Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Khalil al Anani on the bread Crisis

As President Mubarak has ordered the Army and the Police to help out in producing bread, giving headline makers a field day, in using make bread not war, fellow blogger and well-known scholar Khalil al Anani has this to say on the current bread crisis:

I don’t believe that the solution lies in dismissing the government, as some have suggested, but in the management method adopted by ministries such as the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and the Ministry of Planning, which have displayed complete failure in simply providing an adequate loaf of bread.

There are 23,664 bakeries in Egypt, meeting the needs of nearly 80 million people, that is one bakery for every 3,380 citizens. If anything, this simple calculation reflects dire mismanagement.

Obviously the solution is not to have a bakery per citizen, but rather the number of bakeries should at least be proportionate with the population.

Otherwise, I advise people to stop eating bread and to go for cakes and gateaux — if they find any.

Here is a clip from al Jazeera English from the 12th of March (via Arabist), who has more here.

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