Khartoum — Sudan’s Central Bureau of Statistics announced yesterday that annual inflation jumped to 330.78 per cent in February from 304.33 per cent in January, an increase of more than 30 per cent.
Food and beverage prices continued to rise, causing inflation to continue to rise from the record high of 300 per cent for the second month in a row.
In addition, the Socialist Doctors Association revealed a significant increase in the prices of imported medicines, ranging between 464 and 691 per cent.
The association said in a statement yesterday that the Council of Pharmacy and Toxicology issued a decision for pharmaceutical companies to release the value of medicine in dollars, which caused and increase from SDG55 to SDG255 for long-term medicines and SDG380 for other medicines.
The statement noted that locally manufactured medicines have increased in price by between 57 to 300 per cent. “Due to Sudan’s medical supply debt of EUR144 million, and policies which encouraged privatisation and control of the medicine market by the drug mafia, Sudan is now suffering from a scarcity of medicine,” it said.
The announcement comes after the government unified the exchange rate, which led to an increase in the US dollar rate to SDG375, an increase of about 600 per cent. The Sudanese markets are witnessing a continuous increase in the prices of all essential commodities, along with scarcity of particular goods such as bread, fuel, and medicine.
In February, economic expert Sidgi Kaballo said he expected the US Dollar exchange rate to rise to SDG600 by May “unless the government takes urgent measures”. Following the change in policy, Finance Minister Jibril Ibrahim said that unifying the currency (setting the official exchange rate at the parallel market exchange rate) will bring Sudan stability, stimulate remittances from Sudanese living abroad, and attract foreign investments.
FEWS NET, the Famine Early Warning System Network of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), expects more food insecurity and shortages the coming months in most parts of Sudan.