Monday, April 05, 2010

Egypt: Shortage of subsidized bread and cooking gas, worsens

FOCUS Information Agency - "Every day, at the same time after dawn prayers, I come here to buy my daily need of bread. If I do not come at such early time, I will instead have to wait in a long queue," Abu Abdallah, a 63-year-old man said while waiting before one of Cairo bakeries which sell subsidized bread, Xinhua informs.

Despite strenuous efforts exerted by the Egyptian government to ease the suffering of impoverished people and extend the umbrella of subsidy to cover more poor families, the shortage of some subsidized commodities, especially bread and cooking gas, has become wilder.

In recent years the scene of people standing in queues, either waiting to get a little share of subsidized bread or a refilled butane cylinder to cook food, has became habitual for most Egyptians, especially in poor areas.

According to official figures, Egypt imports about 7 million tons of wheat, or half of its total need, from foreign countries.

Although the Egyptian government has increased wheat imports to cover the needs of its people, the effort has been offset by the bigger increase in consumption.

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