The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday that civil unrest and dwindling foreign exchange reserves meant Egypt could have serious food security concerns. Its import requirements next year would be equal to this year, it said.

Since Mursi was toppled last week, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have promised $12 billion in cash, loans and fuel, which economists say buys Cairo several months of breathing room to fix its finances.

Egypt had halted its purchases of international wheat since February – its longest absence from the market in years – until the eve of Mursi’s overthrow, when the state grain buying agency, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought wheat under Ouda’s instruction.

“In spite of all the political differences between the parties, the international price of wheat was very nice, we bought about 180,000 metric tons of wheat,” Ouda said.