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Minister: ‘Financial support inadequate for Sudan's poor’

October 20 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Displaced people in Darfur rely on food distribution and casual labour to make ends meet (File photo: UNDP)
Displaced people in Darfur rely on food distribution and casual labour to make ends meet (File photo: UNDP)

Sudan’s Minister of Labour and Social Development has described the feasibility of direct financial support to poor and vulnerable people in the country during the transitional period as ‘inadequate’. She also questioned the value of microfinance schemes launched by the former regime.

Speaking in Khartoum on Thursday, Minister Lina El Sheikh explained that the Ministry of Labour and Social Development is taking measures to carry out economic and social surveys to determine the extent of poverty in Sudan, and to ensure that there is “a robust solution that does not rely on direct economic support in this transitional period”.

The Minister pointed out the absence of real statistics that reflect the country’s poverty rate. She acknowledged that reports by international organisations confirm a rise in poverty.

Minister El Sheikh called for a review of the microfinance schemes created by the former regime, ostensibly to encourage entrepreneurship. She asserted that the microfinance system has only served to deteriorate the conditions of poor people, rather than helping them out of poverty.

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