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Bread scarcity closes school cafeterias, North Kordofan

September 26 - 2017 EL OBEID / AROMA / NEW HALFA / EL GEDAREF
A bakery in Hasahisa, Central Darfur (RD)
A bakery in Hasahisa, Central Darfur (RD)

The scarcity of flour in the capital of North Kordofan and other towns has worsened. School cafeterias were forced to close as they were unable to offer bread to the pupils and students.

Starting Monday, school pupils and students have to eat breakfast in their homes and in the markets, as a result of the bread shortage that forced school cafeterias to stop their provision of breakfasts in El Obeid.

A number of residents in the state capital, in Um Rawaba and in El Rahad told Radio Dabanga that the flour crisis, which began before the holiday season of Eid El Adha, “has intensified since Saturday”.

Bakery owners have attributed the bread crisis to the reduction of flour quotas distributed from the flour factories to the bakeries.

In eastern Sudan, the price of a piece of bread in Aroma, Kassala, has risen to 70 pence from 50 pence. Meanwhile bakeries receive one bag of flour instead of two per day.

A similar situation has unfolded in New Halfa, also in Kassala, where residents said that half of all bakeries were forced to shut their doors. In El Gedaref, the price of a piece of bread rose to 80 pence while less bakeries are still in production. Bread is being sold in the black market at high prices.

Particularly eastern Sudan has witnessed a shortage of flour since the start of this year. In the Sudanese capital almost a quarter of all bakeries reportedly closed their doors because of the issue, said the head of the state's statistical office. The director-general of the Ministry of Finance, Adel Abdelaziz El Faki, contradicted this and announced last week that no bakeries in the state have stopped working.

Economic experts said the government is responsible for the current bread crisis that hit the capital and other states. They claimed that the flour crisis is attributable to the shortage of foreign exchange currencies, and there were no clear import policies for flour and wheat under the former Minister of Finance.

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