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Second consecutive below-average main harvest is likely

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Sudan
  • June 2014
Second consecutive below-average main harvest is likely

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected outlook through September 2014
  • Key Messages
    • National and regional forecasts suggest the increased likelihood of El Niño, usually associated with average to below-average June to September rains in Sudan. Poor rainfall performance and a second consecutive bad main harvest will likely result in worsening food insecurity through December, when conditions typically improve with harvests. In this case, the number and severity of the food insecure population in Sudan could increase considerably in 2015.
    • Prices of staple foods in May remain at record-high levels in most markets monitored by FEWS NET in Sudan. Current sorghum prices are on average 73 percent higher than last year and 135 percent above the five-year average. Cereal prices are likely to increase by an additional 10 to 15 percent through September. Rising staple food prices will continue to reduce the ability of poor households to access the minimum food required for survival.
    • As of June, 5 to 5.3 million people in Sudan are food insecure. Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food insecurity is likely to persist among internally displaced persons (IDPs) and poor host communities in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan. At least 25 percent of IDPs in SPLM-N controlled areas of Blue Nile State and pockets of populations without food assistance in Darfur are likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September.

    Current Situation
    • Early rains were recorded in the southern parts of South and West Kordofan, and South and Central Darfur states. Most farmers are currently preparing land for cultivation. Some planting has begun and will continue through July. The national and regional June to September forecast for Sudan projects average to below-average rainfall in the southern part of the country as shown in Figure 1 (areas 3 and 4). An El Niño is expected to develop during the latter half of the rainy season, which is associated with below-average rainfall in Sudan, when crops are at critical vegetative and flowering stages. As of the second dekad of June, cumulative rainfall was below-average in most parts of eastern and western Sudan and yet to begin in northern parts of the country.
    • A recent rapid assessment conducted by FEWS NET in South and North Darfur states revealed considerable seed shortages in cultivating households. Deficits  are due to below-average harvests last season, seed losses as a result of forced displacement, sharp increases of cereal and cash crop prices and reduced seed distributions from humanitarian agencies and the government.
    • Adult desert locusts were detected in May 2014 in winter breeding areas along the River Nile and in Red Sea State. Despite ongoing control measures, reports warn that adult locusts may start moving from these areas, and from Saudi Arabia and eastern Ethiopia, into summer breeding areas in Sudan during the agricultureal season, posing a high risk of crop damage.
    • Staple food prices continued seasonal upward trends associated with the lean season in most markets of Sudan and remain significantly higher than average. Between April and May, sorghum prices increased between 5 and 20 percent in most markets. The highest increase was observed in Geneina Market in West Darfur State due to the shift from in-kind food distribution to food vouchers by humanitarian organizations over the past three months in some camps in Geneina Town, in addition to other persistent contributing factors like constrained market supply, elevated transaction costs, and restrictions on grain supplies from Chad. Current sorghum prices across the country are on average, 73 percent higher than last year and 135 percent above the five-year average. Sustained cereal price increases continue to reduce the ability of poor households to obtain minimum food requirements for survival during the lean season, when households are the most market dependent.
    • Intensified fighting in May between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM-N) in Buram, Um Dorein and Kadugli localities in South Kordofan State forced thousands of civilians to flee and hide in mountains and seasonal valleys. According to informal sources, in May, about 5,400 people were displaced from Daldako area, east of Kadugli town. Additional displacement was reported in Buram locality and in Miri, west of Kadugli. Ongoing fighting is likely to force more people to flee their homes and seek refuge in the Nuba Mountains and in government-controlled areas. Newly displaced populations are likely to miss cultivation this year due to insecurity and a lack of access to land and agricultural inputs. For IDPs in SPLM-N-controlled areas, kinship support, wild foods and market purchase are the main food sources. In government-controlled areas food aid and market purchase are the main food sources. 

    Updated Assumptions

    Assumptions made in the Sudan Food Security Outlook for June to September 2014 remain unchanged. 


    Projected outlook through September 2014

    Typically, food security in Sudan tends to deteriorate between June and the end of lean season in September. The below-average 2013/14 harvest, excessively high prices, and prevailing insecurity conditions in some parts of the country (South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur) has exacerbated food insecurity during the lean season this year. FEWS NET estimated between 5 and 5.3 million people are likely to face varied levels of acute food insecurity through September. Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food insecurity is likely to persist at least among 40 percent of IDPs and poor host communities  in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan. At least 25 percent of IDPs in SPLM-N controlled areas of Blue Nile State are likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In GoS-controlled areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where even the most vulnerable households have relatively better access to livelihood opportunities, markets, and humanitarian assistance compared to those in SPLM-N-controlled areas, most households are likely to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity through September 2014. Over 30 percent of poor households in areas affected by last year’s drought are likely to have reduced access to food—below the minimum threshold for survival—due to the continued rise in food prices and above-average dependency on market purchase for food during the peak lean season, from June to September. In Darfur, even with continued humanitarian food assistance to IDPs through September and seasonal support to vulnerable resident communities from June to August, Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) food insecurity is likely to persist at least among 30 percent of long-term IDPs and resident communities as households are still experiencing the impact of last year’s drought and the steady-above average increase of food prices. Pockets of populations who do not receive food assistance in Darfur are likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity. Food security conditions are likely to worsen if the rains are poor. Poor rains will reduce access to seasonal agricultural labor, reduce income from sale of cash crops and reduce access to green harvest in September.  

    Figures Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar of typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Rainfall forecast for June-September 2014

    Source: Sudan Meteorological Authority

    Figure 3

    Source:

    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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