Sudan’s inflation rate plunges as food prices fall

Soaring inflation along with acute foreign currency shortages have triggered deadly protests since December
A farmer prepares the cereal recently harvested in Panddap, in the south of Aweil, northern Bahr El-Ghazal on October 10, 2015. The local community assures the scarcity of water in this past rainy season made one of the shortest harvest in the past years and she expects the food will not last more than three months. The family will have to rely on the humanitarian assistance until the next harvest. Northern Bahr El-Ghazal is one of the states with the highest rates of malnutrition within the country due to the severe food crisis. According to the latest IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification), published in May 2015, from 2.5 million to 4.6 million people are classified severely food insecure in South Sudan, and it’s expected that the number will increase drastically in the coming months due to the rising market prices and the drought. It’s expected the new analysis of the IPC will be published in the coming days. AFP PHOTO / ALBERT GONZALES FARRAN (Photo by ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN / AFP)

Sudan’s inflation rate, a key factor behind anti-government protests, fell sharply to 43 percent in January from almost 73 percent the previous month, official figures showed Monday.

Soaring inflation along with acute foreign currency shortages have triggered deadly protests since December 19 across the east African country.

“The rate of inflation came down to 43.45 percent in January, compared to 72.98 in December,” Sudan’s Central Statistics Agency said in a statement.

“Inflation fell because the price of food items fell.”

For more than a year, Sudan’s inflation had steadily increased as food prices rose following subsidy cuts announced by the government.

Food prices, especially of bread, tripled in December after the government cut a vital subsidy.

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Sudan’s economic woes have long been the cause of popular frustration before anger spilt out onto the streets from December after bread price rises.

The government’s decision to triple the price of bread prompted widespread rallies against President Omar al-Bashir’s three-decade-old rule, with demonstrators calling for his resignation.

Officials say 30 people have died in protest-related violence, while Human Rights Watch says at least 51 people have been killed.

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