Food Security Outlook

Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity outcomes likely in SPLM-N areas

April 2013 to September 2013

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Food security outcomes for displaced populations would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance.FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • As of April 2013, about 3.5 to 3.7 million people in Sudan face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity. Current food insecurity is mainly caused by insecurity in Darfur, Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Abyei.

  • Food security conditions are likely to deteriorate during the lean season and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes are likely in the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) controlled areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan from June to September. This is due to reduced access to food and income, restricted access to humanitarian assistance, restricted trade flow to SPLM-N controlled areas, diminishing asset holding, and increased susceptibility to waterborne diseases.

  • Improved relations between Sudan and South Sudan via the recent agreements have been beneficial to food security in both countries to date. Nomadic cattle herders have started crossing the border for grazing in South Sudan, alleviating high cattle mortality due to pasture and water deficits. Informal trade flow from Sudan to South Sudan has also increased, as well as oil exports to Sudan. Oil revenues are likely to reduce foreign currency deficits facing both countries and curb inflation and local currency devaluation.

  • Since the beginning of the conflict in Blue Nile state in September 2011, an inter-agency mission conducted a rapid food security assessment in GoS controlled areas in the six localities of Blue Nile state. The findings confirmed FEWS NET’s analysis regarding the number and status of food insecurity in these areas. WFP distributed two-month food rations to about 51,000 beneficiaries in Kurmuk and Geissan localities. However, restrictions on access to SPLM-N areas, where precarious food security conditions persist, are still in place. 

National Overview

Current Situation

By the end of March, food security conditions in relatively secure areas of Sudan have remained stable as a result of the 2012/13 above-average harvest. The majority of households in relatively secure areas who managed to cultivate last season still maintain adequate/acceptable levels of food consumption from their own production.

As of April 2013, an estimated 3.5 to 3.7 million people in Sudan face Stressed and Crisis (IPC Phase 2 and 3) acute food insecurity. Most of those affected are IDPs in conflict affected areas of Darfur, Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Abyei (see Figure 1). Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity prevails in SPLM-N controlled areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, Abyei and some parts of Darfur.

Sudan and South Sudan relations are beneficial to food security in both countries. To date, the implementation of the recent bilateral agreement between Sudan and South Sudan to establish a demilitarized buffer zone, resumption of oil exports, cross-border trade, grazing, and interim arrangements for joint (Messeriya and Dinka Ngok) administration of Abyei are progressing well.

South Sudan has resumed pumping oil for export via facilities in Sudan. After halting oil production and export for almost two years, South Sudan resumes pumping crude oil to Sudan’s pipeline from Kook field (Unity state) during the first week of April, with oil exports projected to begin toward the end of May. The resumption of oil exports at full capacity (350,000 to 400,000 barrel per day) might take a couple of months to achieve, however oil revenues are likely to relieve the huge currency deficits in both countries and curb inflation and local currency devaluation.

Cross-border movement has improved between Sudan and South Sudan for grazing and trade. After a three- to four-month delay in seasonal grazing in South Sudan, the Messeriya and Rezeighat cattle herders of South Kordofan and East Darfur states have started crossing the border for seasonal grazing in Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states in South Sudan as of late March. Access to grazing in South Sudan alleviated distressed conditions facing cattle due to pasture and water shortages since December 2012. In addition, an increased pattern of informal trade flow from Sudan to South Sudan was reported in recent months.

GoS and SPLM-N indicated a willingness to engage in peace talks. Since the eruption of conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states about two years ago, both GoS and SPLM-N demonstrated interest in negotiating a peace deal for South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Direct confrontations between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and SPLM-N have waned considerably over the past few months following the Implementation Matrix signed in March between Sudan and South Sudan. However, the risk of fighting still persists as conflict was reported during the second week of April between the SAF and SPLM-N in Dondor village, east of Kadugli. Direct peace talks between GoS and SPLM-N began during the fourth week of April in Addis Ababa under the mediation of the African Union. It is the first time the conflicting parties have met for peace talks since the conflict erupted in 2011.

Access improves for GoS controlled areas of Blue Nile state. For the first time since the conflict erupted in September 2011, an inter-agency group (WFP, UNHCR, HAC, Sudanese Red Crescent, and Mubadiroon) was able to conduct a rapid assessment in March 2013. The assessment identified over 76,000 people (IDPs, returnees, and residents) in need of humanitarian assistance in several GoS controlled areas in six localities of Blue Nile state. Thus far, WFP has distributed two-month food rations to 51,000 people in Kurmuk and Geissan localities.

