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Egypt: Food

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian implications of the food price rise in Egypt; and if he will make a statement. (209735)

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not have a bilateral programme in Egypt. However, the British embassy in Cairo is monitoring the economic situation in the country. Recent assessment shows that escalating inflation and food price rises have raised tensions and increased the threat of social instability. However, in response the Egyptian Government has been implementing policies aimed at reducing the impact of food price rises on the poor, for example by committing to extend the number of people eligible for subsidised bread ration cards by 17 million. DFID is also in regular contact with the World Food Programme (WFP) who launched a global appeal earlier in 2008 for countries most at risk from rising food prices. There was no specific appeal for Egypt, where the WFP operates capacity building programmes and school feeding programmes but has not initiated any emergency operations.