Egypt’s Sisi Scores Early Success with Smart Cards for Bread Subsidies


EGYPT-BREADThe successful roll-out of a new “smart card” system to distribute subsidized bread has been a major achievement for Egypt’s government, saving money while earning praise from families who no longer have to wake early to fight for loaves.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appears to be succeeding where predecessors Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Mursi both failed in the delicate task of reforming a system that has drained the state’s finances while angering the population.

Under the new system, families are issued plastic cards allowing them to buy five loaves per family member per day. Buyers no longer have to queue.

Bakeries are paid for the subsidized loaves they sell, rather than being given a fixed allotment of cheap flour, making it harder to siphon off flour to sell on the black market – and there is bread for all.

{Gavriel Newscenter}