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Sudan annual inflation rate: 71.3% in February

April 3 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Sorghum (Feterita) - Nominal retail prices in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, February 2020 (FEWS NET)
Sorghum (Feterita) - Nominal retail prices in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, February 2020 (FEWS NET)

Staple food prices continue to increase across Sudan, with February 2020 prices recorded up to double of February 2019 levels, according to the latest Sudan Price Bulletin from FEWS NET. The annual inflation rate increased to 71.3 per cent in February, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Continuing rising food prices are a major concern for 5.8 million food and livelihood insecure people across the country, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest Situation Report.

Nominal retail prices for feterita, a variety of sorghum, in most of the monitored markets in February were about double of February 2019 levels,

The Sudanese Central Bureau of Statistics said in its latest update that the annual inflation rate increased to 71.3 per cent in February 2020.

Bread shortages have significantly worsened in recent days, and the number of people lining up in front of bakeries in Khartoum has increased.

An owner of a bakery group told a local media outlet that the bread crisis is due to shortages of flour, the conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; and the increasing cost of bread production.

Another media report said that 80 per cent of bakeries may embark on a strike on April 4 because of power outages and the shortages of flour and cooking gas, the OCHA SitRep reads.

Sorghum, millet, and wheat are the most important food commodities in Sudan. Sorghum is the staple food for the majority of households in central and eastern Sudan, millet in Darfur and parts of Kordofan. Wheat is the staple food in the northern states.

FEWS NET said in its latest Key Messages Update that ongoing macro-economic difficulties and the decreasing value of the Sudanese Pound continued to result in higher prices of staple foods.

Prices of sorghum and millet increased atypically by 10 to 20 per cent in most markets between February and March 2020, reaching levels of 75-120 per cent higher than the same period last year, and 250-350 per cent above the five-year average.

This year, 9.3 million people in Sudan -nearly one in four- will need assistance, of whom five million are targeted to receive humanitarian assistance. Malnutrition rates are high across the country – some 2.4 million children are acutely malnourished, OCHA reported in December 2019.

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