Bread, fuel, and cash shortages have been ongoing for over a week in the eastern city of Port Sudan (Red Sea state) as of Monday, November 26. Gas stations have been running out of fuel, resulting in long queues, a lack of public transportation services, and an increase in prices. Bakeries have also initiated a purchase limit for customers. Furthermore, bank customers are unable to withdraw cash; most banks have stopped operating and those still open have been inundated. Northern state as well as the city of El Gedaref (Al Qadarif state; eastern Sudan) are also facing significant related shortages. Related protests are possible.
The current shortages come as the economy continues to suffer from surging inflation, which reached 66.8 percent in August. Various protests have taken place in Sudanese cities since early January due to price hikes, notably in Khartoum, Khartoum North, and Omdurman. The government has begun to implement a number of broad-based economic reforms in line with recommendations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an attempt to stabilize the economy and foster growth. For example, on October 7, the government ordered the devaluation of the Sudanese pound compared to the US dollar, the third such devaluation since early 2018; the exchange rate is now SDG 47.5 to USD 1, compared to SDG 6.7 to USD 1 in 2017.
Individuals present in Sudan are advised to fill up vehicle tanks whenever gasoline is available, ensure a sufficient level of fuel reserves before embarking on long journeys, and postpone nonessential travel until the situation stabilizes. It is also advisable to be vigilant at gas stations, where confrontations between drivers are possible.
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