Egypt’s public unhappiness has been rising for months due to a severe currency shortage and skyrocketing food costs. But for many, a state agency’s advice on how to save money was the tipping point.
Families have had difficulty affording household essentials, but a government organization in Egypt has lauded a different, less expensive source of protein: “Chicken feet, good for the body and the wallet.”
On social media, the advise received a lot of backlash, and politician Karim al-Sadat criticized it for being “divorced from the realities of the problem.”
The nation with the highest population in the Arab world, which just had to request a $3 billion loan package from the International Monetary Fund, is struggling, as evidenced by the fury.
“The bread I used to buy for one Egyptian pound now costs three,” said Rehab, 34, at a Cairo bakery, asking not to be named in full.
“My husband makes 6,000 pounds ($242) a month, which used to last us all month but now runs out in 10 days.”
Prices for essentials like cooking oil and legumes have also increased, placing financial strain on many of Egypt’s 104 million citizens in a nation that is heavily dependent on food imports.
In large stores, rationing signs now alert consumers that they can only buy a combined three bags of rice, two bottles of milk, and one bottle of oil.
Frozen meat is “no longer a possibility,” according to Reda, a 55-year-old government servant and hospital cleaner who supports her 13-person family. She said the cost has more than doubled.