Soaring food prices in the North African country of Sudan have turned the joy of a major Muslim holiday into suffering and sorrow.
Recent government efforts to raise wages have failed to put more money into the pockets of families to buy traditional sheep sacrifices for the Eid al-Adha holiday, or the feast of the sacrifice.
Other expenses include new clothes for children and sometimes family members, but price hikes have made it difficult to provide even basic needs.
The country is facing widespread hunger, according to the UN and NGOs.
Shrinking purchasing power
Sheep sellers and merchants of clothes, children’s toys, and other goods that normally fetch high prices before the holiday said demand is low.
Sheep seller Hassan Abdul Azim said purchasing power has sharply declined as prices went up.
“We’ve been raising these sheep for a long time in our villages and brought them to Khartoum in order to sell them but the purchasing power is very low,” he said.
“We face a big dilemma and we may lose a lot because the purchasing power is down, but we have no way to bring down the prices because we have a lot of expenses, including medical care of the livestock, transportation, and other expenses,” he added.
Mahmoud Adam, a livestock trader in the Omdurman Popular market, said another reason…