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Bakers launch ‘free bread’ initiative after subsidy lifted

By Muath Freij - Jan 28,2018 - Last updated at Jan 28,2018

AMMAN — People’s demand for bread declined following the increase in bread prices due to the lifting of the government subsidy that went into effect on Saturday, according to baker Zaid Sandouqa. 

In light of this new decision, Sandouqa, who owns a bakery in Amman’s Wadi Al Seer, decided to launch a campaign to distribute free bread to underprivileged families. 

“I cannot lower the prices of bread as the expenses I have to meet are high, so I thought about designing a section in my shop where I provide bread for people who are not able to purchase it,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday. 

On Friday evening, Industry, Trade and Supply Minister Yarub Qudah announced that the upper limit of the small pita bread almost doubled to JD0.40, JD0.32 for large pita bread and JD0.35 for Arabic bread (mashrouh and taboun) per kilogramme.

The other types of bread and flour-based sweets were not subsidised. 

For his part, Sufian Twaisi, a bakery owner in Maan, pinned a placard at the entrance of the outlet announcing that people who cannot afford to buy bread can have it free of charge. 

He stressed that Jordanians should “stand united” in the face of this new price hike. 

“We have to support people who cannot afford to buy bread. There are so many underprivileged families who live in small villages and the Badia in abject poverty. So a bread distribution campaign would be a good idea,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone. 

Twaisi also noticed that people’s demand for bread was lower than usual during the weekend, especially in the southern parts of the Kingdom, which underwent cold weather conditions. 

 

Sandouqa is aware that even poor people would be reluctant to ask for free bread “because they have dignity”, so he started approaching people at their own homes. 

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