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Bank director announces printing of new SDG 500 notes

March 4 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Royal Jordanian Airlines plane (file photo)
Royal Jordanian Airlines plane (file photo)

Printing 500 Sudanese Pound banknotes is posed as a solution to the ongoing economic crisis, as another international airline pulls flights to country due to ‘poor economic feasibility’.

The Director of the Central Bank of Sudan Dr Mohamed El Zubeir announced on Sunday that the paper would arrive in time for printing 500 Pound notes on Tuesday. These notes are expected to be distributed in the third week of March.

He reported that banks have been receiving money on a daily basis for distribution, with more than three billion Pounds reaching banks over the past few days.

According to the Director, 200 million Pounds are delivered each day for withdrawal from ATMs across the country. He stressed that this is done to provide for the needs of citizens and is a relative breakthrough according to official statistics.

Radio Dabanga has been reporting for months that banks across Sudan have limited cash withdrawals.

Airlines pull-out

In reaction to the economic situation in Sudan, Royal Jordanian Airlines announced that it will halt all flights to Khartoum from Friday, March 1. Royal Jordanian Airlines Director General for Information and Communication, Basil Kilani, attributed the move to the poor economic feasibility of continuing to operate flights to Sudan. 

Late January, Qatar Airways announced that it would cut flights to Sudan and stop selling tickets from Khartoum due to the rapid rise of the hard currency rates on the black market. More recently, Kenya Airways took the same step and Gulf Air cut flights from seven to five per week.

Long-term solutions

Over the past few months, against the background of mass demonstrations against the Sudanese government, the value of the Sudanese Pound has dropped steadily against the US Dollar. Banks across Sudan have limited cash withdrawals due to a severe lack of liquidity. The printing of new currency by the Central Bank of Sudan has been necessitated by hyperinflation, coupled with a chronic shortage of hard cash.

Former Prime Minister Motaz Mousa’s policies were harshly criticised by civil society activist Ismail Mohamed last year: “The recipe for shock treatment might bear fruit in the short term, but the situation in Sudan requires medium- and long-term plans… the people are no longer capable of absorbing any shock, because prices have doubled in the past six months and are continuing to rise,” he told Radio Dabanga.

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