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Algeria struggles to feed its people as crisis persists

April 29, 2021

Strikes, unemployment, soaring prices and shortages of basic foodstuffs in Algeria, a boiling social situation is now added to a deep economic crisis caused by the fall in oil revenues and aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.

'Potatoes have very quickly become very expensive. Their price was accessible to all and then suddenly, they became very expensive. Why? Is it gold? No! Everything has become overpriced: chicken, red meat, everything. It is only bread that has not seen a price increase,' says an Algerian woman shopping.

'Everyone puts the blame on somebody else. Nobody is (concerned) ... We do not know who are the people behind all this, we cannot find the core problem. Who's moving the strings? We don't know, but we, the consumers, are the ones who are being taken for a ride.' addedMohamed, a retiree.

Ramadan this year is tough for Algerians who are hit by the impact of the pandemic. As the value of the dinar diminishes, inflation is on the surge combined with a rarity of basic foodstuff such as cooking oil.

'It is the responsibility of the farmer, no one else, it is he who sets the initial price. We just take a percentage of the merchandise and that's it. For example, I get 20 dinars (0.12 euros) or 50 dinars (0.31 euros) depending on the produce' explained Abdelghani, fruit seller.

Algeria has been unable to reduce its reliance on food imports after more than a decade of high oil prices. 70% of the country's food requirements are met by imports.

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