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Egypt slashes bread costs as Ukraine battles shock in Middle East


“This crisis could be much more serious than the coronavirus crisis,” Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli stated throughout a cupboard assembly on Monday, referring to the financial influence of Russia’s conflict in Ukraine.

Particularly affected are international locations within the Middle East that depend on each Russia and Ukraine, two of the world’s prime grain exporters, for his or her grain imports.

This is a matter of concern for Egypt and different Middle Eastern international locations reeling from the ripple results of the conflict. Just 10 years in the past, revolutions throughout the area overtook longtime dictators, partly as a result of rise within the worth of commodities. “Bread, Freedom, Social Justice!” One of the preferred chants was on the streets of Egypt through the Arab Spring protests.

food prices Egypt grew at 4.6% month-on-month in February, and headline inflation rose from 6.3% in January to 7.2% year-on-year. By the top of February, as Russian forces had been mobilizing alongside the Ukrainian border, international wheat costs hit their highest stage since 2012.

In the three weeks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the worth of unsubsidized bread in Egypt rose by as a lot as 25% in some bakeries. Cairo on Monday mounted the worth of non-subsidized bread to restrict the consequences of inflation.

Can Middle East countries come to the rescue as the Ukraine war drives up oil prices?
Ukraine has banned the export of some cereals to keep up provide within the home market. of the nation black sea port It additionally faces a blockade by the Russian navy to cease grain exports.

According to Reuters, Egypt is the biggest purchaser of wheat on the earth and in 2021 about 80% of its wheat imports got here from Russia and Ukraine.

“Food insecurity could lead to a whole lot more political unrest,” Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa director Lama Fakih advised CNN. “These are many countries that are already suffering from conflict [and] from political turmoil.”

On Monday, the rights watchdog launched a report good Called on regional governments to make sure that the battle in Ukraine doesn’t worsen the meals disaster and warned them in opposition to eradicating or decreasing meals subsidies, as some had deliberate to do.

Discontent has already manifested itself as a protest in Iraq, the place a comparatively small 9 March rally within the central metropolis of Nasiriyah in opposition to an increase in meals costs was blamed by the federal government for the Ukraine War. The authorities later introduced an help bundle for residents, together with a one-time grant to these in want and a evaluate of the ration card funds forward of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“We are nearing the month of Ramadan and are concerned about the price hike,” stated Mohammad Ali, a 42-year-old Iraqi every day wage employee residing in Baghdad. “Most food prices have increased, especially in cooking oil.”

Timothy Caldas, a fellow at Cairo’s Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, stated many of the area was already affected by poverty and meals insecurity, however the conflict in Europe is simply exacerbating the scenario.

“2011” [Egyptian] The rebel got here after a decade of rising poverty ranges,” Kaldas told CNN. “And in 2019 when Egyptians staged protests in a number of cities throughout the nation, the regime discovered that the folks they’d arrested .. . had been primarily motivated by financial grievances.”

The Egyptian pound fell 14% against the dollar on Monday following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prompting foreign investors to pull billions of dollars out of Egyptian Treasury markets. The central bank also raised interest rates by one percent overnight and the government announced an economic relief package worth 130 billion Egyptian pounds ($7.05 billion).

“Countries that already endure from widespread meals insecurity have been hit hardest,” Fakih said, “and these embody Yemen, Lebanon and Syria.”

The wants of Yemen, which is dealing with one of many worst on the earth humanitarian crisisMartin Griffiths, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, is reaching what he calls “harmful heights.” Human Rights Watch said Yemen imports at least 27% of its wheat from Ukraine and 8% from Russia.

Lebanon said last month that it only had enough wheat stock for a month. It imports about 60% of its wheat from Ukraine.

Hend Zaki, a five-year-old Egyptian mother-in-law of five who runs a food business from home, said she has lost customers since raising her food prices two weeks ago.

“I pay double for virtually every little thing now,” she told CNN. “We have suffered quite a bit … some very poor folks [here],

With extra reporting from Adam Pourahmadi and Aqeel Najim, CNN

Other Top Middle East News

Egypt, Israel and UAE leaders maintain tripartite talks amid issues over Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Monday, official reviews stated on Tuesday. Egypt stated the assembly was targeted on international developments “particularly with regard to energy, market stability and food security”.

  • Background: The assembly in Egypt comes simply days after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s historic go to to the United Arab Emirates, his first go to to an Arab nation for the reason that begin of the Syrian insurgency in 2011. It additionally comes within the type of nuclear talks between Western powers and Iran. a complicated stage.
  • Why this issues: Israel has repeatedly expressed concern over Iran’s rising affect within the area. In latest days, Bennett has stated he’s “very concerned” that the US is contemplating eradicating Iran’s Revolutionary Guards from its terrorism blacklist. The State Department has not confirmed its intention to take action.

