Affluent Western nations may think they have drastic problems with inflation -- but in the Republic of Chad in central Africa, rising food prices mean a lot more than tighter household budgets.
Affluent Western nations may think they have drastic problems with inflation -- but in the Republic of Chad in central Africa, rising food prices mean a lot more than tighter household budgets. They bring a real threat of mass starvation. This at any rate was the message of a special radio broadcast from the capital, N'Djamena, on Thursday (28 October), according to Reuters.
SYNOPSIS: The Newsagency said the commentator warned early in the broadcast that "One day everybody will die of hunger", and that prices in the markets of N'Djamena were so high that they caused vertigo. A small 100 kilogram bag of millet now costs over GBP11 (about U.S.$ 17.00), chicken has become a luxury, and hardly anybody can afford fish and meat.
Housewives can no longer manage on the money their husbands give them each month to feed their frequently large families. Some get just GBP12 (about U.S.$19.20) a month, but even those on GBP50 (about U.S.$80.00) a month cannot make ends meet. Government guidelines giving recommended prices are being ignored and shopkeepers are fixing their prices as they please. Those responsible for the high prices are being branded as sadistic exploiters. Chad is one of the poorest and least developed countries of Africa. Large amounts of international food aid have been needed in recent years to try to prevent widespread starvation. But the danger is obviously still there.