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Inflation surges in Sudan, more than 9.6 million people food insecure

July 17 - 2020 KHARTOUM (UPDATED)
(Gerd Altmann / Pixabay)
(Gerd Altmann / Pixabay)

Sudan’s annual inflation rate surged to 136.36 per cent in June, compared to 114.33 in May, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Tuesday. Almost a quarter of the Sudanese population is severely food insecure.

The inflation rate in urban areas increased to 112.41 per cent in June, compared to 96.93 per cent in May. The rural inflation rose to 1. 155 per cent in June, while it was 127.38 per cent in May 2020.

The Central Bureau of Statistics attributed the rise to the increase in the prices of all components of the Food and Beverages group, especially the prices of bread and grains, meat, fats, oils and legumes, fresh milk and other dairy goods.

The prices in the Transportation and Fuel group and the Housing group increased as well, because of the soaring prices of fuel, cooking gas, charcoal, firewood, and cement.

Food insecure

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its Situation Report on Thursday that almost a quarter of the country's population is now severely food insecure.

More than 9.6 million people are in need of urgent assistance, the latest International Food Security Phase Classification (ICP) report stated.

The figure, the highest ever recorded in the history of the IPC analysis in the country, represents an increase of 65 per cent compared with the same period (June to September) last year.

Almost all 18 Sudanese states registered dramatically increased gaps in food consumption compared with 2019 – IPC

Around 2.2 million people are facing emergency levels of acute food insecurity and around 7.4 million people are classified under crisis acute food insecurity. Another 15.9 million people are estimated to be under stress phase, and any additional shock could push them to severe levels of hunger.

Almost all 18 Sudanese states registered dramatically increased gaps in food consumption compared with 2019. The situation is especially concerning in North Kordofan, with an increase of 335 per cent of the number of severe food-insecure people, and El Gezira, with an increase of more than 200 per cent.

According to IPC, increased and protracted displacement, the ongoing economic crisis and high inflation that result in significant food price hikes, exacerbated by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, are the main causes of the food insecurity in Sudan.

The UN and partners provided relief food assistance to approximately 2.3 million people in the first quarter of 2020. The 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan however received only 40 per cent of the 1.4 billion required.

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