Sudan war causes daily economic loss of $80 million

The Thursday market in El Fula, capital of West Kordofan (Photo: Eisa El Daker / RD)

Sudanese economist Haisam Fathi estimates the daily costs of the violent conflict that erupted between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15, at $80 million. The exchange rate of hard currencies continues to rise. According to the United Nations, the economic activity in Sudan declined by more than one third in the first three weeks of the war.

Economist Haisam Fathi told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the formal economy in the country has come to a “near standstill”, while the rates of hard currencies continue to climb.  

The exchange rate of the US dollar against the Sudanese pound in the parallel market jumped to SDG730 yesterday, while it reached SDG625 at the banks.

Hard currency rates last week recorded a significant increase following a rise in the demand. Fathi attributed the increase to the growing number of Sudanese who plan to leave the country.

He estimated the economic losses of the war at S80 million per day. Three months ago, economic analyst Hafiz Ismail called the loss of properties, jobs, and income resources already “disastrous”. He estimated the cost of the losses to be equivalent to $4 billion, “which will of course increase when the war continues”.

In mid-July, Sudanese economists estimated the economic losses caused by the war so far at $9 billion, or roughly $100 million per day. The value of property and goods plundered was estimated at another $40 billion.

‘Heavy burden’

On August 31, the UN secretary-general said in his latest report on developments in Sudan between May 7-August 20 that economic activity in the first three weeks of the war declined between 33 and 42 per cent.

‘The burden of increasing prices disproportionately affected the poorest Sudanese, many of whom were unable to flee’ – UN secretary-general

“The productive capacities of the Sudan have been heavily compromised,” the report says. “Damage, looting and destruction of critical infrastructure, the financial sector, private property, food manufacturing facilities and markets have brought production and economic activities to a halt. This has led to mass unemployment, with people in desperate need of financial support in the short term and of livelihood opportunities in the medium term.

“The burden has been particularly heavy on women-led households, where livelihoods are typically secured through manufacturing or informal service jobs. Public institutions, including the Khartoum branch of the Central Bank of Sudan, were looted or destroyed.

“Attacks on commercial bank branches and the looting of banks led to substantial financial losses, as well as eroded trust in the banking sector. Reports indicated critical food shortages and surging prices, making it increasingly difficult for residents to afford basic necessities.

“The price of bread and flour has reportedly doubled, while sugar and cooking oil have increased by more than 50 per cent. Imported goods such as wheat flour, medical drugs and cooking oil remained in short supply. The burden of increasing prices disproportionately affected the poorest Sudanese, many of whom were unable to flee,” the UN secretary-general reported.