A delay can be expected in the distribution of food ration cards to Upper Egyptian citizens in light of a strike by truckers who are protesting tax increases and bans on operation, according to an Egyptian government official.
The strike has entered its 20th consecutive day in seven provinces: Assiut, Souhag, Minya, Sharqiya, Gharbiya, and Damietta.
The Ministry of Social Solidarity plans to extend the period assigned for distributing ration cards by 10-15 days, ending mid-January, according to Ahmed al-Rakaybi, head of the state-run Food Industries Holding Company.
Al-Rakaybi said the transportation of food commodities such as sugar, rice and oil to Upper Egyptian areas has been strongly impacted by the recent strike, which has prompted the ministry to extend the period for distribution.
Food commodities rely heavily on trucks for transportation, said al-Rakaybi, who added that Lower Egyptian provinces have not been touched by the crisis since subsidized oil factories are concentrated in the northern cities, particularly Alexandria.
Al-Rakaybi also said there has been no impact on subsidized wheat, which is mainly transported by train and boat. He noted that railways' share of wheat transport jumped to 50 percent nation-wide following the drivers' strike.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.