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Egypt Protests Taking Toll on Its Economy, People

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CAIRO) -- Demonstrations that have plagued the streets of Egypt for nearly three weeks have taken a toll on the country's economy and have made commodities scarce and expensive for its people.

Egypt depends on tourism for a large part of its financial revenue, and since the protests began on Jan. 25, it's estimated that one million tourists have fled Cairo.

The country's vice president, Omar Suleiman, told ABC News in an exclusive interview that the protests have severely hurt Egypt's people and economy.

"[Our people] want to express to the others in Tahrir Square that now we have no work," he said.  "I hope they will recognize that they are not doing well to the country."

Meanwhile on a smaller scale, Egyptians are struggling to survive amid the demonstrations.  ABC News correspondents in the country report that everyday foods like rice and lentils are available to the public but they are now 80 percent more expensive.  Other commodities like gasoline are available but on the black market.

Ahmed, a college student in Egypt, told ABC News, "Water, milk are available.  Bread is also available, but has limits."

Neighbors are said to be helping one another as they try to get through the unrest in the country.

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