Despite the introduction of a raft of stringent austerity measures last June, the outlook for Sudan’s ailing economy remains bleak. Sudan was hard hit by the South’s breakaway in July last year, losing around three-quarters of its oil revenues, which prior to the secession made up the lion’s share of the country’s revenues, and represented the government’s main source of US dollars needed for imports.

In June, Sudan’s President ‘Umar al-Bashir announced a series of new austerity measures, aimed at bridging a widening budget deficit, which at the time was estimated to have hit around $2.4bn. The austerity package included the raising of taxes on consumer goods and imports, the reduction of fuel subsidies and a scaling back in the number of civil servants (MEES, 2 July). (CONTINUED - 833 WORDS)