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An aggregator for (oAnth's) daily interests in humanities, arts, science, geography, economics, politics - academia, education - activism, advocacy - itec, free software, open source, open access, open knowledge - languages in use: mostly EN, FR, DE
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Rescooped by oAnth - "offene Ablage: nothing to hide" from Égypt-actus
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Egypt to overhaul subsidized bread system

Egypt to overhaul subsidized bread system | oAnth's day by day interests - via its scoop.it contacts | Scoop.it

The Egyptian Ministry of Supply is preparing to introduce a new system to distribute subsidised bread to those who need it using national identification (ID) numbers.

A trial run is expected to begin in al-Fayoum province, and will be rolled out to the rest of the country after technical and logistical problems are identified and resolved, officials told Al-Shorfa.

Subsidised bread is currently rationed at 20 loaves per family per day at a cost of one Egyptian pound ($0.14). Non-subsidized bread is available at bakeries for 50 piasters ($0.07) per loaf.

"My family members and I take turns, depending on who is free, to stand in line for subsidised bread each day starting in the early morning hours," said Tawfiq Nagy, who heads a family of six.

"If we're late getting in line, we might miss out on getting our bread ration," he told Al-Shorfa.

When that happens, Nagy buys bread from unsubsidised bakeries, adding that "private bakery bread is bigger and of higher quality".

Nagy believes the subsidised bread distribution system needs to be regulated, as "neither the distribution mechanism is good nor is the quality of the bread acceptable".

Distribution based on the national ID number would prevent bakery owners or any other party that wishes to trade in subsidised bread from exploiting the system, he said.

The plan aims to eliminate waste and attempts by some bakery owners to sell bread on the black market, said Saleh Jaber, development advisor at the bakeries monitoring room at the Ministry of Supply.

This leads to low quality bread on the one hand, and a shortage in supply on the other, he said, forcing people to "buy bread from tourist bakeries, whose prices exceed their purchasing power".

 (Waleed Abu al-Khair / Al-Shorfa)
More : http://al-shorfa.com/en_GB/articles/meii/features/2013/03/15/feature-03


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Rescooped by oAnth - "offene Ablage: nothing to hide" from Égypt-actus
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Egypt bakers threaten strike over payments

Egypt bakers threaten strike over payments | oAnth's day by day interests - via its scoop.it contacts | Scoop.it

Egyptian bakers are threatening strike action unless the government meets demands including back-payment of financial incentives, raising the prospect of fresh unrest in the crisis-ridden north African country.

Abdullah Ghorab, head of the bakers' association which represents 25,000 private bakeries across the country, said imminent strike action has been postponed following a meeting with the government. The association gave the government 15 days to meet its demands.Any shortage of bread in Egypt would likely touch off unrest as the government grapples with an economic crisis rooted in two years of political turmoil. The heavily-indebted state faces a deficit that will hit 12.3 percent of GDP in the year to the end of June unless economic reforms are implemented.
 A country of 84 million, Egypt is the biggest importer of wheat in the world. The state has long subsidised bread production, with the cheapest loaves selling for 5 piastres, or less than 1 US cent.(...)Ghorab said the 25,000 privately-run bakeries represented in his association include 19,000 that produce 5-piastre loaves, and 6,000 more that produce 20 piastre loaves. The state operates another 107 bakeries, he added. Ghorab said the government owed bakeries 400 million Egyptian pounds ($59.34 million) in payments dating back six months. The payments cover an incentive paid to bakers to produce low-price loaves and an extra subsidy to cover higher fuel prices. "The head of the government and the supply minister came to us and promised that within 15 days they would meet the demands of the owners of the bakeries," Ghorab said. More on: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/MISC_231522.html


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Spéculation sur les denrées alimentaires: pourquoi? qui? comment?

Entre 2006 et 2008, l'indice des prix des produits alimentaires de la FAO, l'Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture, a enregistré une hausse de 71% des prix des produits les plus essentiels. Cette augmentation a même atteint 126% pour le riz et les céréales. Juste après , les prix sont redescendus pour mieux repartir à la hausse. Au début de 2011, ils atteignaient de nouveau leurs niveaux de 2008. 
De nombreux observateurs évoquent un nouveau facteur : une spéculation de plus en plus forte sur les marchés des produits agricoles. 


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Rescooped by oAnth - "offene Ablage: nothing to hide" from Égypt-actus
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Egypt's Options Narrow To IMF, Qatar As Money Runs Out

Egypt's Options Narrow To IMF, Qatar As Money Runs Out | oAnth's day by day interests - via its scoop.it contacts | Scoop.it

Egypt seems to realise the money has nearly run out and it must turn to the IMF or a willing friend in the Gulf, where it now has just one, Qatar.

After months of delays, the Islamist government has produced a new plan to reverse a slide in its foreign currency reserves and tackle a budget deficit that could overwhelm a stable wealthy nation, let alone a country riven by political conflict.

This plan relies on someone else stumping up to keep the Arab world's most populous nation afloat. Any hope that the government can hold out until after parliamentary elections due to finish in June and delay highly unpopular cuts seems slim, with signs of extreme economic stress all around.

That narrows Cairo's immediate options to the International Monetary Fund, which will demand the kind of austerity measures that could provoke yet more street violence in the middle of an election campaign.

 

The other option is Qatar, the only wealthy Gulf nation truly sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood government. Doha has already provided help but in amounts that have failed to prevent Egypt's currency reserves from falling worryingly low.

"The authorities have little margin of manoeuvre left without fresh capital flows into the Egyptian economy," said Alia Moubayed, an economist at Barclays.

 

Above all, economists believe, Egypt needs a political consensus on reforms to stabilise its finances. However, this seems a forlorn hope as the Islamists of President Mohamed Mursi struggle with the liberal and leftist opposition over the future character of Egypt following the 2011 revolution.(...)

 

PROBLEMS PILE UP

Since then the problems have piled up. The central bank, which spent $20 billion trying to defend the Egyptian pound during and after the uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak, accepted the inevitable. In late December, it began regular dollar auctions, allowing the pound to fall more than eight percent under the new system and taking its total loss since the revolution to 14 percent.

Defending the pound helped to curb a rise in the price of imported goods on which even the poorest Egyptians often depend, but it has been enormously costly for the state.  (..)

 

RALLYING AROUND?

Investment Minister Saleh professes optimism that the nation will rally behind the programme of austerity and reform that is bound to be the price of an IMF deal. "We don't see any reasons why the Egyptian people should reject the programme. They will eventually realise that the benefits they will get will outweigh the load they will carry," he told investors in Dubai on Monday.

Few analysts and economists share his optimism. Even after the parliamentary elections - which will drag on from April to June in four stages - radical change seems remote. (...)

 

More on: http://www.60news.com/news-egypt-s-options-narrow-to-imf-qatar-as-money-runs-191450/






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