Friday, 28 March 2008

Food prices—Egypt

Al-Ahram reports on the impact of spiraling food prices in Egypt:

Laila Mahmoud, a housewife and mother of three, said that pasta is now beyond her budget since its price rose from LE1.6 to LE4.6 (£0.42) per kilogramme, while rice increased from LE2 to LE4 per kilogramme.

I can buy 20 loaves of subsidised bread at LE1, while one pound is not enough to buy 250 grammes of pasta," revealed Mahmoud. Hence, the demand on subsidised bread has jumped markedly and bread lines have become commonplace across the country.

Adel Fathi, a supervisor at one of Al-Masriyeen's bakeries in Al-Zeitoun, said sales there reach 23,000 loaves of bread daily. "We begin selling at 6am and run out of bread at around 4pm," stated Fathi.

The supervisor explained that this outlet is responsible for selling the production of one bakery in the district whose quota is 23 sacks of 100 kilos of subsidised flour, making 23,000 loaves of bread. But this output still seems too few.

Thoraya Ahmed, 50, came too late at 4:14pm and went home empty handed. "I just got back from work, so I missed my chance of buying bread. What can I do?" Ahmed pondered as she walked away.

But Islam Ali, another destitute bread hunter, was adamant in buying the staple food. Although he was turned away at the outlet, the young man hurried to another which had not run out yet.

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