Egyptian inflation skyrockets

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The Egyptian government this week reported that inflation rates in the country rose to over 21 percent in May, as a direct result of rising prices that have worsened the North African nation’s food crisis.

The official news agency, MENA, quoted an Egyptian government official as saying that inflation in rural areas had “increased even higher to 22.9 percent” for the month, raising concerns over widespread discontent.

”The May figures are in stark contrast to the already high inflation rate reported in March of around 14 percent. This does not bode well for approximately 20 percent of the nations almost 80 million people, who live below the poverty line of US$2 per day,” the official was quoted as saying.

The news came a few days after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest the end of flour subsidy.

The protesters clashed with the police, but no serious injuries were reported.

Over the past two months, at least 11 people have died in fights that have erupted among people waiting in line for subsidized bread, highlighting the frustration among Egypt’s lower classes. Panapress.

High cost of living  In the past year alone, food prices have shot through the roof while other household essentials have undergone unprecedented price hikes. Coupled with a global financial meltdown, this situation has been mostly harsh on the poor. The Haiti food riots which began in April, 2008, quickly spread like wild fire to Egypt, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon... According to experts, this situation was in part created by careless government policies, the rising popularity of bio-fuels as well as the global financial crisis, among other factors...
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