People buy fruit and vegetables in Cairo People buy fruit and vegetables in Cairo  (ANSA)

Egyptians grapple with rampant inflation

Like many countries in the Middle East, Egypt is dealing with the effects of intense inflation, and, as ever, it is the poor who are hardest hit.

By Nathan Morley

Egyptians are grappling with rampant inflation, which has seen the cost of food and medicines rise dramatically in the last few months.

Like so many other countries in the Middle East, Egypt has been battling the scourge of inflation.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has acknowledged that the cost of living crisis is ‘very difficult’, and urged the public to trust his government.

For shoppers, the real impact has been on the price of bread and cereals, dairy, vegetables and meat.

But that’s not all. There has been a notable spike in the cost of medication, household goods, and rent.

Last month the rate of inflation rose to 21.3 percent from 18.7 percent in November. The impact was made worse by devaluation of the Egyptian pound by 14.5 percent late last year, followed by restrictions on some imports into the country.

Typically, the poor are the hardest hit. It is estimated that around 30 percent of Egyptians live in poverty.

The cost of living crisis in Egypt comes after years of government-imposed austerity, which included cuts in subsidies for fuel, water and power.

Like so many other countries, Egypt has also felt the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, given the vast amount of grain the country imports.

On top of that, Covid battered the all-important tourism sector, which is only beginning to recover.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report
10 January 2023, 17:02