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60% of Egyptians Deemed Poor or Vulnerable as Inflation and Currency Crisis Bite

After three devaluations in 2022, the Central Financial institution of Egypt floated the pound in January to satisfy an IMF situation for a $3bn mortgage, the nation’s fourth bailout from the fund since 2016. The transfer, coupled with a overseas foreign money crunch inflicting shortages in imported items, has despatched inflation hovering and imposed even larger hardship on tens of millions of poor households. The Egyptian pound has halved in worth towards the greenback. Annual urban inflation stood at 25.8 per cent in January, its highest degree in 5 years. Annual meals value inflation in city areas soared 48 per cent in January. Despite international praise for reforms that were part of the IMF deal, such as cuts in energy subsidies, Egypt’s private sector has stagnated while the government poured billions into infrastructure projects, usually overseen by the military. Under its latest agreement with the IMF, Cairo will implement reforms to boost private sector participation. A state-ownership policy endorsed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi defines the sectors that are not considered strategic, from which the state has undertaken to withdraw. The government last week announced plans to offer stakes in dozens of state companies for privatisation.