A recent rise in prices in Egypt due to the dire economic situation has given causes for concern among many Egyptians who sell and buy the popular meal fearing that their lovable dish becomes too costly, according to a video by Reuters
Egypt has for years been well known for one of its most popular dishes that is considered a key national dish, ‘Koshari’. But a recent rise in prices –partly due to the bad economic policies of the regime, and partly because of the impact of the war in Ukraine– has given cause for concern among many who sell and buy the popular meal.
Egypt has for years been well known for ‘Koshari’. But the recent rise in prices aroused major concerns amongst many who both sell and buy the meal together, fearing it may one day be too costly to prepare and consume.
‘Koshari’ is made using pasta, rice, and lentils. It’s normally an inexpensive meal consumed by millions of Egyptians every day.
According to a video report by Reuters released on Tube on 4 August 2022,, Ahmed Mohamed El- Masry, a customer, says: “It is the meal of the people, no one in Egypt can give up on Koshari.”
But prices are up due to the war in Ukraine. It’s led to concern among those who buy and sell the meal.
Mahmoud Amr, a customer, says: “Of course, it is going to make a difference. If I’m someone from the lower class and I was used to eating Koshari five times a week, now I’ll have to only eat Koshari three times or twice a week,” he said, adding:
“So of course, it will have an impact. Higher social classes will also be impacted, it’s all relative, because at the end of the day, it is our national dish, the dish that anyone with a few pounds can buy at any time, so if its price rises drastically, it’ll be a problem that everyone will feel.”
Unprecedented economic crisis
Egypt is now experiencing a real economic crisis, reflected in sequential rises in commodity prices and the decline in the country’s fixed foreign exchange reserves, which has caused a significant drop in the value of the pound against the dollar.
Despite what the Egyptian media may say, that the crisis is one of the results of the disruption in supply chains caused by the Corona pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war, observers and economists believe that the crisis is rather complicated and driven by internal and external reasons that brought the country’s fragile economy to its knees.
Everyone agrees that this crisis is the worst in decades, as Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called it ‘unprecedented’ on a telephone interview with a TV program.
The crisis prompted Sisi to announce the state’s intention to hold a national dialogue on various issues and to ease the tension in society that has grown over the past years due to the backdrop of strict measures to combat terrorism and other difficult economic measures that have burdened the middle and poor classes, with a first-of-its-kind gesture.
Sisi also announced that the Presidential Amnesty Commission has become operational to release additional number of detainees in freedom cases.
He also called on the Government to convene a global conference to reveal its future plans to encourage and facilitate the work of the domestic and foreign private sector.
The government also announced its intention to implement a privatization program to sell approximately $40 billion worth of government assets over the next four years. It also brought up for public discussion a draft document titled “The State’s ownerships”, which includes sectors that it plans to leave once and for all, whose contribution it will reduce, and those that want to stabilize its share.
This document can be an encouraging roadmap for investors.
All these steps represent significant and huge retreats in the course of action of the Egyptian state since the 2013 coup against the country’s first democratically elected president, and further worsened since Sisi officially came to power in 2014.
In spite of the doubts about the seriousness of the planned national dialogue and the feasibility of the steps to stimulate the work of the private sector, in light of the regime’s refusal to accept criticism and the growing dominance of the state through the military over the economy, everything that has been announced, reflects the extent of the predicament experienced by the Egyptian economy, where borrowing has put the country’s economy in a vicious circle.