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Food prices in Somalia rise to unprecedented highs
Friday, August 10, 2012
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With the advent of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Somali capital Mogadishu has witnessed a steady rise in the prices import commodities. The prices remain unstable for specific commodities such as rice, wheat, sugar and oil that are the commonly consumed goods in Somalia.
The unprecedented rise in prices of basic food commodities has greatly undermined the ability of a large percentage of Somali people to provide their families sufficient food during this holy month of Ramadan.
Analysts argue that demand has surpassed supply in Mogadishu and change in weather has made cargo ships headed to Somalia decrease their number of journeys prompting traders to capitalize on this situation: all this at the expense of the ordinary Somali people.
Skyrocketing food prices has sparked outrage among Mogadishu residents who want the government to regulate the prices of commodities to counter exploitation from traders.
Ramadan in Somalia this year, coincided with high rise in prices of food stuffs, due to the economic downturn, which compounded the suffering of the poor, especially those displaced by the drought and war and live in difficult conditions in displacement camps.
The situation has aggravated for camp dwellers who apart from suffering from a severe famine and lack of food, the escalating prices means that the IDPs cannot afford to buy food from the Mogadishu markets.
The Somali Civil War and the absence of a centralized system of governance government still present many problems as the country’s interim government cannot regulate the prices of commodities. The UN says more than 7.5 million people in the Horn of Africa need food aid, but 2.5 million are in peril in a region of south-central Somalia.
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