DUBAI - Egypt will allocate more than 125 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.66 billion) for bread subsidies in its 2024/2025 state budget and more than 147 billion pounds in petroleum products subsidies, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

Egypt, a major wheat importer which also relies on imports of other basic foods and fuel, signed an $8 billion expanded loan deal with the International Monetary Fund earlier in March, after it let its pound plummet by nearly 51%.

The ministry quoted Finance Minister Mohamed Maait in a statement as saying that Egypt had also released goods and merchandise worth $14.5 billion since Jan. 1.

Importers have complained they have been unable to get their goods out of ports because they lacked access to foreign currency.

A total of 596 billion Egyptian pounds was allocated for social protection programmes, including 134 billion pounds for food subsidies in particular, the statement cited Maait as saying.

Egypt's subsidy programme provides staples like bread, rice and sugar at reduced prices to nearly 60 million Egyptians out of its more than 105 million population.

Maait said petroleum product subsidies were needed because of the rise in global oil prices and the impact of the exchange rate changes.

Egypt's total expenditures will reach 3.9 trillion pounds in the fiscal year that will start on July 1, with revenues expected at 2.6 trillion pounds, he added.

The government is working "on very ambitious targets," Maait added, as it seeks to record a primary budget surplus in 2024/25 of 3.5% and to reduce the total budget deficit in the medium term to 6% of gross domestic product, and lower the debt-to-GDP ratio to less than 80% within the next three years.

Egypt is set to receive additional support from other sources to ease pressure on its finances.

Maait said more than $20 billion in foreign currency inflows are expected after the IMF agreement

The European Union announced a 7.4 billion euro ($8.1 billion) funding package for Egypt on Sunday, while the World Bank said on Monday it intended to provide $3 billion of financing to the government over three years, with the first $1 billion expected to arrive by the end of June.

($1 = 47.0000 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Nayera Abdallah, Ahmed Elimam, Patrick Werr and Aidan Lewis; Writing by Nayera Abdallah, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tomasz Janowski)