The price of staple foods has increased by up to 100% this Ramadan in Muslim countries. Countries such as Jordan, Egypt and Qatar have all experienced many price rises at the supermarket over the past month causing poorer families to bare the brunt.
Salem Saeed, a school teacher in the Jordanian capital Amman, explains, "I have five children and had to borrow money to cope with a sudden jump in food prices during Ramadan".
I look at it differently. It's not that he has too little money for his kids, it's that he has too many kids for his money. If you're borrowing money to cope with the doubling of food prices for 30 days, then you're being irresponsible. (Imagine, if this guy got laid off and couldn't find a job for a few months. How would he pay for the essential food, shelter, and utilities for his family?)
Moving on, the resident economist at the Ummah Pulse explains:
Many Muslim countries - Syria being one - have large debts with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank, which in exchange for loans set conditions on the borrowing country.
The loan conditions have been heavily criticised by those that claim that such policies open up markets in poor or developing countries to large multi-nationals that are usually owned by wealthy individuals in first world countries. These multinationals can then exploit the countries' natural resources and often cheap labour for the production of goods. With this domination in the market and reduced powers for the government to intervene, multinationals can manipulate prices with little intervention from local or national governments.
And here I thought that demand for food went up and the supply slacked (because starving workers don't perform at an optimal level) which led to higher prices. Silly me.