Sudan — People in Sudan are unable to buy gifts or lambs for their children and families for Eid El Adha, the festival of sacrifice that starts this evening. Prices for food and consumer goods have doubled or tripled during the current economic hardship.
In Khartoum, a number of people told Radio Dabanga that the economic conditions are too difficult to buy gifts and clothing for their children. "Let alone buy a lamb, they cost between SDG3,000 and SDG6,500 ($106.60 - $231*)," a resident said.
Traders have complained about the weak purchasing power and the frightening decline in the market because of the liquidity shortage.
In North Kordofan, a listener told Radio Dabanga that the price of children's clothes range between 500 ($17.80) and 1,000 ($35.50) Sudanese Pounds, and a lamb can cost as much as SDG6,000 ($213).
A Sudanese lawyer, Osman Saleh, said that the majority of families do not have these amounts. "They cannot meet the risen prices of daily life."
"Most people have bought sweets and are reluctant to buy a sacrifice lamb." - Journalist Osman Hashim
In El Gezira state, lamb prices are as high as SDG7,000. 200 Pounds is reported to be the lowest price for children's clothes, and 400 Pounds for shoes. A resident from southern El Gezira said that the majority of people abstained from buying sacrifice lambs and children's clothing this year.
"We already suffer from high food and consumer goods prices," he explained.
Speaking from Port Sudan in Red Sea state, journalist Osman Hashim reported that lamb prices range between SDG4,000 to SDG6,000, and the lowest price for children's clothes is SDG600. "The majority of people are reluctant to buy lamb and only bought sweets."
In South Darfur, lamb prices range between SDG1,700 and 3,000. Children's clothes manufactured in Turkey or Indonesia cost 800 more than Chinese clothes, however, prices here are also higher than many families can afford, residents said.
"Most of the people are unable to buy lamb or children's clothes because of the tight liquidity and poverty," a listener from Nyala told this station.
Yesterday, Radio Dabanga reported that banks operating in Khartoum and its suburbs have seen early morning crowds to get a little of their savings to cover their Eid needs to no avail.
End 2017, the Sudanese government decided on a package of austerity measures in an attempt to address the huge gap in its finances. Its priorities did not change: more than 70 per cent of its spending is still allocated to the defence and security sectors, less than 10 per cent will be spent on health and education.
The customs duties were raised by more than 200 per cent - which immediately affected the prices of most of the goods in early January. The government further decided to liberalise the flour market which lead to the doubling of the bread prices.
* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CboS)