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Thursday, 7 April 2022

We’re getting EUR 100 mn from the EU to tackle food insecurity

The EU is providing Egypt with EUR 100 mn in support to help us tackle rising food prices amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to an EU statement. The funding is part of a freshly announced EUR 225 mn Food and Resilience Facility for MENA countries.

What will the money go toward? The aid aims to address commodity shortage emergencies and sustain social safety nets in the short term, and support sustainable agriculture going forward. The funds will focus on “the most vulnerable people and / or the partners most severely affected by the crisis,” the statement read.

We’re not the only ones in the region getting a helping hand: The EU will hand out by far the biggest chunk of the funding to Egypt, with additional packages worth EUR 5 – 25 mn each allocated to Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia. Countries were chosen for funding due to their heavy reliance on Ukraine and / or Russian food imports or nitrogen fertilizers, the bloc said.

“The EU stands by its partners in these difficult times of economic ordeal caused by the Russian aggression,” said EU ambassador to Egypt Christian Berger in a Tweet.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is upending global food supplies and sending commodity prices soaring. Headline inflation here at home reached a 31-month high in February, as rising global prices caused the cost of local food items to accelerate at a rate not seen since 2018.

The EU funding will help — but the IMF is likely to provide us with heftier assistance. The government is currently in talks with the international lender on a fresh round of assistance, having tapped it for a total USD 20 bn since 2016.

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