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Sudan inflation threatens sales in Khartoum shops

September 9 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Finance Minister Heba Mohamed Ali (SUNA)
Finance Minister Heba Mohamed Ali (SUNA)

The price of the Dollar on the parallel market of Khartoum reached SDG240* yesterday. Many shops in Khartoum have reportedly stopped selling products for fear of making a loss due to the continuous rise in forex rates.

Traders attributed the rise in the Dollar to an increased demand for dollars and scarcity of supply.

At the beginning of March one Dollar cost SDG117 at the parallel market. In mid-June the unofficial exchange rate was SDG154. The Central Bank of Sudan has kept the official exchange rate at SDG55 for more than six months.

The Marketing and Sales Department of the DAL Food company, considered to be the largest food producer in Sudan, announced yesterday evening that it will stop selling and distributing food until further notice.

The federal Ministry of Finance yesterday allocated more than SDG150 billion to the Civil Defence to mitigate the effects of the floods. It also allocated SDG33 billion to the Ministry of Health to tackle health care emergencies.

My Commodity programme

Minister of Finance Heba Mohamed Ali said at a press conference in Khartoum that the ministry has set seven priorities, the first one of which is the livelihood of the people. Through a new ‘My Commodity programme’, launched yesterday, goods are offered for prices 20-30 per cent lower than at the market.

The minister also announced an economic reform programme, to curb inflation to 20-30 per cent within a year.

Minister of Industry and Trade Madani Abbas added that the My Commodity programme targets about 65 per cent of all Sudanese, which is 27 million people, “to alleviate the burden of living and, in the long run, provide consumer goods through cooperatives across the country”.

The Minister of Finance apologised to the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) for the delay in disbursing the August salaries. Some of the regular forces (the army and the Rapid Support Forces militia) received their salaries only on Tuesday. An explanation for the delay was not provided.

The minister complained that her own salary was not enough to buy the goods her family needs during an entire month. Her message was that the inflation impacts everyone.

In May, the Sudanese government announced that a relief programme for the poor will start in December of this year.

* USD 1 = SDG 55.1375 at the time of publishing this article. As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).


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