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WorldAfricaThe conflict deals a new blow to the Sudanese economy

The conflict deals a new blow to the Sudanese economy


In a Reuters analysis, through which the image was transmitted to the ground in light of the ongoing conflict, major factories, banks, shops and markets were looted, vandalized or badly damaged, and electricity supplies and water was interrupted, and residents spoke of a sharp rise in prices and a shortage of basic commodities.

The Sudanese economy was already suffering, even before the outbreak of fighting between the two parties to the conflict on 15 April, from a deep recession due to a crisis dating back to the last years of the reign of former President Omar Al-Bashir and the unrest that followed his overthrow in 2019.

Tens of thousands of people have so far fled the violence in Khartoum and neighboring towns of Bahri and Omdurman, while others are sheltering in their homes as shelling and airstrikes continue to hit residential areas.

The movement of goods and people has slowed, communication networks are no longer reliable and some say they have started to limit food and water rations.

Ismail al-Hassan, an employee of a company in Khartoum, said: “We are afraid and suffer from high prices, lack of goods and lack of wages. It is a war against the citizens.

Sudan is already a major exporter of gum arabic, sesame, groundnuts and livestock, and has the potential to be a major exporter of agricultural crops and livestock and a logistics hub.

But the economy has been hampered by decades of international sanctions and isolation, as well as rampant corruption.

Most Sudanese have been suffering from high inflation, steep currency depreciation and deteriorating living standards for many years, and about a third of Sudan’s total population of 46 million, depends on humanitarian aid.

There are no drivers

The conflict has hampered trade flows to and from the East African country due to the centralization of banking and customs procedures in Khartoum.

While the country’s main port on the Red Sea continues to operate, at least one major shipping company, Maersk, has announced that it has stopped taking bookings there until further notice.

A Khartoum-based trader said it has become more difficult for wheat imports, which are essential to Sudan’s food security, to arrive.

Alaa Ezz, general secretary of the General Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, said Sudan’s imports of durable goods such as refrigerators across the land border with Egypt have also slowed.

Michel Sidhom, supply chain manager at a trading company operating in Egypt and Sudan, said the company’s activities in Sudan have “come to a complete halt” with the cessation of fertilizer export and flour (flour) from Egypt in quantities that usually amounted to about ten thousand tons per month for each.

Egypt, the second biggest importer of Sudanese livestock, said it was looking to diversify its sources following the unrest.

Their master claims that the merchants of his company in Sudan have left Khartoum and that no driver is willing to take the risk of taking their goods to the capital.

A shortage of goods and rising prices

Residents of Khartoum speak of a shortage of certain consumer foodstuffs such as flour and vegetables, in addition to high prices, as long queues lengthen outside bakeries and shops in the capital.

According to a Reuters correspondent, the price of a kilogram of lamb jumped about 30% to 4,500 Sudanese pounds ($7.52) and the price of a kilogram of tomatoes doubled to 1,000 pounds Sudanese ($1.67).

A supermarket owner in Omdurman believes the reason for the inflation is the high price of fuel on the black market, as the price of a gallon of fuel is up to 40,000 Sudanese Pounds ($67) now from two thousand Sudanese Pounds ($3.34) before the crisis.

An Omdurman butcher said demand was low even in places where fighting has stopped because residents have left.

The value of the Sudanese pound has fallen around 600% against the dollar since 2018, prompting many to save their money in dollars.

Traders in Khartoum are facing a cash crunch, and people are increasingly relying on the “Bankak” app, which relies on opening an e-wallet to pay bills, but this service is often interrupted.

The black market saw unusual fluctuations, as expat relatives sought to sell dollars through your bank’s app transfers to their families in Sudan, while residents inside the country sought to obtain dollars as safe savings.

Forex traders offer to sell the dollar at prices up to 700 Sudanese pounds ($1.17), while buying it below 300 Sudanese pounds ($0.5014), with prices varying widely given the increasing difficulty of transport and communications.

And the Central Bank of Sudan said on Sunday that banks outside the capital were carrying out withdrawal and deposit operations, while inside the capital Khartoum, the army and the Rapid Support Forces were were trading accusations of looting banks, and the head of a bank in the capital said he was trying to temporarily move the bank’s headquarters outside Khartoum.

Crowds were seen in the town of Atbara, northeast of Khartoum, standing outside banks, some of which imposed maximum withdrawal limits.

Al-Hassan spoke from Khartoum saying, “The cash flow I had exhausted, and I haven’t received my salary, and the banking apps are not working.”

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