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

Madbouly made the statements during a press conference detailing new social programs led by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi to help Egyptians deal with the repercussions of global inflation.

The amount allocated for protection programs in the 2022/2023 budget is up from the EGP 290 billion in the country’s 2015/2016 budget, the Prime Minister explained.

The president’s directives aim to ease the burden on the people as soon as possible amid the current wave of inflation, Madbouly said, offering assurances that the state would still bear the brunt of any rise in commodity prices and would pass on only a small part of it to the population.

The prices of several commodities have soared in recent months, with the government attributing the increase to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war which is driving up the cost of wheat and oil.

Inflation in Egypt is expected to stand at 13.2% throughout 2022, according to a recent report by Fitch Solutions.

The new allocations are for subsidized bread, ration cards and retirement programs, he added, noting that in line with presidential directives, one million new families will be added to the Takaful and Karama (Solidarity and Dignity) program. , and therefore the number of beneficiaries. families will increase from 4.1 to five million.

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

Prior to the new allocations, the program had a total budget of EGP 22 billion from the public 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 NGOs will allocate 2.5 to 3 billion EGP to cover 400 to 500 families, explained Madbouly.

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

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

Beneficiaries will include the most needy families and pensioners who receive less than EGP 2,500 per month as well as state employees whose monthly salary is less than EGP 2,700, according to a recent statement from the presidency.

Madbouly said that, in line with El-Sissi’s directives, two million subsidized food boxes will be made available each month at half price in several outlets across the country for the next six months, with the 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, with the government working to finalize some related logistical procedures, including issuing cards to targeted families.

Madbouly also assured that the country’s strategic commodity reserve was secure, with the wheat stock covering more than seven months.

In late June, the World Bank’s board approved a $500 million loan to support Egypt’s social safety net and food security in the face of the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Egypt is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to obtain a new loan to deal with the harsh repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the surging inflationary wave and the rising cost energy resources.

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

On Tuesday, the IMF maintained its projection for Egypt’s real GDP growth in 2022 at 5.9%, while revising it to 4.8% in 2023 due to the current global economic crisis which has hit sectors hard. food and tourism in the country.

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Joel C. Hicks