Egypt Facing Food Security Concerns, FAO Report Says

“Civil unrest and dwindling foreign exchange reserves raise serious food security concerns in Egypt, the United Nations’ food agency said in a report on Thursday,” Reuters reports. Grain import requirements for 2013-2014 will remain the same as this year in Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, because of a growing population and despite a predicted good harvest, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in its Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, the news agency notes. However, the report “warned … that declining foreign exchange reserves may result in increased restrictions on transactions by Egypt’s Central Bank, thus curtailing the imports,” the news agency writes (Hornby, 7/11). “Two and a half years of political turmoil have caused a deep economic crisis in Egypt, scaring away investors and tourists, draining foreign currency reserves and making it difficult to maintain imports of food and fuel,” Reuters/Firstpost reports. “Earlier this week a report issued by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) attachĂ© in Egypt said domestic wheat stocks would last through October at current consumption levels. It gave no estimate for when foreign wheat would run out,” the news agency notes (7/11).