Tuesday, March 18

Food riots and deaths in Egypt

As sadly predicted on this blog, the sharply rising cost of food stuff's is creating havoc in emerging markets. Here's an article which talks about it. I quote:

CAIRO - Sky-rocketing food prices in Egypt since the start of the year are being matched by a rumbling wave of popular discontent and unprecedented strikes and demonstrations.

The official annual inflation rate reached 12.5 percent in February, although the cost of foodstuffs including subsidised bread has risen by 26.5 percent over the past year, also according to official statistics.

The evolution of other staples is equally grim. Dairy products are up 20 percent, oil is up 40 percent. The Egyptian press publishes a list of rising costs, with some products up 122 percent since February 2007.

"And you have to remember that inflation is much higher than the figures put forward by the government," Ahmed al-Naggar, economist at Cairo's Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies, told AFP.

The United Nations (UN) World Food Programme said this month that average household expenditure in Egypt had risen by 50 percent since the start of the year.

The government says that rising prices are attributable to the rising global cost of commodities such as flour, of which Egypt is one of the biggest importers.

The deepening crisis is accompanied by violence. Two people were killed this week when fighting erupted in a bread queue in the Cairo suburb of Helwan, a security source told AFP.

At least 70 people were killed when bread riots erupted in January 1977 after the government tried to reduce subsidies on the staple, of which Egyptians are the world's biggest consumers.

I again warn the United Nations and other worthies, better handle this, raise a point in the UNSC, this is now a world wide issue and before you get into serious geo-political trouble, better address this otherwise we are in deeper trouble.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

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