AFRICA/SUDAN - "The pharmacy of charity": protests over the increase in drug prices

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Kassala (Agenzia Fides) - Sudanese youth groups, especially women, are protesting against the soaring prices of basic commodities in the city of Omdurman, Wad Madani, Port Sudan and Kassala.
In Omdurman, demonstrators marched with banners demanding the cancellation of the recent austerity measures, the liberalization of the US dollar rate and the reinstatement of subsidies for medicines.
According to reports from the local Radio Dabanga station, in eastern Sudan, women have organized sit-ins in Port Sudan and Kassala, denouncing the recent rise in the prices of medicines. So did other women's groups in Khartoum. "We will continue to demonstrate until the authorities of the Country revoke the current state of austerity" said the protesters. Groups of Sudanese activists abroad have opened a bank account headed to the "pharmacy of charity" to provide free medicines to the poor in their Country. The Sudanese government has liberalized the rates of official currency of several consumer goods and services, with the consequent repercussions on the prices of wheat and medicines. Over 400 pharmacies in Khartoum have not opened in protest against the doubling and in some cases even triple, increase of the price of medicines. On 3 November, the Ministry of Finance announced the liberalization of fuel prices in the Country. According to economists, the percentage of Sudanese who now live below the poverty line has reached 65-70 percent. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2016)