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Land preparation is underway despite below-average rainfall in parts of eastern and western Sudan

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Sudan
  • June 2015
Land preparation is underway despite below-average rainfall in parts of eastern and western Sudan

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected outlook through September 2015
  • Key Messages
    • June rainfall was 10 to 25 percent below average in the extreme west and across the sorghum belt in central and eastern Sudan. 

    • Staple food prices remained stable in May reflecting adequate supplies from above-average 2014/15 production. On average, sorghum and millet price levels are 20 percent lower than last year, but remain 50 percent above the five-year average.     

    • Nearly 30,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in White Nile and West Kordofan states since late May due to intensified conflict in the Greater Upper Nile region of South Sudan, according to the UNCHR. The South Sudanese refugee population reached 180,500 in June. 


    Current Situation

    Rainfall in early to mid-June was 10 to 25 percent below average in the west and across the sorghum belt in central and eastern Sudan (Figure 1), decreasing pasture and water availability for livestock. Land preparation is underway in most areas of the country and farmers are expected to begin planting in early July.

    Ongoing insecurity and displacement are disrupting agricultural activities in conflict-affected areas of East, Central, and North Darfur and in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Commercial farmers in the semi-mechanized sector in eastern and central Sudan have reported interruptions in land preparation due to fuel shortages. The Sudan Meteorological Authority forecasts indicate near average rainfall during the June to September main rainy season.

    In East Darfur, most households displaced by fighting between Ma’alia and Rezeighat tribes in Abu Karnika Town and surrounding villages in mid-May have returned to their home villages according to findings of a rapid inter-agency assessment conducted in June. The assessment found many houses burned and damaged by conflict and most households have returned with little or no productive assets. The Government of Sudan provided food aid support to returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Abu Karnika, but food and assistance needs remain high. Other assessments in East and West Jebel Mara found that household access to food and income had reduced due to recent conflict and related shocks.

    Sorghum, millet, and local wheat prices remain stable due to adequate market supply. Stable food prices are enabling household access to food as poor households increase market reliance during the lean season. May sorghum and millet prices declined by 20 percent compared to last year but remain well above average. Prices are likely to start gradual seasonal increase starting from June and to peak during August/September the peak lean season unless rainy season showed a promising start.

    Trends in wage labor to cereal terms of trade (ToT) vary. Increasing trends continue in the semi-mechanized agricultural zones of central and eastern Sudan, but continue to decline in traditional rain-fed agricultural areas of Darfur (Figure 2). For example, between April and May, ToT between daily wage labor and sorghum increased by eight percent in Gadaref but declined by 19 percent in Zalengi, Central Darfur.  

    Intensified fighting in Unity and Upper Nile states of South Sudan caused an upsurge in refugee arrivals to Sudan. According to the UNHCR, nearly 30,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Sudan since late May, mostly in White Nile, West Kordofan and South Kordofan states.  Since the conflict began, the South Sudanese refugee population has reached 180,500, as of June 24, 2015.

     


    Updated Assumptions

    Assumptions made in the Sudan Food Security Outlook for April to September 2015 remain unchanged.


    Projected outlook through September 2015

    As poor households increase reliance on markets for food during the July to September peak lean season, food security outcomes will deteriorate. Insecurity is likely to continue to disrupt livelihood activities including access to cultivation in some parts of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Food insecurity will be most severe in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile states where poor and IDP households are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). 

    Figures Figure 1. Rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly in millimeters, compared to the long-term mean (1920 to 1980) for June 11-20, 2015.

    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Rainfall estimate (RFE) anomaly in millimeters, compared to the long-term mean (1920 to 1980) for June 11-20, 2015.

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 2. Sorghum to daily wage labor terms of trade in Gadaref and Zlinengi markets, 2013 to 2015

    Figure 2

    Figure 2. Sorghum to daily wage labor terms of trade in Gadaref and Zlinengi markets, 2013 to 2015

    Source: FEWS NET/ FAMIS

    Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 3

    Seasonal calendar of typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 5

    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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