Sudan — The crisis of bread and fuel, particularly diesel, has escalated to the highest levels in the capital, Khartoum and the states amid surge of prices for essential commodities in the markets.
The price of a pint of milk in Khartoum has amounted to SDG 12 (*$0.43), an egg to SDG 90 ($3.20) and a kilo of lamb SDG 220 ($7.80)
Various bakeries in Khartoum are experiencing long queues for bread and fuel stations are seeing long queues of vehicles to get fuel amid farmers' complaints in the states about the failed agricultural season because of scarcity of diesel and the continued rise in the price of the Dollar against the Sudanese Pound.
Former banker and economic analyst Hafiz Ismail described the situation as very serious as the Sudanese Pound value has continued to decrease against other foreign currencies, especially the US Dollar.
He told Radio Dabanga that "The most dangerous thing is that Sudanese inflation is being measured against Zimbabwe and Venezuela, which is expected to reach one million per cent this year, according to IMF estimates yesterday".
He stressed that if Sudan could not stop this deterioration in the currency and the rise of prices of commodities at the end of this year, the dropped value of the Sudanese currency will promp people to search for other means of trade exchange.
On the possible solutions to get out of this crisis, Ismail said that the first steps to stop the current deterioration of the Sudanese economy is the urgent and comprehensive treatment of the political crises in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile and reaching real political settlement and reconciliation with all other political groups so that the country can put itself at the threshold of the first path of reform.
He stressed that another important step is the need for the government to move as soon as possible to negotiate the removal of Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.
He said in the event the name of Sudan is lifted from the list of terrorism, it would open the door to the country in debt forgiveness and borrowing from the IMF and major international institutions.
He also called for the need to reform the state institutions, especially institutions that manage the economic issue in the country
The bread crisis in New Halfa and other states in eastern Sudan has remarkably increased.
Residents attributed in an interview with Radio Dabanga the bread crisis, which has exacerbated since last Friday, to the lack of flour.
They said most of the bakeries have been closed because of not being provided with flour, pointing to the overcrowding in front of the bakeries.
In Khartoum, the editor of El Jareeda newspaper, journalist Ashraf Abdelaziz, told Radio Dabanga that queues for bread, diesel and traffic jams have become a common sight in Khartoum.
He attributed the crisis of bread and transportation to the scarcity of diesel and flour.
* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)