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Anger in eastern Sudan as prices soar, Dollar reaches SDG16

August 1 - 2016 PORT SUDAN / KHARTOUM
A bread bakery in Khartoum (alsagia.com)
A bread bakery in Khartoum (alsagia.com)

The sharp rise of food prices and transportation tariffs in the Red Sea State in eastern Sudan is leading to discontent among the residents.

Radio Dabanga listener Omar Hashim reported from Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea State, that the prices of bread and vegetables, and the transportation tariffs are skyrocketing.

“The people here are starting to get angry. We now receive two loaves of bread for one Sudanese Pound instead of four loaves,” he said. “Moreover, a loaf has been downsized to less than 60 grams.”

Hashim added that the transportation tariffs in Port Sudan have been doubled as well. “We are paying SDG4 ($0.66) for a bus ticket these days instead of SDG2.”

An average family will have to spend about SDG100 ($16.40) per day to cover three daily meals, while the monthly salary of most of the people monthly lies between SDG500-SDG1,000, a housewife in El Fasher told Radio Dabanga in February this year

Sudan annually imports more than two million tons of wheat at a cost of $1.5 billion. The flour crisis has been attributed to the scarcity of foreign currency needed for the import of wheat.

Black market

While the official rate of the US Dollar was fixed at SDG6.0771 last year, the rate on the parallel market in Khartoum continues to rise.

“Within the past five days, the Sudanese Pound witnessed a rapid fall, from SDG14.75 to SDG16.20,” economist Dr El Tijani Bader said in an interview in the Radio Dabanga programme Sudanese Files on Sunday.

He commented that “the growing lack of institutional frameworks and transparency have led to this tragic reality”, and stressed that “the problem of the Sudanese economy cannot be resolved with security measures”.

The hard currency rate on the black market in Sudan began to grow in 2010. In September that year, the Central Bank of Sudan announced that the lack of hard currency was becoming acute. The secession of South Sudan in July 2011, with which Sudan lost two-thirds of its oil revenues, an important source of hard currency, exacerbated the crisis.


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