Business, Finance & Economics

Global food crisis

YK: Here at this busy food store, people are stopping to buy snacks, but this cheap Egyptian snack isn't as cheap as it used to be, it's gone up by a third from what it was last year because Egypt imports the beans, cooking oil and wheat used to make the bread. In fact Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat. In a country where about 40% of the population lives close to the poverty line, that makes a dramatic impact. Frustration has turned into violence, and there have been several deaths in food lines for government subsidized bread.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

PT: at an outdoor kiosk, this man serves breakfast. As the price of bread goes up, she's had to increase prices. Most of her customers come from hours away to work on construction projects. This construction worker says the government doesn't have its priorities straight, with so many construction but with little help for workers. The food vendor doesn't have much hope either and says she can't keep prices close to covering rising costs. She says she lets many of hr struggling clients buy on credit because they're like family to her. There have been dozens of protests to pressure the government to fix prices, and authorities arrested more than two-dozen people.

JK told us why people in Haiti are so angry: because prices have risen so much in recent weeks. Most of the population are unemployed so can't afford to cover rising costs, so the people are demonstrating, they want the government to do more and there are demonstrations which are becoming more and more violent.

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