Meanwhile, the Egyptian pound has lost 13 percent of its value against the dollar in the past year. This makes essentials more expensive, which hits families like the Sayeds directly.

Life is difficult, and looks to getting worse for many, according to Gian Pietro Bordignon, World Food Program country director.

Around a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, with another 20 percent hovering just above it. And while there are no statistics for the period 2012/2013, indications are that malnutrition rates of around 30 percent are also on the increase, he said.

Poverty and malnutrition has visible and long-term effects, he added.

“Without essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, children cannot grow their brain potential. They have a lower academic performance,” he said. “Malnutrition is not only a personal problem of human suffering but impacts the nation as a whole.”