Libya Map

dpa/GNA – People on Sunday formed long lines outside bakeries in the Libyan capital Tripoli after a rise in the price of bread and flour, witnesses said.

The city’s authorities closed several bakeries that increased the bread price after a recent devaluation of the local currency against the dollar in the conflict-torn country.

Due to fewer open bakeries, residents in Tripoli told dpa that buying some loaves of bread now takes more than one hour, criticizing the price increases.

Last month, Libya’s central bank depreciated the local currency against the dollar in a step aimed at unifying the exchange rate across the country.

According to the new rate that took effect on January 3, one dollar is traded at 4.48 Libyan dinars, instead of the previous rate of one dollar at 1.4 dinars.

In response, flour mills have raised the prices of their supplies to bakeries, with several bakeries in turn increasing the bread price.

While one loaf of bread was previously sold at 250 dirhams – one quarter of a Libyan dinar (0.05 dollars) – it is now sold at 333 dirhams apiece in some bakeries.

It is not clear yet if the crisis has hit other parts of the North African country as well.

Libya’s division between a UN-backed Tripoli-based government and an eastern-based administration led to several exchange rates in the country and a divided central bank with rival branches.

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