The Egyptian Ministry of Supply and Internal Trading has decided to restore about two million people to a food subsidy programme after they were excluded last February, Reuters reported on Tuesday, October 1st.
This step came after tweets by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in which he said he was personally following the politically sensitive matter.
Sisi said in a tweet on Sunday September 29th that he understood the negative impact of subsidy cuts for some citizens and urged them not to worry.
"As part of my follow up of all procedures related to aiding people with lower income, I understand the stance of the citizens who have been negatively affected by the alteration of the subsidy cards and being removed from them," Sisi said.
A total of 1.8 million Egyptians, previously removed from the food staples system - which includes rice and pasta - have been returned as of September 30th in response to directions from the president, a statement by the supply ministry said on Tuesday October 1st.
Egypt's subsidy programme provides subsidised goods to more than 60 million out of Egypt's population of nearly 100 million.
The supply ministry has since February been sifting through the bloated food subsidy system to weed out people whose income was believed to be too high to warrant access to cheap rice, pasta and other items.
Some people were removed for having a new car, paying high school fees for their children or having high utilities bills.
They were many complaints from a wide range of citizens in Egypt after they were excluded from the food supply programme, and many pro-government journalists and TV announcers urged a revision of these decisions as they caused widespread anger.