Food, Transport Push Sudanese Inflation over 200%
Soaring prices drove Sudan’s annualized inflation rate to 212% in September, according to the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics. It said the main culprits were the cost of bread and vegetables, as well as transportation fares. The North African country is struggling with a huge foreign debt estimated at about $60 billion, with access to foreign aid and international loans long blocked by its continued presence on a list compiled by the United States of countries that support terror. It went on the list under the stewardship of dictator Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown by the military in April 2019 during a lengthy period of civil unrest – over rising prices. It is seeking its removal from the list, with the Trump Administration dangling these prospects partly in return for normalizing ties with Israel. The transitional government now guiding the mostly Muslim nation, which operates under a power-sharing agreement between the military and former opposition figures, is divided on the issue. Another reason for Sudan’s economic woes is the fact that when South Sudan seceded, it took with it the bulk of the country’s oil wealth. Last month, the International Monetary Fund gave Khartoum good grades for a program of economic reforms, raising the prospects for debt relief.