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Egypt raises price of widely used diesel and other fuels

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CAIRO — Egypt on Wednesday raised the price of its diesel and other widely used fuels in a move that is expected to push up prices of other goods and services further. The country, like others, is facing strong inflationary pressures as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

In a statement, the country’s oil ministry said it would raise prices immediately. The price per liter of diesel increased from 6.75 Egyptian pounds (0.36 USD) per liter to 7.25 Egyptian pounds (0.38 USD), an increase of 7.4%. Other types of gasoline saw increases of the same amount, with higher octane gasoline being increased by 1 Egyptian pound, or 5 US cents per litre.

The move is expected to exacerbate economic pressures on the country’s poor and middle class who have been hard hit in recent years by austerity measures dictated by the government’s ambitious economic restructuring program.

Already on Wednesday, the transport authorities of Cairo, the country’s capital, announced that fares for various modes of transport, including trains, the metro and taxis, would increase between 5% and 7%.

The reform agenda has in recent years included steep increases in fuel, drinking water and electricity prices as part of austerity measures aimed at overhauling a heavily subsidized economy, which is still recovering from years of unrest that followed his popular uprising in 2011.

In the months following the start of the war in Ukraine, the government also tried to keep pace with rising global energy prices. However, diesel fuel, on which much of society depends, was exempt from the last price hike in April.

Egyptians have been grappling with rising prices for staple foods and other basic commodities since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war. In June, the country’s statistics office announced that annual inflation had reached 15.3% in May, compared to 4.9% for the same month last year.

The government has been looking for financing solutions for the coming period. He approached the International Monetary Fund and received a pledge from Saudi Arabia for $30 billion in investments, some of which is earmarked for private industry.

Earlier this month, the IMF said in a statement that it had sent a delegation to Egypt and that talks were progressing for the country to receive a new loan to support the government’s reform program.

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