ALGIERS, 29 April 2021 – Soaring food prices and shortages in basic foodstuffs have deepened Algeria’s social and economic crisis, economists have noted.
“Everything has become overpriced: chicken, red meat, everything. It is only bread that has not seen a price increase,” Africa News reported Thursday from the capital, Algiers, citing an Algerian woman the media outlet interview in a grocery store.
Although the Algerian government promised to invest revenue from its oil exports into agriculture, it has not yet reduced the country’s reliance on food imports after more than a decade of relatively high oil prices.
Algeria still depends on imports for 70 percent of the country’s food requirements.
It is a boiling social situation, experts say, citing frequent strikes and a return of the weekly street protests organized by Hirak – Arabic for movement – calling for political reforms and jobs for young people.
The country is struggling to dig out of a deep economic crisis caused by the fall in oil revenues aggravated by the new coronavirus pandemic.
The crises come at a time when the value of the local currency – the dinar – has been falling persistently.
It also comes as inflaton is on the surge and even the most basic of foodstuffs, like cooking oil, are in short supply, making Ramadan 2021 “one of the toughest ones I have ever spent,” one retiree told Afirca News.