Sudan\'s central bank is increasing dollar supplies to local banks to stop a slide of the Sudanese pound after it generated more than $300 million (Dh1.1 billion) from gold sales, a central bank official said yesterday. The African country is undergoing a severe econ-omic crisis after losing three-quarters of its oil production when South Sudan became independent in July under a 2005 peace deal. Oil is the lifeline of both economies. Sudan has avoided an Arab spring like Egypt or Tunisia but the economic crisis has sparked small protests against high food price inflation. The pound hit a historic low on the black market last week after losing more than 70 per cent of its value since July as the loss of oil has cut off the main source of dollars. \"The central bank has sold 6.5 tonnes of gold since January which has generated more than $300 million,\" central bank spokesman Hazem Abdul Qadir told Reuters. \"Therefore we are increasing dollar supplies to banks and foreign exchange offices,\" he said. He gave no figures but said dollar supplies would top the $35 million banks get per week from the central bank.