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Food security continues to deteriorate in South Kordofan and Jebel Marra

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Sudan
  • April 2017
Food security continues to deteriorate in South Kordofan and Jebel Marra

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through September 2017
  • Key Messages
    • By March/April 2017, food insecurity among IDPs and poor residents in SPLM-N areas of South Kordofan and new IDPs in parts of Jabal Mara in Darfur has already deteriorated to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and is likely to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) by May/June through September 2017 due to displacement, restrictions on movement and trade flows, and limited access to normal livelihoods activities. 

    • Influxes of South Sudanese refugees into Sudan continued in March and April due to persistent conflict and severe acute food insecurity in South Sudan. As March 31, more than 85,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived into Sudan since the beginning of 2017, raising total number arrived to nearly 380,000 South Sudanese refugees since the start of the conflict in December 2013. 

    • Following above-average 2016/17 harvests, staple food prices either remained stable or started increases between February and March, particularly in some arid areas of Darfur and Red Sea states, and South Kordofan, which was affected by dryness in 2016. Prices remained on average over 45 percent above their respective recent five-year average. Terms of trade (ToT) between livestock and staple foods prices have started to be in favor of cereal traders and producers since January 2017.


    Current Situation

    Staple food prices either remained stable or started earlier than anticipated increases, particularly in the main arid and conflicted affected areas of Darfur, Red Sea and South Kordofan states between February and March. Sorghum prices remained stable in most production markets (Al Qadarif, Ad Damazin, and Kosti) or slightly increased (by five to 16 percent) in most markets in Sudan. In the main collection and consumption markets of El Obied, Sennar, Nyala, Zalengi, El Fasher and Kadugli, prices reported five to 16 percent monthly increases due to high market demand for local consumption which coincided with relatively low supplies resulting from locally below-average production. In the main production markets such as Al Qadarif, Ad Damazin and Kosti, the above-average market supplies from the above-average harvest has influenced prices to remain stable between March and April. Millet prices started to increase earlier than usual in the main millet production and consumption centers, by between five and 20 percent in Nyala, El Obeid, El Fasher and Geneina. Locally produced wheat prices showed a marginal tendency to decrease seasonably as the new harvest just started to be supplied to markets during March. Current level of staple food prices remained on average over 45 percent above the recent five-year average due to the continued high inflation, local currency depreciation and the extremely high production cost of this year.

    Livestock prices either remained stable or tended to increase in most markets due to the increased export demand for sheep and cattle since beginning of 2017 and improved animal body condition resulted from availability of good pasture and crop residues this year. Nyala, Kassala and Sennar markets recorded the highest price increases (five to nine percent) between February and March. El Obied, the main sheep export market recorded 53 percent increases compared to its respective five-year average. However, terms of trade (ToT) between livestock and staple foods prices has started to be in favor of cereals traders and producers since January, and goat-to-sorghum term of trade declined by 18 to 23 percent in most markets due to the continued high levels of staple food prices, while it declined 9 perccent in Kadugli market. Terms of trade between wage labor and sorghum has started to decline since the end of the harvest season coinciding with increasing sorghum prices. in Al Gadaref market, ToT between daily wage labor and sorghum decreased by 30 percent between January and March 2017, but remained 80 percent higher than of March 2016, and 48 percent higher than the recent two-year average.

    Refugees from South Sudan continued to arrive into neighboring states of Sudan in March and April, due to persistent conflict and severe acute food insecurity. Approximately 47,800 refugees arrived in March 2017, bringing the total number of arrivals since the beginning of 2017 to nearly 85,000, according to UNHCR. The highest number of new arrivals during 2017 was reported in East Darfur state, which hosts around 40 percent of the new arrivals in 2017. The number of new arrivals is expected to remain high prior to the onset of the rains in June. UNHCR anticipates up to 180,000 new arrivals from South Sudan may arrive by the end of 2017.

    The unilateral six-month ceasefire declared in January 2017 between the Government of Sudan from one side and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N), Sudan Liberation Army – Mini Minawi (SLA-MM) and the Justice and Equity Movement (JEM) jointly from the other side, has significantly reduced direct fighting and resulted in relative improvements in the security situation in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur states during the dry season through March, when direct confrontations between fighting groups normally intensifies. Nevertheless, violent tribal clashes broke out during March in North Kordofan and East Darfur states, resulting in limited new displacement in North Darfur state. Relative improvements in security has encouraged the voluntary return of Sudanese refugees from South Sudan and IDPs from SPLM-N areas to some GoS areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. However, access by humanitarian assistance to IDPs and conflict-affected people in SPLM-N-controlled areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile remains restricted. 


    Updated Assumptions

    Assumptions made in the Sudan Food Security Outlook for February 2017 to September 2017 remain unchanged, except for the following:

    • New arrivals of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan’s Border States during the first quarter of 2017, surpassed expectations, and approaching number of 100,000 new arrivals anticipated through end of year 2017. FEWS NET assumes that, new arrivals rate is likely to continue increasing prior to the onset of rainy season in June, which is likely to result in increased number of food insecure people. 

    Projected Outlook through September 2017

    Given the increased influx of South Sudanese refugees and Sudanese returnees from South Sudan to neighboring states of Sudan, the continued restricted access to SPLM-N controlled areas and the high needs of new IDPs in Darfur, more households in the conflict-affected areas will be unable to meet their basic food needs between April and September 2017. Assistance needs will likely be above-average in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan and areas hosting IDPs and conflict-affected households in Jabal Marra in Darfur, where food insecurity among IDPs and poor residents has already deteriorated to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during March/April, and is likely to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) by May/June through September 2017 due to displacement, and restrictions on movement, trade, and free access to livelihood activities. IDPs and poor households in SPLM-N controlled areas of Blue Nile states, and poor residents households in the arid in Kassala and Red Sea states and some conflict-affected affected areas in North Darfur, continued to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes during March/April, while the situation is likely to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) by May/June through September 2017 due to the continued earlier than anticipated increases of the already high staple food prices.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Goats to sorghum terms-of-trade, El Fasher market, April 2014 to March 2017.

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Goats to sorghum terms-of-trade, El Fasher market, April 2014 to March 2017.

    Source: FEWS NET/FAMIS

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography over the next six months. Learn more here.

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