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Sunday, 25 November 2018

Egypt welfare recipients will receive payouts for a maximum of two children starting in January 2019

Smart policy: Giving incentives for birth control: China’s (flagging?) two-child policy could never fly in Egypt for cultural and religious reasons, so the government is turning to economic incentives: Starting January 2019, families enrolled in the Takaful and Karama welfare programs will be able to claim cash benefits for a maximum of just two children, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said on Thursday. This will allow the government to expand access to the program to more families, he added. “It is unfair that larger families take the lion’s share of cash subsidies,” Madbouly stressed, noting that the move would make the subsidies program more efficient. The government had allocated funding to population control programs, including its “Two is enough” campaign to incentivize people to practice birth control.

The one subsidy the government won’t touch? Bread. One day after Madbouly’s remarks on the future of the Takaful and Karama programs, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told Al Ahram that the government has no intention of cutting back on bread subsidies, “regardless of the cost.” The Supply Ministry is reportedly looking to begin switching to a cash subsidy system for subsidized bread as early as 1Q2019, ministry sources said earlier this month. Social Solidarity Minister Ali El Moselhy had met previously with bakers of subsidized bread to look into a new system whereby subsidy recipients would receive cash handouts, rather than points on their ration cards with which to purchase bread.

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