Feeding Social Stability in Egypt

Source: Carnegie Endowment
Author(s): Zeinab Abul-Magd

Original Link: http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/71198

This Ramadan, the Egyptian army is charitably distributing millions of food boxes in poor urban and rural areas across the country. Conscripted soldiers from various military branches pack food items including sugar, rice, beans, pasta, cooking oil, tomato paste, and tea in boxes that each carries the label of the Armed Forces’ Supply Authority, along with that of “Tahya Misr,” President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s charitable fund. Conscripts load these boxes in gigantic military trucks and drive them to every provincial locality. Once distributed for free, the boxes are for the first time this Ramadan being sold for 25 Egyptian pounds ($1.40), much lower than their market price of 87 pounds ($4.80), even after being substantially subsidized by Tahya Misr. Such food charity, once a tool for civilian political actors to garner support ahead of elections, is now deployed as a tactic by the military to stave off huger riots and ensure political stability…

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