Judge accuses governor of Lebanon’s central financial institution of unlawful enhancements

Lebanon’s central financial institution governor Riyad Salameh and his brother Raja had been charged Monday with unlawful fundraising, Lebanese Judge Ghada Aun advised CNN. He ordered King’s detention on Thursday, “for his role in helping Riyadh launder money through buying property in France,” she stated. The governor didn’t reply to CNN’s request for remark, however in a earlier assertion acquired by Reuters, Governor Salameh stated “not a penny” from public funds was used to pay charges to an organization owned by his brother. it was completed. Last week, King Salameh’s lawyer stated the allegations of illicit cash and cash laundering in opposition to his consumer had been baseless. He known as the proof “media speculation without any evidence”, Reuters reported. CNN was unable to succeed in King Salameh.

  • Background: Salameh’s tenure has confronted scrutiny for the reason that monetary system exploded in 2019, probably the most risky disaster since Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil conflict. In February, Judge Aun issued a subpoena for him after he did not attend three hearings as a witness in an investigation into his alleged misconduct on the central financial institution. Reuters reviews that court docket safety was unable to find him.
  • Why this issues: This is the primary allegation in opposition to the governor, who has been in workplace for almost 30 years. Officials of France and Switzerland are additionally investigating his belongings. The allegation may escalate political tensions between Salameh’s highly effective supporters and opponents.

Saudi Arabia stresses ‘important function’ of OPEC+ oil deal

Saudi Arabia’s cupboard on Tuesday careworn the “essential role” of the OPEC+ settlement in bringing steadiness and stability to grease markets.

  • Background: Several main consuming international locations, together with the United States, have known as on producers to extend their output at a quicker charge to assist calm crude oil costs, which have risen as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The alliance has been rising manufacturing by 400,000 barrels per day each month since August to scale back demand from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Why this issues: This assertion, somewhat greater than per week earlier than the OPEC+ assembly, exhibits little probability that the group will determine to extend oil manufacturing at a speedy tempo. OPEC+, a grouping of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies together with Russia, has to this point resisted calls to extend provides. Its subsequent assembly can be held on March 31.

What are we watching

Gulf relations with the US have been strained for a while, being examined not too long ago when the Biden administration urged Saudi Arabia and the UAE to assist decrease oil costs by ramping up manufacturing. That request was rejected. Becky Anderson severed the rift between the allies.

across the space

Stan is pictured during a press preview at Christie's Rockefeller Center on September 15, 2020 in New York City.

Meet Stan, the world’s most full and most costly Tyrannosaurus Rex. Named after the paleontologist who found them, 67 million years previous artifacts had been excavated in 1992.

188 bones, it is without doubt one of the best-preserved and most studied T-Rex skeletons. For years, it lived behind closed doorways on the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City,

South Dakota. But now he has a brand new house.

In 2020, an 11m lengthy and 4m excessive T-Rex was auctioned for $31.8 million, setting a world report for the sale of any skeleton. At first, the client was nameless, however a latest announcement from Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) has revealed Stan’s proprietor and a brand new improvement within the space: the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi.

Slated to open in 2025, the museum is part of the town’s plan to remodel Abu Dhabi into a world cultural hub. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, President of DCT Abu Dhabi, stated

CNN’s Becky Anderson on why Stan was price each penny: “It’s going to be worth everything when visitors come over and see this amazing specimen….”

Stan is well-known in paleontology circles. Now, his presence is ready to be a part of the Natural History Museum’s 13.8 billion 12 months journey by time and area. The T-Rex is ready to look alongside different specimens, together with the 7-billion-year-old Murchison meteorite, which crashed in Australia 40 years in the past.

By Tasmiyah Randeri, CNN

tweet of the day

“Cash is trash,” tweeted Jasim Alsediqui, one of many UAE’s prime traders. Alsediqi is the Dubai-based asset supervisor and CEO of funding financial institution Shua Capital, which manages $14.1 billion in belongings. Investors, together with billionaire Warren Buffett, have lengthy warned in opposition to holding money throughout a significant conflict. money solely loses value During the conflict, he says. Alsediqui can be the chairman of Bahrain-based GFH Financial Group, Ashraq Investments and Khaleeji Commercial Bank. He sits on the board of First Abu Dhabi Bank, the biggest financial institution within the United Arab Emirates.

picture of the Day

Syrian Kurds celebrate Nowruz on March 21 in the city of Afrin.


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