Following up on yesterday’s piece about the interlocking problems Sudan faces (rebellions in border areas and Darfur, to name two), here is an excerpt of a story from News24 on the country’s economic difficulties:
Sudan will temporarily waive taxes and custom duties on a range of basic food items to fight spiralling inflation, a government official said on Tuesday, after price rises triggered a rare call to boycott meat.
The African country has been hit by an economic crisis with annual inflation topping 21% in August and high unemployment, compounded by a long-running US trade embargo. The Sudanese pound plunged to a new low last week as importers struggled to get dollars.
Policymakers in Khartoum were worried about the economic impact of Southern Sudanese secession long before Southern independence came on July 9. The loss of some oil revenues from the South added to the North’s problems of inflation and had a major negative impact on the government’s budget. Right after independence, the regime in Khartoum announced austerity measures and admitted it needed a three-year “emergency plan” in order to recover from the loss of the South. In other words, the economy is in bad shape and it is not expected to improve any time soon.