Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Increased food prices raising specter of unrest in Egypt

A new wave of food price hikes has hit the Egyptian economy hard, with the country’s poor bearing the brunt of the burden, BBC News reported Tuesday.

Crowds of people lined up outside a local bakery in Cairo on a recent day, anticipating the arrival of cheaper bread. According to the article: “Everyone here complains they are being squeezed by the latest wave of price rises.” Staple food items such as wheat, cooking oil, rice, and dairy products have increased in price significantly, causing already-poor communities to buckle under the financial pressure.

“The government should not make things expensive for the Egyptian people, because we are the poorest of the world,” said Karima Mohamed, a mother of five. “Salaries here have not increased, but prices have gone up threefold and fourfold.”

As notions of political unrest seem to stir, Egyptian officials “are promising big salary increases,” the article says. It adds: “In the last two years Egypt has been swept by an unprecedented wave of strikes in both public and privately-owned factories and even in some government departments.”

For the full article, click here.


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