015/2016 budget, the prime minister explained.

The president’s directives aims to ease the burden on the population as soon as possible amid the current inflation wave, Madbouly said, offering assurances that the state would always bear the brunt of any hikes in commodity prices and pass only a small portion onto the population.

Prices of several commodities have soared over the past several months, with the government attributing the increase to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war driving up the cost of wheat and oil.

Egypt’s inflation is expected to stand at 13.2 percent throughout 2022, according to a recent report by Fitch Solutions.

The new allocations are for the subsidized bread, ration cards and pension programmes, he added, noting that as per the presidential directives one million new families will be added to the Takaful and Karama (Solidarity and Dignity) Program, and thus the number of beneficiaries families will increase from 4.1 to five million.

The Takaful and Karama Program was launched in 2015 to support impoverished families with school-age children, the elderly and people with special needs in Upper Egypt.

Prior to new allocations, the program had a total budget of EGP 22 billion from the state’s treasury, Madbouly said.

The cost of adding one million families to the Takaful and Karama Program will be shared between the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), with the country’s budget allocating EGP 3 billion – from emergency cash reserves – to cover 500,000 families, while the NGOs will allocate EGP 2.5-3 billion to cover 400-500 families, Madbouly explained.

The government will also disburse a total of EGP 1 billion per month for the next six months as exceptional aid to nine million needy families.

Each family will receive an additional EGP 100 per month in the form of rationed commodities, Madbouly pointed out.

Recipients will include the neediest families and pensioners who receive less than EGP 2,500 per month as well as the state employees whose monthly salaries are less than EGP 2,700, according to a recent statement by the presidency.

Madbouly said that, as per El-Sisi’s directives, two million subsidized food boxes will be made available each month at half price at several outlets nationwide for the coming six months, with a specific aim of helping citizens in rural areas.

The prime minister said the new aid is expected to be rolled out by the end of August as the government is working on finalizing some related logistic procedures, including issuing cards for the targeted families.

Madbouly also offered assurance that the country’s strategic reserve of commodities is safe, with the wheat stock covering more than seven months.

In late June, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $500 million loan to back Egypt’s social protection net and food security in the face of the impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian War.

Egypt is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure a fresh loan to address the harsh impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian War, the soaring inflationary wave and the increase in the cost of energy resources.

If approved, it would be the fourth loan Egypt will have obtained from the IMF since the implementation of the IMF-backed economic reform program in 2016, which the fund financed with a loan of $12 billion.

On Tuesday, the IMF maintained its projections for Egypt’s real GDP growth in 2022 at 5.9 percent, while revising it down to 4.8 percent in 2023 owing to the ongoing global economic crisis that severely hit the food and tourism sectors in the country.

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