Biting Economic Woes Continue In South Sudan

The biting economic woes in South Sudan caused by what some economists like Dr. Agnes Samba, a senior economist at the Catholic University termed as a state of ‘hyper-inflation’ in the country, has led to an increase in prices of basic commodities.

By Lioto Samuel Raymond

NIMULE,09 February 2016[Gurtong]- Employees of different organisations are now demanding for a pay rise to counter the economic situation amidst the fixed funding from donors.

Many, like Alfonse James say that he has been forced to bring back his three children who were studying in Kampala-Uganda because he can no longer afford to pay for their school fees in Uganda as the South Sudanese pound has completely lost value against other neighboring countries’ currency.

“My salary is 2,500 South Sudanese pounds, and previously, this money can do all we needed for our welfare as a family, but as I talk right now, even if you pay me 18,000 South Sudanese pounds, it will just do little for me and my family.” He said.

According to Alfonse, despite transferring his children in schools in South Sudan the tuition fees coupled with other school demands has increased drastically.

He said that, in a school where a child used to pay 700 South Sudanese pounds per year, they are now paying 3,800 minus other school needs.

“Let us observe what will be the next move within the second quarter of the year. Do you even see any body building a house all over the country? Even the hardware shops have been converted in to flour stores, because everybody is just living in abject poverty.” She said.

“The rise in transport, rent, water, food and anything you can mention in this country cannot be met by a poor woman like me. Currently, I have cancelled out fees payment, but even food is becoming a problem in our house back in Juba,” said Nyoka Scovia, a mother of four who just arrived to Nimule from Juba, saying that even for those with money, they are equally suffering, because there is simply lack of commodities in the market due to limited supply from neighbouring countries like Uganda.

Civil servants like Nibongo Mikia, said that he has been left wondering what next option to take as he feels stranded with not enough to take care of his big family.

Mikia is urging the government to reverse the decision of the floating exchange rates policy, and also allow NGOs and other organs to pay their staff in hard.

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