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Qataris feel the pinch of diplomatic fallout

CGTN | Fri,2017-06-09


Residents in Qatar are facing higher food prices and a shortage of products like milk due to a diplomatic crisis between Doha and neighboring countries, which has affected imports.

Almost overnight, the cost of some basic goods tripled in Qatar. It's the result of a diplomatic row which saw the Arab world’s biggest powers - including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - cut ties with the Gulf state amid allegations it supports terrorism.

It has led to food shortages and long queues in parts of Doha. Residents in the city are divided on the matter. While many began panic buying looking for other options because of shortages, others saw nothing unusual and had faith in the Qatari government.

Qatar imports almost 90% of its food and around half of it comes via the land border with Saudi Arabia, which has now been closed. But Doha remains defiant, saying it will be able to deal with any shortages as it is reportedly talking to Iran and Turkey to help resolve the issue.

In the coming days, the situation might get worse. Saudi Arabia says it's aware of the impact the diplomatic crisis is having on ordinary people.

"We have taken this step with great pain in order to make sure that Qatar understands that these policies are not acceptable and not sustainable and that they must change," said Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister.

Concerns in Qatar are mostly around dairy products and chicken. They're mainly imported from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region's largest food producer. The sudden rise in prices could hit the country's migrant worker population the hardest, some of whom scrape by on around 200 US dollars a month.

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, say they're determined to press ahead with the measures until Qatar changes its policies and severs its alleged links to terrorist groups.

Qatar has denied the allegations.


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