Despite being surrounded by petroleum-rich neighbors, Egypt is suffering the effects of record-high oil prices that have touched off deadly riots over the simplest of commodities: bread.
Since the beginning of April, at least 10 people have been stabbed to death while waiting in Cairo bread lines — others have died from exhaustion.
The crisis comes as the U.N.’s World Food Program appeals to member nations to contribute $750 million for aid to affected countries.
But as FOX News reported last week, internal documents from the WFP show a failure by OPEC nations to help out their Arab neighbor. Saudi Arabia, for instance, has committed to give zero dollars for 2008, while the United Arab Emirates has pledged just $50,000 — an amount several times less than impoverished nations like Bangladesh.
The United States leads all donors at more than a $1 billion.
Egypt, the world's largest importer of wheat, heavily subsidizes the sale of flour. Government flour sells for about $3 per 100 pounds. On the black market, however, that same bag can fetch $45.
Unlike other Arab nations awash in petrodollars, almost half of Egypt’s population gets by on less than $2 a day — and for an estimated 30 million people, bread means everything.
For now, the Army has been called out — to bake and distribute the bread.
FOX News' Steve Harrigan filed this report from Cairo.