Sudan: Annual inflation tops 200% in Sept as meals costs soar | Sudan Information

The annual inflation rate in Sudan rose to a record 212.29 percent last month due to rising food and transportation prices.

Annual inflation in Sudan has hit a new record as the prices of bread and other staple foods continue to rise, according to official figures.

The country’s Central Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday that the annual inflation rate rose from 166.83 percent in August to 212.29 percent in September. The record high is due to price increases for bread and vegetables as well as rising transport prices.

Inflation in Sudan has risen since the military toppled longtime President Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising in April 2019. The economy has suffered from decades of sanctions and mismanagement from the United States under al-Bashir, who had ruled the country since a military coup in 1989.

The transitional government is struggling to revive the economy in the face of a huge budget deficit and widespread shortage of essential goods such as fuel, bread and medicine.

Sudan has nearly $ 60 billion in external debt, and debt relief and access to foreign credit are widely viewed as a gateway to economic recovery. However, access to foreign credit comes with the lifting of sanctions related to the country’s blacklist by the US as a state sponsor of “terrorism”.

Sudanese and Israeli officials have said that US President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing Khartoum to normalize relations with Israel in order to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The problem has divided Sudan’s fragile transitional government.

If Sudan were to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, it would be another diplomatic victory for Trump in the weeks leading up to the November 3rd US election.

The International Monetary Fund signed the Sudanese government’s economic reform program last month that could eventually enable the country to reduce debt and rebuild its troubled economy. The reform plan provides for the gradual lifting of energy subsidies, which devour 36 percent of the state budget.

The Sudanese national currency, the pound, has fallen dramatically and has been sold on the black market for more than $ 250 to $ 1. The official rate remains at 57 Sudanese pounds to 1 dollar.

The coronavirus pandemic and the recent seasonal flash floods have compounded the calamity. Authorities declared an economic emergency in September, said the country was a natural disaster area and imposed a three-month state of emergency.

Meanwhile, tensions in the east of the country escalated on Wednesday after Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok decided to sack Saleh Ammar, the newly appointed governor of Kassala Province. In neighboring Red Sea Province, authorities imposed 16-hour curfews in the cities of Port Sudan and Suakin after angry protesters blocked key roads, according to the official SUNA news agency.

Ammar warned security forces not to use force against the protesters on Wednesday, one day after his release, less than three months after his appointment in July. He was previously barred from entering Kassala by demonstrators who spoke out against his appointment on tribal grounds.

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