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Eid approaches, food prices rise in Sudan

August 17 - 2018 NYALA / KASSALA
Sheep in the Sudanese uplands (UNFAO)
Sheep in the Sudanese uplands (UNFAO)

Costs for food have gone up in several Sudanese states, while many government employees in South Darfur state have not received their salary for July. The situation has caused long queues in front of ATMs in Kassala.

Lawyer Adam Sharif in South Darfur described the economic situation in Nyala as bad. “People are severely suffering in order to live in the lowest level possible.” The price for a sack of millet here has risen to SDG3,000 ($107*), a sack of charcoal now costs SDG250 ($8.90) and a kilogram of meat costs SDG250 – at a time minimum wage that is not exceeding SDG600 ($21.30) according to Sharif.

He explained that the majority of people in South Darfur have turned to agriculture this year. “The success of which depends on the quality of rainy season and security for farmers to tend the farms.”

It is worth mentioning that many government employees in South Darfur state have not received their salaries from last July. In addition, they have not received their meal allowances for more than five months.

Kassala sit-ins

In eastern Sudan, workers and employees protested the worsening liquidity shortage among banks. A resident of Kassala reported to Radio Dabanga that people crowded in front of banks and stood in long queues for ATMs.

“The suffering of people has increased because of the flood issues and as Eid El Adha is approaching.”

A woman told Radio Dabanga from Kassala that because of a lack of transportation, she had to walk her way home. “The stagnant water in the main roads and public squares can have dire consequences. With such a deteriorated environment, disease can break out more easily.”

Eid: Higher prices

In addition to food prices, fuel prices are expected to become more expensive too as Eid El Adha approaches and more people and goods need to be transported. Eid El Adha is preferably spent with relatives. Many Sudanese usually travel to their home towns to celebrate the feast together, however the transport crisis and rising ticket prices resulting from the chronic fuel shortage are expected to affect many prospective travellers.

The increased local demand ahead of Eid El Adha traditionally forces a sharp rise in the price of sheep, however the current economic conditions throughout the country which include runaway inflation and short supply of consumer goods due to the nationwide fuel crisis, promise to place even more pressure on beleaguered consumers this year.

* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CboS)

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