Simplicity on Ramadan menu for Sudan

2012-07-23 16:46

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

  • Reef Fishes and Corals
    This colourful guide contains concise information on 234 reef fish and 36 coral species found along... Now R175.00
    buy now

Khartoum - Simplicity is on the menu for Sudanese Muslims breaking the daytime fast during the holy month of Ramadan this year, as months of rising prices have forced them to scrimp in the face of an economic crisis.

Food costs have been the main driver for Sudan's "alarming" inflation levels, the World Bank said before prices rose even higher in June, to 37% year-on-year. Monthly inflation from May to June was almost 10%.

Consumers have been struggling since South Sudan's separation in July 2011 threw the north's economy into turmoil as oil revenues were lost.

But Ramadan has accentuated the challenge.

Amal Omar, a mother of five, said her family will this year do without hilumur, a traditional holy month drink made from sorghum.

"And the meat and sweets will disappear from our Ramadan meals," she said at a market in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman.

The month in which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk began on Friday.

"Iftar meals are very poor compared with past years," said another shopper, Esam Omar, 48.

Traders have said that the price of beef more than doubled over the past year, to about 37 Sudanese pounds ($7.4) a kilogram. A plate of ful, a poor man's fare across the Arab world, has gone up over the same period from two Sudanese pounds to four or five.

On 16 June, at the University of Khartoum, students began protesting high food prices.


After the government announced austerity measures, including tax hikes and an end to cheap fuel, scattered Arab Spring-style protests calling for the end of President Omar al-Bashir's regime spread around the capital and to other parts of Sudan.

Sudan has lost billions of dollars in oil receipts since South Sudan gained independence, taking with it about 75% of Sudanese crude production.

Failure to agree with South Sudan over fees for use of the north's oil export infrastructure cost the Sudanese economy a further $2.4bn, Finance Minister Ali Mahmud al-Rasul has said.

The north has been left struggling for revenue, plagued by inflation and a weakening currency, alongside a severe shortage of dollars to pay for imports.

Sudan, with more than 30 million people, has a poverty rate of 46.5%, the United Nations says.

While the millions of poor have yet to join the youth-driven street protests, people have for months privately voiced frustration with the daily battle for survival.

"We were struggling to feed our children before Ramadan," said Daud Osman, 48.

The situation is "more difficult" during the holy month when families traditionally spend more, he said at a city market where traders complained of a lack of customers.

Osman said his family will eat meat only twice a week this month.

"We are suffering more because our consumption of some things like sugar has gone up" during Ramadan, complained Saleh Mohammed, 58, a civil servant.

"And the price of sugar is rising."

Sumaya Ahmed said her evening iftar meals will have only two simple dishes, ful and asida, a sorghum-based concoction.

"We will even have the accompanying salad without tomato, because tomato prices are very high," she said.

Read more on:    omar al-bashir  |  sudan  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


An uncomfortable election

The latter few weeks of election 2014, have seen South Africans reeling from an assault on their comfort zone when it comes to voting, writes Daniel Silke


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.