People in the Middle East have protested the increases
in the cost of staple foods, such as potatoes [Getty]
Food prices are rising dramatically across the Middle East.
 
In Jordan, prices of staples such as potatoes, eggs and cucumbers have doubled or more in the past month.

In Yemen, the cost of bread has gone up at least 100 per cent in the past four months.

And in the United Arab Emirates, the government ordered a 70 per cent pay increase for its workers in order to try to combat the high cost of living. 
 
The rising prices have more than an economic cost. People in Yemen and Jordan have protested the increases and in Morocco, dozens were jailed for rioting over the cost of food.

Some in the middle class say the rising cost of food is pushing them into poverty and that the situation is becoming unbearable. 
 
What is behind the price increases? And what, if anything, can governments do to combat them?

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This episode of Inside Story aired on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 17:30 GMT

 

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