Protests have erupted across Egypt with the news that government bread subsidies will further be reduced.
Alexandria, Giza and the towns of Kafr el-Sheikh and Minya have all seen large demonstrations after it was revealed that the government would cut state-sponsored provisions of bread from 4,000 to 500 loaves per bakery, according to The Guardian.
The government decision aggravates a population already reeling from a weak economy. Inflation surpassed 30 percent in January. Prices of food, transportation and education are rising and Egyptians are forced to make cuts and changes.
Following Egypt's Central Bank's decision to float the Egyptian pound in November, rapid inflation ensued. Food and drink prices have increased nearly 40 percent. Some meat prices have even increased as much as 50 percent.
This comes in addition to significant subsidy cuts on a large population that already struggles to cover basic needs. So, Egyptians have taken to the streets and of course, to social media to protest.
In the streets, people are chanting "we want bread” and “everything but a loaf." On Twitter, the hashtag انتفاضة_التموين# (or "subsidy revolt") has been trending.
Many Egyptians have had enough
Some are suggesting its the start of a revolution
Don't get between Egyptians and their bread
Social media is ablaze with "revolt" as well
And people are pointing fingers at the government
But others want to say this protest isn't about the government ... just about food
In November, Egypt floated its currency, which was formerly pegged to the dollar. The value of the Egyptian pound was roughly cut in half, sending shockwaves through the Egyptian economy and crippling consumers' spending power.
The country's central bank said the decision came as part of a "home-grown reform program" and that it has the support of the international community. "This move will allow market demand and supply dynamics to work effectively."
Egypt wanted to secure a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. Through subsidy cuts, floating the pound and other economic changes, the government was able to secure the loan.
While things look bad for Egyptians now, the IMF, the government and other economic experts expect the inflation to ease later this year.