The global food price shock of 2006-2008 has particularly affected poorer strata of populations in several developing countries. In Egypt and some other countries it has put food subsidy schemes to the test. This paper develops two comparable computable general equilibrium models for Egypt and Ukraine which are used to simulate direct and indirect impacts of the food price surge and various policy options on the performance of the main macroeconomic indicators as well as on poverty outcomes. The results illustrate the limited ability of realistic policy responses to mitigate negative social consequences of an external price shock. Food import tariff cuts are a partial remedy faring better than other analysed options. Furthermore, the Egyptian system of food subsidies needs substantial reforms limiting the related fiscal burden and improving the targeting of the poor population.