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Sudanese Pound plunges – basic daily needs unaffordable

February 27 - 2022 SUDAN

Unprecedented stress on the Sudanese Pound against major currencies, coupled with unbridled prices for basic goods, is prompting fears of a famine as hunger is already prevalent throughout Sudan. Last week, the US Dollar was trading for SDG550 on the parallel forex market.

People from various regions in Sudan complain that the already dire economic situation has deteriorated after the October 25 military coup. They lament that there is no control of prices anymore – traders speculate at will, and ordinary citizens have difficulty obtaining their daily basic needs.

People in eastern Sudan say that liquidity has become almost non-existent with a stagnation in the markets. Bakheet Abdallah told Radio Dabanga from El Gedaref that consumers can barely get the basic requirements of food and drink. Bakheet said that there is no clear vision indicating that the government has a certain economic policy. Rather, it is issuing new decisions daily, which aggravate the economic deterioration, indicating a state of despair and discontent among the people.

In Kordofan, people complain of large increases in the prices of basic commodities, which aggravate their suffering. Osman Hasan reported from El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, that the budget approved by the Sovereignty Council "depends on citizens’ pockets", whether through direct or indirect taxes, and explained that the economic situation in White is very deteriorating with large increases in goods and services and constantly.

In the same context, people in Sennar in central Sudan said that the increases in fuel and medicine, in addition to basic materials, have exacerbated the suffering of the people of the state. A government employee told Radio Dabanga that markets in various towns in the state are witnessing chaos and price gouging with the lack of control. 

In Darfur, people say that the increase in prices, the lack of rain for this season, and the insecurity cast negative shadows on the economic situation and the livelihood of people in the region. Zakaria Adam from the Media Initiative for Peace told Radio Dabanga from El Fasher in North Darfur that the economic situation has reached a very difficult stage and that the suffering and misery is apparent on the faces of the people.

Adam explained that the economic situation has become very dire before the October 25 coup. He said that price increases range from 50-100 percent per month. He explained that this year’s agricultural season is not good due to the lack of rain, and the transfer of goods to Darfur states are hampered by the insecurity, which negatively affected the livelihood and life of the citizen. He called on the authorities to carry out their monitoring role over prices and to put in place clear policies that help reduce prices.

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