Feature: Affordable fairs offer hope for Yemenis amid skyrocketing prices ahead of Ramadan

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 18, 2023
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by Murad Abdo

ADEN, Yemen, March 18 (Xinhua) -- As the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan approaches, many Yemeni families in the war-ravaged Arab country are facing the daunting reality of exorbitant commodity prices once again.

Plagued by war, famine, and an economic collapse since 2014, Yemen has witnessed an alarming price hike, leaving millions of Yemenis struggling to afford basic staples and commodities.

In order to help people to overcome such difficulties ahead of the festive month, Ramadan fairs, organized by the government in cooperation with local businesses, surfaced across the country as a vital lifeline for impoverished Yemeni families, easing their financial strains and offering a brief respite from hard times.

The government-supported Ramadan fairs are being held in major cities and offering essential goods at discounted prices.

In the country's southern port city of Aden, local families have started their preparations for Ramadan.

"Ramadan fairs are a blessing for all the Yemeni citizens exhausted from the deteriorating situation," said Ayashah Ahmed, a 40-year-older mother of four while browsing through the stalls of rice, flour, and dates.

"The prices of basic necessities here are much more affordable than in other markets or shopping malls. I can buy enough food to feed my family through the entire month of Ramadan," Ayashah told Xinhua.

Najib Abdullah, a local trader and organizer of the Ramadan fair in Aden said that they negotiated discounted prices from the local suppliers, hoping that no family goes without food during Ramadan.

During the holy month, Muslims all over the world refrain from consuming food and liquids from sunrise to sunset. As soon as the sun goes down, families, neighbors, and friends gather to partake in the traditional Iftar feast, which marks the end of their fast for the day.

Yemen has been mired in deadly military conflict since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of several northern provinces and forced the internationally-recognized government out of the capital Sanaa.

The conflict brought the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of collapse and led to the displacement of millions of people, who were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in overcrowded and unsanitary camps.

The United Nations previously declared the situation in Yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with over 20 million people requiring urgent humanitarian assistance.

The United Nations is trying to renew the expired humanitarian truce and resume peace talks between the government and the Houthis to end the more than eight years of civil war. Enditem

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