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Outbreak of yellow fever in Darfur claims more than 100 lives to date

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Sudan
  • November 2012
Outbreak of yellow fever in Darfur claims more than 100 lives to date

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through March 2013
  • Key Messages
    • An outbreak of yellow fever in 22 localities in the Darfur region has resulted in 374 cases and 110 deaths as of mid-November, with a 29 percent fatality rate reported. The highest number of cases are reported in Central and West Darfur states with 67 percent and 17 percent of the total number of cases, respectively. 

    • In spite of ongoing conflict in many areas, localized pest infestations, and flooding in some parts of Sudan, the above-average harvest has resulted in slight to modest food security improvements in most parts of Sudan. Nevertheless 3.2 to 3.5 million people face Stressed and Crisis (IPC Phase 2 and 3) levels of food insecurity (Figure 1). 

    • Most IDPs in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan and conflict-affected areas in North Darfur and East Jebel Mara will face Crisis levels of food insecurity through March 2013. 

    Current Situation
    • Harvest progress: Improvements to food security in most parts of Sudan have been evident as the harvests began in October. Most rural households have begun consuming their own food production, while access to wild foods has improved. Good prospects for cash crop harvests, as well as stable or declining cereal prices, have enhanced purchasing power. There is better access to livestock products due to good pasture and water conditions. Access to seasonal labor and payment in kind have improved as the harvest period (October – December) begins.     
    • Yellow fever: An outbreak of yellow fever in 22 localities in the Darfur region has resulted in 374 cases and 110 deaths to date, with a 29 percent fatality rate reported. The highest number of cases are reported in Central and West Darfur states, where 67 percent and 17 percent of the total cases are reported, respectively. The highest fatality rate is is reported in East Jebel Mara (South Darfur) and Habila (West Darfur), where 88 percent and 83 percent fatality rates are reported, respectively, out of 8 and 12 cases reported.
    • Locust/pest infestations: Since the harvest of cereal crops is still in progress, the risk remains that an outbreak of desert locusts could damage crops in some parts of Sudan including North Kordofan, Northern, River Nile and Red Sea states. Control teams treated 1,804 ha during the first three weeks of October.
    • Cereal prices: Cereal prices have stabilized or slightly declined since September but remain above average due to inflation, local currency devaluation, the high cost of production this year and the diminishing carryover stocks held by traders. In spite of the projected improvement in macro-economic indicators, the inflation rate has continued to increase. The inflation rate in October was 45.3 percent, compared to 41.6 percent in last September. In October, the component of the food basket was 48.6 percent higher than during the same period last year.
    • Conflict: Conflict in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile continues to cause new displacement, threaten lives and livelihoods, and reduce access by humanitarian agencies. In Darfur, tribal conflict in early November in Shawa village of North Darfur state resulted in 13 deaths and displaced over 1,000 people to El Fasher town and Zam Zam camp in North Darfur. In South Kordofan state, a total of 18 people died and more than 30 people were wounded during the recent shelling of Kadugli town that began on October 8.
    • Humanitarian assistance:  The government of Sudan has indicated reluctance to renew the recently expired tripartite humanitarian agreement to deliver humanitarian assistance to SPLM-N controlled areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan. This is consistent with FEWS NET’s assumptions detailed in the October Outlook. 
    • Peace agreement with South Sudan: The resumption of oil exports from South Sudan via facilities in Sudan has not yet begun. Howver, informal trade from Sudan to South Sudan and seasonal labor movements from South Sudan to Sudan have begun to increase.

    Updated Assumptions

    The current situation has not affected the assumptions used to develop FEWS NET’s most likely scenario for the period of November 2012 to March 2013. A full discussion of the scenario is available in the October Outlook.

    Projected Outlook through March 2013
    • During October to December, most households in relatively secure areas will consume their own harvest and/or access sufficient cash from sale of cash crops, seasonal labor and sale of livestock to enable them access food from market. Consequently food security conditions will improve during the scenario period. In relatively secure areas of Sudan, the majority of people will have access to sufficient food, and will face minimal acute food insecurity (Phase 1).
    • However in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur, only slight to modest improvements are expected. Food security in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan will improve to Stressed and Crisis levels due to slight improvements in access to local agricultural labor, decreased market prices, support from the better-off, limited own production, increased income from the sale of cash crops, and improved availability of wild food.  Most residents will face Stressed levels, due to better access to cultivation and income opportunities, while most IDPs will face Crisis levels. In conflict-affected areas of Blue Nile state, food security will improve to Stressed levels due to less conflict during the cultivation season. 
    • Although a considerable number of IDPs in Darfur have cultivated small to medium-scale farms this year, some IDPs who were recently displaced and/or failed to cultivate due to security reasons will face difficulties fulfilling their minimum food requirements without assistance. Displaced populations in the most conflict-affected areas of Darfur (e.g. East Jebel Mara), where access by humanitarian agencies to deliver humanitarian assistance is severely constrained by prevailing insecurity, will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity through at least March.     
    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: 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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