In Madagascar, facing inflation, families between misery and adapt

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Claire Raharimanana’s small grocery store is located between two roads in Esotere, in Antananarivo, the Malagasy capital, and is filled with all kinds of produce: toothbrushes, sanitary napkins, sweets, oil, even rice. “I’ve been running this store for twenty-four years, and I’ve never experienced such a sharp price increase. I’ve lost a lot of customers in a few months, at least 40%”She claims her hair was pulled back and straight into her apron

As proof, she points to the six bowls of rice in the storefront—six different types—full to the brim. ” Previously, rice was bought by the kilo weekly. Now families are taking day by day Kabuaka750gm Condensed Milk cans act as a unit of measurement. For several months, I also stopped giving credit because people could no longer pay. The price has gone up at wholesalers, I have to be careful. »

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Differences in the prices of basic necessities (oil, sugar, rice, salt, etc.) may seem insignificant: in 2018, rice sold for 2,000 ariary (€0.47) per kilogram, compared to 2,600 (€0.62) today; The 7500 Ariary oil bottle is now 10,000 Ariary. But in this country that is among the world’s poorest, which has been hit hard by restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and where wages in the formal sector have not risen since 2019, many Malagasy are struggling to deal with inflation. This should reach an average of 8.8% in 2022 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) versus 5.8% last year.

sharp stumble

I don’t eat lunch anymoresimply recognizes Florette Ravaonirina, who came to buy soap at Claire’s grocery store. This is how I save for the unexpected. » Thanks to this forced fasting, “We even had a zippo on Easter.”, she completes. For nine months, this 49-year-old had been working odd jobs—washing machine, housekeeper, courier—for a daily income of 5,000 aray on the good days, 2,000 on average for others. Previously, Florette Ravaonirina ran a restaurant where she sold “vehicles”, these Malagasy snacks made of pasta, vegetables and potato salad. An activity that brought him a steady income.

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