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Sudan's inflation rate more than 24 percent in April

May 18 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Women begging in Khartoum (file photo)
Women begging in Khartoum (file photo)

The inflation rate in Sudan climbed to 24.3 percent in April, the Central Statistics Office announced on Sunday.

Inflation was slightly up in March to 23.2 percent, from 23 percent in February. However, it has generally been easing since summer last year, when it was in the mid-forties.

Prices soared in Sudan after South Sudan seceded in July 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country's oil output, the main source of foreign currency used to support the Sudanese pound, and to pay for food and other imports.

Forex reserves

Yet, according to a report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in August 2010, the Forex reserves held by the Sudanese Central Bank showed a sharp decline years before the secession. They went down from $1.58 billion in 2006 to $390 million in 2009, which is estimated to cover a little over two weeks of imports.

The Sudanese authorities have been trying to support the Sudanese pound by deposits from Gulf states, such as a deposit of $1 billion at the Central Bank of Sudan by Qatar in April 2014. Yet, the exchange rate of the pound kept falling.

The main cause for the declining value of the national currency is the “combination of a weakening state economy and a weak productivity in general, together with the increase in government spending, and continued military spending on the armed conflicts in the country”, Sudanese economist Prof Esam Abdel Wahab Bob commented late April 2014.

Malnutrition

Fuel subsidy cuts introduced late September 2013 again strongly pushed up inflation. The skyrocketing of food prices, besides the armed conflicts in western and southern Sudan, have led to an increase of malnutrition cases among the Sudanese population.

The country has one of the highest levels of malnutrition in Africa. 36 percent of the children are stunted, which is a primary manifestation of undernutrition. More than 60 percent of the children in the country suffer from severe anemia.

The Sudanese Ministry of Health has acknowledged the figures, Sudan Vision Daily reported today. The Ministry plans to formulate “new policies and legislations that will allow micronutrients like vitamins and mineral salts to be added to foodstuffs in order to combat malnutrition”.

(Sources: Reuters, Global Security Organisation, Sudan Vision Daily)

Related articles:

Inflation eases in Sudan: statistics office (14 November 2014)

Sudan’s President pledges to improve economy (6 October 2014)

‘IMF figures on Sudan inadequate; economy imploding’: analyst (28 September 2014)

Prof: 'Cost of Darfur war estimated at $50 billion' (24 September 2014)


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