Sudanese Pound continues to
fall, food prices rising again
January 18 - 2020
Sudanese queuing to buy bread (File photo)
The US Dollar rate reached SDG 95 at the Khartoum parallel market on Friday. Prices of food and other basic consumer goods continue to rise. People are lining up again to buy bread and fuel. The Ministry of Industry and Trade will establish a mechanism to monitor the internal markets. The Dollar exchange rate witnessed an unprecedented rise against the Sudanese Pound on Friday. Forex dealers reported on Friday that the Dollar rate reached SDG 95, while the Euro traded for SDG 104.34, and the Saudi Riyal for SDG 25.6. Traders attributed the increases to a rise in the demand, and continuing shortages of supply.
People in Khartoum and El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that the prices of basic consumer goods are soaring again. In Khartoum, the price of a 50-kg sack of sugar kilo jumped from SDG 2,100 to SDG 2,250 ($50*). A jerrycan with 36 ratul (18 litres) of cooking oil is now sold for SDG 1,900 ($42). People living in El Fasher reported that they are now paying SDG 2,500 for 50 kg of sugar, and SDG 2,600 for 18 litres of cooking oil. A piece of the cheapest soap costs SDG 25 ($ 0.56). The sources also reported renewed shortages of bread and fuel in Khartoum and a number of towns in the states.
The Minister of Industry and Trade, Madani Abbas, instructed the establishment of "a permanent mechanism to monitor the internal markets". The control includes the movement of prices, commercial activities, and the quality of goods and scales in all states of the country, in addition to regular inspection of the markets. In August last year, people expressed their despair to this station about the soaring prices. "My monthly salary is hardly enough anymore to cover the needs of my family for 10 days, given the unprecedented high inflation these days," a teacher in Khartoum lamented. "An eighth-grade teacher earns SDG 1,268 ($ 28)". The Ministry of Education announced in the first week of January that the teachers’ salaries will be doubled this year.
In July 2018, Radio Dabanga reported that thousands of Sudanese school children do not enjoy breakfast anymore, as their parents could not afford it anymore. Two months ago, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock called on the international community to act faster to scale up humanitarian support to Sudan. More than 8.5 million people require aid to survive, and millions of others struggle to make ends meet, he said. Communicable disease outbreaks are proliferating at the same time as the economic situation hampers the government’s capacity to respond. There are acute shortages of basic medicines and health services across the country.
* As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).