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Above-average rainfall favorable for harvests in October

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Sudan
  • August 2016
Above-average rainfall favorable for harvests in October

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through January 2017
  • Key Messages
    • Conflict-affected areas of Jebel Marra and SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, as well as parts of North Darfur, North Kordofan, and Kassala that were affected by the El Niño-related drought in 2015, remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and worse, including more than 100,000 people in SPLM-N controlled areas and Jabel Marra in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). 

    • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely to continue through the peak of the lean season in September, before harvests, improvements in livestock productivity, and seasonal declines in staple food prices improve acute food insecurity to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between October 2016 and January 2017.

    • Seasonal rainfall since early June has been above average across most of the country. Forecasts for continued above-average rainfall indicate favorable cropping prospects are likely to continue. However, flooding affected more than 136,000 people through damage to houses, crops, and productive assets.

    • South Sudanese refugee arrivals into Sudan have continued in August 2016. According to OCHA, 92,200 people from South Sudan have registered as refugees in Sudan since January 2016, of whom about 18,000 arrivals were registered during July/August. 


    Current Situation

    Seasonal rainfall has been well above average across Sudan since the beginning of the current main (June to September) rainy season (Figure 1). Frequent, above-average rainfall since the end of June has led to flooding over many parts of Sudan, including Kassala, Sennar, Gazeira, South Kordofan, and North Darfur States. According to the government Flood Task Force, flooding since June has affected over 136,000 people (approximately 27,000 households), completely destroyed more than 9,200 houses, partially destroyed another 10,500 houses, and resulted in 52 fatalities. The areas where localized rainfall deficits have been greatest are southern Kassala and northern Gadaref, but small deficits are also present in southern South and West Kordofan.

    Despite heavy rainfall that has led to some crop losses in irrigated areas, overall cropping prospects are favorable in the main rain-fed crop producing areas of Gadaref, Blue Nile, White Nile, and South Kordofan States, and in the traditional rain-fed sector of greater Darfur, and North and West Kordofan states. Some agricultural households affected by flooding, particularly in riverine areas, are likely to engage in off-season, flood recession cropping. 

    Prices of key staple foods (sorghum and millet) either remained stable or slightly decreased across most markets in Sudan between June and July, reflecting slight increases in market supplies following the promising start of the 2016/17 agricultural season. However, current price levels are on average higher by 33 and 28 percent respectively, compared to the same period last year, and 55 and 56 percent above the recent five-year average for sorghum and millet. Prices for locally produced wheat continued to decrease slightly in most markets due to the availability of relatively adequate market supplies from the April 2016 harvest. Terms-of-trade (ToT) between cereal and livestock have improved slightly in favor of livestock in most markets of Sudan during July due to significant increases in livestock prices. Sheep prices reported monthly increases of 10, 15 and 36 percent in Kassala, El Obied, and Sennar, respectively.

    South Sudanese refugee arrivals into Sudan continued in August 2016 as result of insecurity and severe food insecurity in South Sudan. According to OCHA, 92,200 registered South Sudanese refugees have arrived at various locations in Sudan to date in 2016, about a 25 percent increase since June. Most (approximately 55,500) new refugees are in East Darfur, but fewer numbers are also in White Nile, South Kordofan, South Darfur, and Khartoum. Some 5,300 unverified South Sudanese refugees are reportedly in Al lait, North Darfur (OCHA Humanitarain Bulletin – Issue 33).


    Updated Assumptions

    Assumptions made in the Sudan Food Security Outlook for June 2016 to February 2017 remain unchanged.


    Projected Outlook through January 2017

    Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity is expected to continue through at least September 2016 for IDPs and poor households in conflict-affected areas of Jebel Marra and SPLM-N-controlled South Kordofan and Blue Nile. This is mainly due to limited access to livelihood activities, restricted population movements imposed by conflicting parties, and high staple food prices. The food security situation is likely to improve with harvests and increased availability of wild foods starting in October 2016,  although Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to continue through at least January 2017. Poor households in North Kordofan, North Darfur, and Kassala who were worst affected by the El Niño-induced drought in 2015 are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September 2016. Food security in these areas is likely to improve from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from  October 2016 through January 2017, due to better availability of agricultural labor opportunities and expected improvement in availability and prices of cereals with the start of the next harvest. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. CHIRPS-estimated rainfall anomaly, percent-of-average, June 1-August 20, 2016

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. CHIRPS-estimated rainfall anomaly, percent-of-average, June 1-August 20, 2016

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    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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