For Intisar Altayib, who ekes out a living drawing henna tattoos in Khartoum, soaring prices in Sudan mean running up tabs at local stores and cutting back on evening feasts during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The basic income scheme, known as Thamarat (fruits) or the Sudan Family Support Programme, is an effort to soften the blow, officials say. The government hopes to use the programme to facilitate a permanent social safety net for the poorest million families, said Magdi Amin, senior advisor at Sudan’s Finance Ministry.

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