Home | News    Tuesday 7 February 2012

Qatar loans Sudan $2 billion amid slipping currency


February 6, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The government of Qatar is set to loan Sudan USD $2 billion as the country enters a phase of deep economic crisis that was compounded by the secession of the oil rich South less than a year ago.

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A Sudanese man shows off the new currency in front of Central Bank of Sudan, in the capital Khartoum on August 27, 2011 (AFP)

According to local media in Khartoum, the Emir of Qatar Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani will arrive in the country on Wednesday to witness the inauguration of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA).

Qatar was the venue of talks between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels that ended up with a peace accord.

Al-Thani will seal the loan agreement with Bashir during his visit, Sudanese newspapers reported.

Last Friday, the Sudanese president said that his government is expecting help from friendly nations at a time when the Sudanese pound reached record lows against other major currencies.

As the government lost access to 75% of oil reserves in the south, the influx of hard currency has been severely curtailed forcing the Central Bank to be extra prudent with its available foreign exchange reserves.

For more than a year Khartoum has imposed a wide range of restrictions on individuals and corporations in relation to purchasing and transferring hard currency. Many imports were placed on a black list to cut outflow of forex.

Black market traders told Reuters that the Sudanese pound on Monday hit its lowest point against the dollar since the currency was launched in 2007.

A dollar bought 5.2 Sudanese pounds on Monday, compared to 3.3 in July, dealers said. The official rate is around 3.

Demand for the dollar, and controls on the official exchange rate, have turned the black market rate into a benchmark. Even large companies have started trading money there, meeting dealers in derelict shops to dodge security.

The Sudanese authorities had threatened tough penalties on black market traders but this done little to prevent it from flourishing.

Sudanese citizens, tired after years of wars, inflation and U.S. sanctions, said they are trying to shift savings into dollars, expecting the pound will lose further ground.

"I am transferring my salary and any savings I have into dollars to preserve the value," said a Sudanese man working in a telecom company who gave his name as Ahmed.

"I even try shifting small amounts. If I don’t do this I lose and lose money," he said.

In Khartoum’s Afraa shopping mall, four officially sanctioned exchange bureaux, which are forced by the central bank to offer the official rate, were deserted. "We have no customers here, you can see this," said the head of a large exchange bureau, pointing to his empty shop.

"If I had dollars to change I would go to the black market too," he said, declining like others to be identified. "Exchange bureaux don’t have enough dollars anyway”. Foreigners working in Sudan struggle to transfer salaries home, even if they are entitled to it.

"It’s difficult," said a man from Liberia working for the United Nations, while standing in front of a closed money transfer firm.

"You come to an exchange bureau and they tell you ’We’re not ready’ or they only handle this until 09:30," he said.

At a foreign money transfer firm, a supervisor said staff was under central bank orders to allow Sudanese to transfer only $150 abroad a week.

"Foreigners need to go to special branches," he said.


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  • 7 February 2012 12:20, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    The Loan is not inform of Dollar as they put it Qatar are one of the worse country being supporting Sudan since 1983 war between North and South Sudan, Juba should take notice of this.


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    • 7 February 2012 12:31, by Robot

      Arabs are not reluctant in supporting wars, but this will not scare anyone in the South,the reality is that Arabs or Northerners are themselves tired of Bashir and ’one day for the thief, one day for the owner’

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  • 7 February 2012 13:51, by Martin Kat

    The government of Qatar sent this 2 billion USD to Sudan goyt for war effort not for economic crisis, that is a part of plan B excution.

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  • 7 February 2012 14:26, by silk Kottora

    God bless you Qatar. The reward you will receive it in the day after. We thank you in the name of all Sudanese for this brotherly generous support.

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  • 7 February 2012 17:52, by Tambura

    Free money thats where you should go to get money, Qatar pay you ass because American told them to do that, say thanks to Obama if you don t know. Let Omar just jump to TV and tell the world he ll go to war with south Sudan soon tomorrow soudia Arabia will pay you another 3 billions....

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    • 7 February 2012 18:12, by mohammed ali

      Tambur, you are absolutely right, Qatar wont do it witout the approval of the USA. The question remains why is USA doing so? Leave this question for your amatour politicians in Juba to answer it, if they could!

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      • 7 February 2012 23:16, by Tambura

        Qatar or gulf countries never care about Sudan so they can just jump over American sanction and pay Bashir 2b without their approval.American is doing that because south Sudan is going to be just like Israel, second son. Wait you ll not hear Bashir talking about war from tomorrow, and if he go to war now that is end of him even Hague he ll not reach there. Mark my words.....

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  • 7 February 2012 19:34, by Anynya One

    Lets fuel this Arabs a while: Who are Arabs and where did they came from? They are the Middle Easterners who forced the Nubians away from Egypt centuries ago. Now who is Mohamed Al!? wasn’t he the man sent by the Middle East Arabs after taking our country Egypt to farther Arab’s strategy? This is how they think they will take African continent.

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    • 8 February 2012 17:28, by AAMA

      Instead of asking who are Arabs and where did they came from? You should ask yourself if you are the right person to answer this question?. For your info, Nubians are found only in the south of Egypt and the share a similar genetic profile with the Copts of central Egypt and most of northern Sudanese (Arabs and non Arabs, just to help you understand my point).

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    • 8 February 2012 17:31, by AAMA

      And by the way, if you are a true southerner, then you are not Nubian because your genetic profile do not fit neither Nubians nor most of the African populations found throughout the continent. If you are a true southerner then you are unique and you should be proud of who you are stop claiming any foreign territory.

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    • 8 February 2012 17:33, by AAMA

      Also, your ancestors were never Egyptians and Arabs just can’t push a 7000 year old civilization from their lands neither in Egypt nor northern Sudan

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      • 8 February 2012 18:59, by Anynya One

        Fool your selves if your name is AMAA. You can fool some-people with you; is easy. But sorry, I don’t think you can keep on fooling Nubian people all the time; not now. Nubian knew it and often feel the pain and the misery through out ages and ages. Arabs whys of managing Africans is damaging its culture. BTW..I would love to say sorry for being brainwashed. Open the eyes of your heart you’ll see!

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  • 7 February 2012 19:43, by Anynya One

    If Arabs want Africa, Africans will give Arabs whatever they want, exception of Islamic sharia laws, motives to loot minerals, and have the spirit to develop A Africa just as Britons, french, Spaniard went to America and finally pushed to develop America under Civil rights. Africans will push Arabs back to where they came instead. Mark my words

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  • 7 February 2012 20:02, by Anynya One

    No picky no laundering...from Europe, Asia, America to Africa every body know America and Israel will never let South Sudan down. Read this... ROSS is like a new born child and thus no child left behind; I hope it’s convincing; Sudan is one of the countries sponsoring terrorism do you think America and Israel is that goofy to the extend of letting money? Here is the motto "Allies" be protected!

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