Russia’s invasion of Ukraine laid bare the stark vulnerabilities of the Middle East and North Africa’s reliance on imported grain. In Egypt, wheat imports make up roughly half the flour needed for its vast subsidized bread program—a fact that is an ongoing source of anxiety. Why is the Egyptian government so dependent on foreign grain, and why is the regime so committed to its bread subsidy?

Join Carnegie’s Middle East Program for a special conversation on the politics of grain imports, bread subsidies, and food security, marking the launch of Jessica Barnes’ new book, Staple Security: Bread and Wheat in Egypt. Barnes will present the book’s main themes, followed by a discussion with George Perkovich, moderated by Amr Hamzawy.