The Egyptian government on Monday vowed to shoulder the cost of any new global food price increases this year.
Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid stressed that the government would continue to subsidize energy and strategic food commodities.
At a meeting with the Egyptian-American Business Council, Rachid noted that some 63 million Egyptian citizens continued to benefit from state subsidies on energy and foodstuffs.
Subsidies, grants and social benefits account for LE102 billion of Egypt's 2010/11 state budget, of which LE13.6 billion is allocated towards food commodities.
Jacques Diouf, director of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, has projected more global price increases in the absence of major reforms to the global agricultural system.