June 6, 2023

Tumbler Ridge News

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Enters the era of rationing

“It’s been going on for a while and it’s very worrying.” When Emna El Hammy, 41, went shopping in Tunis, she couldn’t find what she wanted. After the war in Ukraine, Tunisia faced inflation (+8.2% in July 2022 Tunisian National Institute of Statistics) as well as significant food and energy shortages, forcing some brands to ration products such as oil, butter or sugar, a report from BFMTV.com notes.

“On the shelves of Tunisian supermarkets or grocery stores, some shelves have nothing for weeks or sometimes nothing… they have very little,” says BFMTV.com in his forties, who works for a consulting firm in the capital.

“There is a shortage of flour for more than 6 months, so it is difficult to get bread in bakeries. There is also a shortage of water, flour, sugar, milk..”, lists a resident of Tunis.

Very poor management

Tunisian President Kaïs Saied last March announced a series of measures to ensure that subsidized goods are prioritized for the people. He said he wanted to “wage a tough war” against speculators who wanted to “undermine social peace and security” in the country. However, “due to lack of adequate controls, the subsidized products are being monopolized by professionals and they are forced to make demands”, laments the young woman, who is fed up with the situation that strangles people financially.

Emna El Hammy is particularly concerned. “It’s been two months since we entered the era of rationing of basic items, which are usually in large quantities. In some shops, you are no longer allowed to take more than one packet of water, no packet of sugar or pasta. Not even coffee or soft drinks…

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Seduction of Conspiracy

“Some, like my local grocers, now sell under the counter. Finally he made a few phone calls to me and asked me to get sugar or flour because I’m a regular. And cut the water…”

What’s worse is that it is being held up and denied by the government and the head of state who say it was planned, who are in a conspiracy frenzy.

Experts in the coffee industry are sounding the alarm and even predicting a total coffee disruption in the country in the coming days, which could threaten 120,000 workers, La Presse de Tunisie newspaper explains.

A sugar shortage forced the Coca-Cola factory to temporarily close its doors, laying off 6,000 workers. Last Friday, a rally was organized in front of the Ben Aras Governorate headquarters against the reduction in production and the suspension of several employees.

In addition to the political crisis it faces, Tunisia is heavily indebted and in the grip of severe economic problems. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has greatly increased the difficulties of the country, which is highly dependent on foreign countries for its food, especially wheat, which imports half of its needs mainly from Ukraine. Last June, the World Bank announced a $130 million loan to Tunisia to deal with the impact of the war in Ukraine.