At crazy prices .. the Islamic world in Ramadan: the day and night of the month are the same

Every evening this Ramadan, Lebanese families cook breakfast with items from the food basket, which has increased 400 percent since last Ramadan. For many families, this will not be a festive event, but a survival event. The month of Ramadan began across the Islamic world against the backdrop of global inflation due to the Corona and the ongoing war in Ukraine, which is causing food prices to continue to rise.

Two years after restrictions were imposed on meetings and prayers because of the Corona, especially this year, as restrictions were lifted across the Islamic world and families hoped to return to the routine of life, there are other challenges, as Muslims around the world will do. the world. spend this month in light of the high prices of food and fuel and other commodities, where various basic commodities rise.

Excess consumption in the holy month, which characterizes this period and this increase is reinforced by the gifts of Eid from jobs in the Muslim world, is expected to continue to raise prices. The alms given to the poor, which is one of the habits of this month, did not close the big gap in the household budget, which is also faced by families in European countries in the conditions of high commodity prices. In practice, the campaigns of Islamic aid organizations fighting hunger during the month of Ramadan are now taking place in Britain, where the poverty rate among Muslim families is higher than in the rest of the population.

According to Islam Relief, 50 per cent of Muslim families in Britain will find it difficult to buy enough food during Ramadan, given the country’s rising standard of living, compared to 18 per cent of the rest of the public. In Indonesia, one of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority countries, inflation rose relatively on average, reaching 2.5 percent in February on an annual basis. However, it is expected to increase significantly in the month of Ramadan, due to high fuel prices and value added tax in the country at this time.

The main commodities that drive the price increase are red chili peppers and cooking oil, as well as gold and jewelry. While the former has been hit by a very wet winter that has affected crops, native palm oil has skyrocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine, a battle between the two major seed companies over cooking oil.

Egypt is in a state of dizziness

The international media described this month as sad in Lebanon due to the severe economic crisis that has dominated the country for a long time. “I remember the days when they bought decorations and waited for the brothers for breakfast every night,” Randa Mushin told DOCA, a nurse and mother of four. “This year, we can not pay for breakfast for ourselves,” she added. Her family lives on $ 80 a month. So any kind of festive cooking will be out of the way this year. There can be no talk of recreation on the nights of Ramadan.

The consumer price index in Lebanon ended an annual increase of 214 percent in February, which increased, among other things, in the wake of the 396 percent increase in food prices. Walking or traveling trips are generally off-road, as transportation costs increased by 50 percent last year.

In Egypt, the world’s largest importer of wheat, cooking and keeping a family will be very expensive. Common day In a country that buys most of its grain from Russia and Ukraine and relies on it for a bread-financing program that feeds tens of millions of people, rising wheat prices at the start of the war seem to have done Egypt stunned. .

Egypt has banned the export of basic commodities such as wheat and lentils for three months. It also raised interest rates by 100 points on a 10.2 per cent basis and lowered the currency rate. In Iraq, Morocco and Somalia, they talk about the public’s harsh feelings earlier this month about rising food and fuel prices. “Ramadan this year will be different. “Food and fuel prices are becoming hysterical,” Adla Nour, a resident of Mogadishu, Somalia, told a local news site. As for Yemen, its situation is more dangerous before the current rise in food prices, in view of the fight against the Houthi rebels, which has been going on for seven years.

People in Sanaa told Reuters that the price of sugar and flour rose 40 percent last month, compared to a 20 percent drop in the currency against the dollar since January.

The economy is collapsing

In Afghanistan, the situation is even worse. The economy has been collapsing since the Taliban took power in August, and Ramadan is adding to the shameful hunger that prevails in the country. Many women have had to resign since the extremist organization came to power. According to United Nations estimates, 24.4 million people in Afghanistan, more than half the country’s population, need humanitarian assistance and 95 percent of the country’s population does not eat enough food.

While the Taliban authority has said it will provide assistance to the poor during the month of Ramadan, the possibility of maneuvering this sanctioned country remains limited in the absence of international recognition. “People are selling their children and their organs to feed the family,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Quterres. “Afghanistan’s economy has completely collapsed.”

from: Kim Gazelle

Haaretz / Marker 11/4/ 2022

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