19 September 2017

Sudan: Flour Shortage Shuts Many Khartoum Bakeries

Khartoum / Merowe — In Khartoum almost a quarter of all bakeries are reported to have stopped work because of the lack of flour. Residents in Merowe locality in Sudan's Northern State have had to endure an interruption in the water supply since the start of this month.

In Khartoum, Abdelgader Mohamed Ahmed, the head of the statistical office announced that 666 out of the 2,800 bakeries in the country have stopped due to lack of flour; 23 per cent of all bakeries in the capital city.

This was contradicted when the director-general of the Ministry of Finance, Adel Abdelaziz El Faki, announced this week that no bakeries in the state have stopped working because of a lack of flour.

Last week, a resident in Khartoum told Radio Dabanga of overcrowding in front of bakeries in a number of districts of the capital city. "People have described the current crisis as a prelude to increase the price of bread." Sudanese economic expert Dr Siddig Kabello also predicted the government might resort to changing the general bread price or portions.

Expensive medicines

The National Fund for Medical Supplies acknowledged a scarcity of a number of medicines and rise in the prices at health facilities and private pharmacies.

The price has risen by more than 130 per cent since the Sudanese government announced an increase in the price for medicines, according to a pharmacist who spoke to Radio Dabanga yesterday. "The government is unable to provide hard currency for the import of medicines. This has led to a large number of people not being able to buy their medicines before the price increase," the pharmacist said.

The price of insulin, for example, rose from SDG85 to SDG100 ($12.65-$14.90). Asthma spray has risen by more than 20 per cent. In addition, intravenous solutions and respirators have been scarce.

Water shortage

People in Karima in northern Merowe informed Radio Dabanga that a price of a barrel of water amounted to SDG25 ($3.70) because of the shortage of water. A resident said that the water network of the city has been disrupted for 19 days.

"We have informed the localityby there has been no reaction. People have to fetch water from the Nile, which is a long way away."

Earlier this month farmers complained about the problems with irrigation, which they attributed to a lack of adequate supervision.

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