Wednesday (March 30th): Sudan’s Bread Prices Skyrocket

Name? Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

Westphalian identity? Sudanese

Age? 62

Why is he in the news? Due to the war in Ukraine, Sudanese bread prices have risen approximately 40%, increasing concerns of food insecurity not only in Sudan but around the African continent. However, the price of living in Sudan has not only skyrocketed since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine but also since al-Burhan’s October 25 coup, which ousted former PM Abdalla Hamdok. 

Why do we care? In the 2019 revolution which started the Sudanese transition, one factor that drove Sudanese to the streets was the increase in bread prices. Though now as the transition has been put off by al-Burhan, the rise in the cost of living increases the vulnerability of socio-economic turmoil which will put al-Burhan further at odds with the population. Following this, new civilian protests over bread prices are practically inevitable, like in other regions of the world.    

Why should you care? Although rising bread prices are happening in Sudan, it is a mere example of the food insecurity that vulnerable nations will face due to the Russia-Ukraine war’s impact on the supply chain. Africa heavily relies on Eastern European wheat, 90% of all wheat imported into Eastern Africa comes from Ukraine or Russia. With this being said, food security in vulnerable states will increase human suffering, therefore you should care 10/10 of global wheat prices increasing due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Who else cares? The people of Yemen are bound to care about this as the World Food Programme’s assistance to Yemen was slashed earlier this year. However, now that the expected price of WFP operations is set to increase in Eastern Africa, this will put further pressure on 80% of the Yemeni population dependent on food aid. 

Any further comments? Many African leaders have been rhetorically supportive or dismissive of Putin’s assault on Ukraine. However, as the war may throw the continent into despair alliances are bound to shift.