In 2008, before the revolution, the Egyptian Government set a portion of its Army to baking bread for hungry citizens, precisely to forestall revolution. Now, after revolution, it isn’t clear who will provide the bread for its hungry and angry populace:
Around a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, with another 20 percent hovering just above it. And while there are no statistics for the period 2012/2013, indications are that malnutrition rates of around 30 percent are also on the increase, he said.
“Without essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, children cannot grow their brain potential. They have a lower academic performance,” he said. “Malnutrition is not only a personal problem of human suffering but impacts the nation as a whole.”
It isn’t only meat, milk and new clothes that have disappeared from the Sayeds’ lives. The chance of a better future is also fading: All five children stopped going to school when even the meager expenses needed for free education became too much.
“I feel sad when I see my friends go to school,” daughter Fatma, 13, said.
Her father has darker thoughts: “Sometimes, I even think of selling my kidney to live.”
We can expect more and more stories like these in the coming decades as economic insecurity, the rising costs of climate change and energy, and the political instability that accompany all of these things make food harder to access. Ultimately, political stability is, in the end, all about dinner.