the authorities are trying to limit the rise in food prices

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In a grocery store in Algiers, in April 2021.

In the popular district of Bab el-Oued, in Algiers, buyers crowd in front of the thirty stands set up on the square facing the sea. Olive oil, cheeses, legumes, spices, dates… All popular products Algerians during the month of Ramadan are offered there. Before placing an order, buyers look at the prices posted by merchants. “Here, everything is at factory prices”explains a young seller of yeast and sugar, essential ingredients for the preparation of desserts that will brighten up family tables during the ftourthe meal for breaking the fast.

This “Errahma market” (goodness market), recognizable by its white capitals, appeared a few days ago in the Algerian capital. The objective is to “filling the gap in terms of local structures and ensuring product availability and price stability”, says Hadj Tahar Boulenouar, president of the National Association of Merchants and Craftsmen (ANCA).

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The authorities have announced the opening of some 1,200 outlets to facilitate shopping for families, already under pressure. Because to the traditional inflation observed at this time of the year is added a rise in consumer prices of 9% in January 2022 compared to January 2021, according to data from the National Statistics Office (ONS) . A worrying situation as the conflict in Ukraine has caused the world prices of raw materials to explode.

Table oil, a commodity that has become rare

In the Bab el-Oued market, “it’s cheaper than in normal stores”confirms Hassina, a basket in hand. “I bought yeast for 4 dinars whereas in the supermarkets the package is 10, as well as sheets of brick for 75 dinars whereas they can reach 100 dinars elsewhere”quotes the mother of four children, who granted herself a budget of 10,000 dinars (63 euros) for the first races of Ramadan.

“Prices are lower than outside, but as everything has increased in recent months, it’s still expensive”, underlines Fatma, a resident of the district. If she came to the Errahma market, it is mainly because they sell edible oil there at a good price, a commodity that has become rare in recent months. However, stocks of goods exist and are sufficient to meet demand, says Hadj Tahar Boulenouar: “25,000 tonnes of oil, for example, will be marketed during this Ramadan. »

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