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Trickle-Down Turmoil: The Indirect Effects of Egypt’s Currency Crisis

March 26, 2023
A street vendor sells bananas close to a market in Cairo, December 30, 2014. REUTERS /Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The holy month of Ramadan is known to be a time of giving. Throughout its days, those who are able, share what they can spare with those less fortunate than themselves in the form of donations. However, many Egyptians – particularly those with fixed incomes such as government employees and pensioners – are forced to think twice before donating, resorting to more austere spending habits to cope with the current economic situation. Over the past months, the Egyptian pound has faced multiple devaluations, standing officially at EGP 31 to the US dollar as of 26 March, compared to EGP 19 to the US dollar in September of last year. This series of devaluations took place as a result of a chronic shortage in hard currency, and has caused a significant rise in the cost of living, as well as a scarcity in imported goods. While this has affected the standard of living of citizens across the board, low and middle-income Egyptian families and individuals have been bearing the brunt of the impact. But aside from out-of-reach price points and unavailable imported goods, some of the impact is triggering fallout that…

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