‘Liquidity Shortage’ Crisis in Sudan

‘Liquidity Shortage’ Crisis in Sudan

Sunday, 14 October, 2018 - 10:00
One of the money exchange shops in Khartoum (AFP)
Khartoum – Ahmed Younes
Liquidity shortage and the inability of Sudanese banks to pay their customers have forced the e-media star Othman al-Jundi to park his car for 10 days and drain the time needed in public transportation, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He was forced to use public transport means to go to hospitals search for a doctor and medicines for his sick son, paying more than expected and more than his budget.

"My day was wasted between the hospital, work, bank's queues, difficult transportation and while searching for money to buy medicine for my sick son,” he added.

The moment the Central Bank of Sudan announced the provision of liquidity, thousands of citizens rushed to ATMs to withdraw money, which was scarce.

The ATMs allowed the withdrawal of maximum “two thousand pounds,” or about 40 dollars a day, regardless of the person’s balance in the bank.

“Before heading to the ATM, I checked the address book to remember my card’s password, which I had forgotten for barely using it.”

“Then, I went to find some dozens of people waiting to withdraw money before sunrise," he said.

“Although we weren’t able to withdraw more than 2,000 pounds, we were overwhelmed as this amount of money is better than nothing.”

Notably, the liquidity shortage crisis and the scarcity of the pound, which have been faced by Sudan and caused by the banks' inability to meet customers' obligations - is similar to the crisis that resulted from Mahdist revolutionaries’ siege of Khartoum that led to a shortage in currencies.

However, the besieging UK Governor General Charles Gordon issued banknotes that could be paid after being signed by him, and he considered that a resolution to the crisis while the Central Bank of Sudan wasn’t able to do anything for about six months.

During the crisis, Sudanese banks were almost completely paralyzed and failed to meet the requests of their customers.

People waited in long queues and were only given as little as 20 dollars.

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