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Rising Price of Gas Impacting Daily Life in Ethiopia

 Image of Hulagerish, a single mother struggling to put food on the table because of rising gas prices

Hulagerish, a single mother of seven, feels poorer with each and every passing day.

Since January, global price hikes have led to increases as high as 300 percent for the cost of staples in Ethiopia.

And now Hulagerish struggles more than ever to put food on the table for her family.

Like many of her fellow Ethiopians and those around the world, Hulagerish is directly impacted by the prices hikes. The rapidly rising cost of gas has led to similar increases in the cost of food.

Hulagerish earns 280 Birr a month ($31 USD) as a day laborer. But the cost of one egg is 1 Birr and one pound of meat costs 4 Birr. Both potatoes and tomatoes have increased in price by 300 percent since January. Soap has increased by 150 percent.

“I am facing complex challenges,” said Hulagerish, who lives in Merkato near Addis Ababa. “Prices of food and non-food items are increasing at an alarming rate. I can no longer cope. We are getting poorer every day.”

Christian Children’s Fund (CCF) is working to lessen food worries by providing support for families with critical food shortages; and encouraging income generating activities to increase buying power, and production of food through agricultural development activities.

Yet, the rising costs make it extremely difficult to feed a large family like Hulagerish's, some of whose members often must go without eating at all. Hulagerish’s eldest son recently dropped out of school to become a day laborer in order to supplement the family’s income as her income was no longer sufficient.

“We can no longer afford a proper breakfast for the whole family,” Hulagerish said. “We give priority to the youngest kids. We can’t invite guests or relatives home anymore and we feel bad when relatives visit us unexpectedly as we cannot even offer them tea.”

Hulagerish can no longer afford injera (Ethiopia’s staple food). Instead her family must eat wheat bread, purchased at a subsidized price.

“My youngest son, who is attending kindergarten, is ashamed of taking this bread to school as he is laughed at,” Hulagerish said. “Only poor people eat this bread.”

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