Sudan Flag

Presence Country
Food Security Outlook Update

Vegetation conditions poor despite heavy rainfall in many areas

August 2017

August - September 2017

Sudan August 2017 Food Security Projections for August to September

October 2017 - January 2018

Sudan August 2017 Food Security Projections for October to January

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Food security outcomes for displaced populations would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance.FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Food security outcomes for displaced populations would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance.FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Assistance needs remain most urgent in parts of Jebel Marra and SPLM-N-controlled South Kordofan, which will be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through September. In much of Sudan, harvests starting in October will maintain or improve acute food insecurity to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels between October 2017 and January 2018. New IDPs in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, West Kordofan, and refugees from South Sudan will likely remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as continued displacement limits their access to land for cultivation and to seasonal agricultural labor opportunities.

  • As of late August 2017, main season rainfall has been average or above average over most parts of Sudan. However, dry spells in July have reportedly resulted in below-average vegetation conditions in some parts of the country. Meanwhile, heavy rainfall has also caused flash flooding affecting over 60,000 people. 

  • The flow of South Sudanese refugees into Sudan continued during July and August 2017, including approximately 16,172 new arrivals in July and 4,338 new arrivals during the first two weeks of August. This brings the total number of South Sudanese refugees’ arrival in Sudan since December 2013 to approximately 416,829 refugees. Most new arrivals are fleeing conflict and extreme acute food insecurity in South Sudan. 

Current Situation

Seasonal progress

  • Between early June and late August 2017, total main season rainfall has been average or above average across most parts of Sudan. Despite above-average rainfall in many areas, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates very poor vegetation across wide areas of North Darfur, northern Gadaref, and southern Kassala (Figure 1). Field reports suggest there were prolonged dry spells lasting two to three weeks in July in eastern and northern parts of North Kordofan, North Darfur, West Darfur, and northern parts of Kassala and Gadaref states. These dry spells, as well as reports of a late onset of rainfall in some areas, has reportedly delayed planting and/or caused wilting of newly germinated seedlings. Discussions with key informants in Kassala State, for example, indicate that planting was two to four weeks late, and while planting is less than usual, it is still ongoing. Additional field assessments planned in the coming weeks should help provide additional information about current crop conditions and main season harvest prospects.
  • In addition, above-average and very heavy rainfall since late July 2017 has caused flash flooding affecting more than 60,000 people in nine states. The risk of flash flooding along the main rivers is likely to remain high with forecast average to above-average rainfall in the coming weeks.
  • In recent conflict-affected areas, such as central and western parts of Jebel Marra, IDPs’ ability to cultivate is likely to be reduced to below normal levels due to insecurity, displacement far away from farms, and a lack of seeds and tools. Access to seasonal agricultural labor opportunities by IDPs in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur is also likely to be below normal. 

Markets and prices

  • Retail sorghum and millet prices increased by 10 to 20 percent in most markets between June and July 2017, in line with general seasonal trends. Prices for both commodities remain approximately 30 to 35 percent higher than the recent five-year average.
  • Terms of Trade (ToT) between daily wage labor and sorghum are higher than at the same time in 2016 and 10 to 20 percent higher than the recent four-year average. In Gadaref market, for example, July 2017 ToT between daily wage labor and sorghum is similar to last month, but 20 percent higher than in July 2016 and the four-year average. ToT between livestock and sorghum also either remained stable or further improved due to increasing livestock prices. For example, in El Obied market, ToT between goat and sorghum in July 2017 was approximately 240 kg per head of goat, which is similar to last month, but 37 percent higher than last year due to the 27 percent increase of goat prices and seven percent decline of sorghum prices compared to last year.

South Sudanese refugees

  • The flow of South Sudanese refugees into Sudan continued during July and August 2017, including approximately 16,172 new arrivals in July and 4,338 new arrivals during the first two weeks of August, most of whom crossed into South Darfur State. Most newly arrived refugees during July and August fled ongoing conflict in Raja and Boro areas in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State of South Sudan. In total, approximately 424,182 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan since December 2013. Over 40 percent of those arrivals have occurred during the first half of 2017 due to increased conflict and worsening food security conditions in South Sudan.

Conflict

  • Over the past several months, a rift has emerged within the SPLM-N: one faction in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan lead by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the second in Blue Nile state led by Malik Agar. Fighting between the two factions has been reported in Blue Nile State and in Sudanese refugees’ camps in South Sudan since last month. This division could delay peace talks between the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N and could trigger wider conflict between these two factions that could cause additional displacement in SPLM-N controlled areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan and from refugee camps in South Sudan to government-controlled areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Meanwhile, the recent decision of the Sudanese government to collect illegal weapons from civilians and tribal militias in the Darfur and Kordofan states could result in some improvements in security in these areas. 

Updated Assumptions

Assumptions made in the Sudan Food Security Outlook for June 2017 to January 2018 remain unchanged. 

Projected Outlook through January 2018

  • August is the peak of the lean season in Sudan when access to food is reduced due to exhaustions of food stocks, seasonal increases in staple food prices, and limited access to markets during the rainy season. The number of food insecure people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity is slightly higher than usual due to influxes of refugees from South Sudan and poor 2016 harvests in South Kordofan and parts of North Darfur. In addition, SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan and Jebel Marra will not be able to meet their minimum food and non-food needs due to displacement, lack of access to livelihood activities, and lack of access to humanitarian assistance. These areas will be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), with households facing wider food consumption gaps through September 2017 and associated high levels of acute malnutrition. Parts of Red Sea and Kassala will also likely be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September.
  • New harvests starting in October will improve household access to own-produced food, improve staple food supply on markets, lead to seasonal declines in staple food prices, and lead to additional agricultural labor income. In addition, household food access will improve due to increasing access to milk from livestock and improved access to wild foods. As a result, many areas will return to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity. Nevertheless, some households, particularly new IDPs in conflict-affected Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, West Kordofan, and refugees from South Sudan will likely remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as continued displacement limits their access to land for cultivation and to seasonal agricultural labor. 

About this Update

This monthly report covers current conditions as well as changes to the projected outlook for food insecurity in this country. It updates FEWS NET’s quarterly Food Security Outlook. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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