The number of Egyptians who cannot afford “enough nutritious food” is increasing, one in five Egyptians suffers from food insecurity, according to a new report from international research institute Future Directions. Another study by the World Food Programme and the Egyptian government found food insecurity has increased to 17.2 % (13.7 million people) in 2011 compared to 14% in 2009.
Poor households spend more than half of their income on food, according to the report, making them vulnerable to price increases caused by “structural issues to the food supply system.”
Food prices are expected to rise in Egypt due to fuel subsidy reductions issued by the government in July, according to a statement by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Although the situation is dire, a number of non-profit organisations are working overtime to address the issue.
The Egyptian Food Bank, for example, feeds about 3.5 million families across the country. The Cairo-based non-profit directly supports families who cannot provide for themselves with monthly food packages, and helps others with vocational training to get jobs.
To sustain its activity, the food bank, founded in 2006 by a group of businessmen, partners in farming and industrial projects that produce food or packaging products they need. Its shares, originally donated by projects owners, also generate annual revenue that contributes to fighting hunger.
Photos by Elizabeth Stuart