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Kordofan: ‘People eating porridge for lack of bread’

August 15 - 2018 ABU JUBEIHA / EL FULA / EL OBEID / KHARTOUM
A bread queue at a bakery in Khartoum this week (RD)
A bread queue at a bakery in Khartoum this week (RD)

Public anger is rising in the cities of Sudan's South and West Kordofan are experiencing a severe bread crisis amidst a state of anger among the residents.

Yesterday, a resident from Abu Jubeiha told Radio Dabanga that the bread crisis has been going on in the town for two days and that the bakeries run out of bread early in the morning.

A housewife told Radio Dabanga that the residents of El Fula have resorted to eating porridge instead of bread, which has been lacking on the market for three days.

The bread and fuel crisis in El Obeid has exasperated the suffering of the residents.

An employee in El Obeid told Radio Dabanga that the bread and fuel crisis has expanded the queues in front of bakeries and fuel stations. He said the vulnerable sectors are suffering the most, especially with the sharp rise in prices.

Khartoum

In Khartoum, dozens of vehicles have queued up in front of petrol stations, while other petrol stations have shut down because of lack of fuel.

The owner of a private vehicle told Radio Dabanga that the fuel crisis has worsened in Khartoum state during the past two days.

He said that the appearance of queues of vehicles in front of fuel stations is as normal as the other queues of people in front of bakeries to get bread.

He expressed concern that the fuel crisis will escalate as  Eid El Adha  is approaching, which will place even more demands on the passenger and goods transport infrastructure.

‘Crisis near end’

The Minister of Finance, Economy and Consumer Affairs of Khartoum State, Adil Mohamed Osman, said that the bread crisis is nearing its end. “Khartoum will receive its full quota of flour within the next two days,” he announced this week.

“Bakeries will work again with full capacity and thus the current bread crisis would be eliminated.”

The minister stressed that the country’s reserves of wheat are “very reassuring”, and that problems with the supply of electricity to mills “is under control”.

End 2017, the Sudanese government decided on a package of austerity measures in an attempt to address the huge gap in its finances. Its priorities did not change: more than 70 per cent of its spending is still allocated to the defence and security sectors, less than 10 per cent will be spent on health and education.

The customs duties were raised by more than 200 per cent – which immediately affected the prices of most of the goods in early January. The government further decided to liberalise the flour market which lead to the doubling of the bread prices.


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