Sorghum prices remained stable or declined in March (post-harvest period) as supplies from last season's above-average harvest continue to reach markets. From February to March, retail sorghum (the main staple food in Sudan) prices have decreased by 9 percent in Nyala (South Darfur), 16 percent in Kadugli (South Kordofan), and remained stable in most other markets in Sudan. The stable/declining pattern of sorghum prices is mainly attributed to maintained relatively high supplies of grain from the above-average harvest of the last rainy season and reduced domestic demand, as many households have been consuming their own crop production. In contrast to these prices, current sorghum prices have increased by 12 to 24 percent in El Fasher (North Darfur), Geneina (West Darfur), and El Obeid (North Kordofan). This is principally due to high market costs triggered by prevailing insecurity, particularly for markets in Darfur.

Throughout the scenario period, which coincides with the lean season and subsequent high prices, parts of the country face Crisis and Stressed acute food insecurity (IPC Phases 2 and 3). However, from June to September (during the peak of the lean season), food security conditions will likely deteriorate for SPLM-N controlled areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, thus shifting some areas into Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

Assumptions
  • Normal rains forecast for June to September. The ECMWF preliminary forecast for June to September rains in Sudan indicated normal rains with a near-normal onset. In eastern Sudan and Darfur, there is a slightly increased chance of above-normal rains. If this materializes, it will be the second consecutive year of normal to above-normal rains in Sudan with a positive impact on food security.
  • Conflict and insecurity continues. In South Kordofan and Blue Nile, without a current peace deal in place between the GoS and the SPLM-N, fighting between SAF and SPLM-N is likely to continue during the scenario period. However, the scale of fighting will most likely reduce during the rainy season as rains will block roads and reduce the mobilization of troops and heavy equipment. In addition, the recent reflected willingness for peace talks among conflicting parties is likely to reduce direct confrontations between SAF and SPLM-N. Despite ongoing sporadic fighting, additional displacement, reduced access to cultivation during the next rainy season, loss of assets, and reduced livelihood options are likely. There will be reduced humanitarian access to SPLM-N controlled areas, market disruptions, and reduced trade flows to conflict-affected areas.

In Darfur, deteriorating security conditions from prolonged conflict between SAF and Darfur rebel groups will continue to cause new displacement, crop destruction, and reduced access to livelihood opportunities (e.g., artisanal gold mining in Jebel Amer in Serief locality). These conditions will further exacerbate the already poor access by humanitarian agencies to conflict-affected people in Jebel Mara. Prevailing insecure conditions are likely to undermine the recovery and reconstruction plans in Darfur.

  • Oil revenues are likely to curb inflation and local currency devaluation. The resumption of South Sudan's oil exports is likely to have a positive impact on food security in Sudan by curbing inflation and local currency devaluation. However, this may materialize over a longer time period as high inflation continues. In March, the official inflation rate was 47.9 percent compared to 46.6 percent in last February, and 22.4 percent in March 2012 (Central Bureau of Statistics). Since Sudan and South Sudan agreed to implement security and economic cooperation measures, Sudan’s local currency strengthened from SDG 7.5 per USD to SDG 6.2 per USD. Yet, the strengthening of the local currency is not yet reflected in consumer prices as inflation continues to rise.
  • Cereal prices to start a seasonal upward trend. Cereal prices will begin a seasonal upward trend during the scenario period and will reach their peak during the lean season (June to September). The commencing of cross-border trade with South Sudan is likely to strengthen demand and push prices further up during the scenario period. However, if the progression of the rainy season ensues normally as forecast, traders will continue to supply markets, as there will be no need to hold onto their food stocks for next year.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity due to last season’s above-average harvest will continue, however, a gradual deterioration is expected during the lean season (May/June to September). As of April, most households in relatively secure areas with proximity to the last rainy season’s harvest will rely on their own stocks or market purchases and are therefore not expected to have food consumption gaps. By May/June, a greater portion of poor households will have exhausted their food stocks and will become highly dependent on market purchase. With the expected seasonal increase of food prices, it is likely that these households will not be able to access their minimum food requirement during the lean season and thus, will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity. This includes marginal cultivation areas of North Kordofan, White Nile, North Darfur, Red Sea, and Kassala states.

In conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Darfur and Abyei, Stressed and Crisis acute food insecurity persist. Food security conditions in SPLM-N controlled areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan are likely to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) during the peak of the lean season (June to September). IDPs and poor households in SPLM-N controlled areas are the worst hit by the conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan due to restricted population movement, loss of assets, no/limited access to cultivation, reduced access to employment and common income sources, reduced access to markets, and lack of access to humanitarian assistance. In addition, the onset of rains will increase susceptibility to waterborne diseases (e.g. malaria and diarrhea) always associated with high acute malnutrition. The onset of rains will improve access to wild foods, especially leafy greens during the early months of the rainy season, but they are not expected to mitigate the large-scale food deficit during the peak lean season.

In Darfur, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity is likely through the scenario period in some conflict-affected areas (e.g. Jebel Mara (East Jebel Mara, Golo, Guldo and Rokero localities), Serief Beni Hissein, parts of Tawila, Dar Al Salam, Labadu, Mahajeiriya, Um Dokhon, El Fasher and Kuttum localities, and the newly displaced populations in Nertiti, Kebkabiya, Abu Gamra, Zamzam, Tawila, Kassa and Kebkabiya). Insecurity has caused significant displacement and loss of assets (including standing crops and food stocks), reduced trade flows, and limited access by humanitarian agencies. Affected households are expected to face food consumption gaps and to rely on irreversible coping strategies (such as sale of productive assets) to meet food and non-food needs.

Areas of Concern

South Kordofan

Current Situation

The conflict between the SPLM-N and Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in South Kordofan since June 2011, as well as the recent intra-tribal conflict between the disputing Messeiriya clans that erupted in early January 2013 in El Fula locality, have resulted in massive population displacement. As of April 2013, FEWS NET estimated that 400,000 to 500,000 people have been directly affected and/or displaced since the start of the conflict in South Kordofan in 2011. Of these people, about 150,000 to 200,000 are in SPLM-N controlled areas in the Nuba Mountains; about 160,000 to 180,000 are displaced in GoS controlled areas; and about 67,000 fled to Yida refugee camp in Unity State, South Sudan. In addition, 11,000 people have been displaced from El Fula to Al Sunut, Lagawa and Keilak localities in GoS areas following fighting between Messeriya clans. However, the recent signed agreement between Sudan and South Sudan is likely to bring positive improvements to people along the border as the Sudanese government announced its willingness to ease trade restrictions with South Sudan. The reconciliation agreement between the disputing Messeiriya clans signed in March 2013 will also be of great advantage in bringing an end to tribal fighting in the Western parts of South Kordofan state.

The security situation has slightly improved in South Kordofan state since the beginning of 2013. No major direct fighting between SAF and SPLM-N has been reported since the beginning of this year, although, aerial bombardments were reported in some SPLM-N controlled areas. The relative improved security conditions triggered a return of I72, 523 people to GoS controlled areas in South Kordofan state according to (Humanitarian Aid Commission) HAC.

The flow of refugees from the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan to refugee camps in Unity state of South Sudan has been decreasing since the beginning of 2013. According to UNHCR, the arrival of new refugees in Unity state in South Sudan is down from about 1,000 refugees per day in January/February to about 300 to 400 refugees per day in March 2013. The relative stability of the security situation in South Kordofan and the increased tensions between the host community in Yida and Nubian refugees from South Kordofan are among the factors contributing to this decline.

Access by humanitarian agencies to affected populations in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan state continues to be highly restricted, while access by humanitarian agencies has maintained in GoS controlled areas. In January 2013, WFP, through SRC, distributed approximately 880 MT of assorted food commodities under GFD to around 25,000 IDP beneficiaries in Kadugli town. Two-month rations have also been distributed in February and March 2013. In January and February 2013, Save the Children Sweden (SCS) supported by WFP, reached 6,800 people, including children under five and pregnant and lactating women through a supplementary feeding program (SFP) at 15 nutritional centers that distributed a total of 58 MT of Corn Soya Blend (CSB), oil, and sugar.

In South Kordofan state, staple food prices continued exhibiting mixed trends with high volatility in March 2013. Between February and March 2013, retail sorghum price in Kadugli market dropped by 15 percent, while millet and wheat prices increased by 9 percent and 2 percent, respectively. This was attributed to the improved supply of locally produced sorghum in the state, directly resulting from the above-average harvest of the last agricultural season and distribution of food aid. Current sorghum prices are 5 percent lower than the same period last year, but 48 percent above the five-year average. In SPLM-N areas, grain prices are highly impacted by restrictions on trade flows and lack of humanitarian assistance. Yet, the improved relationship between Sudan and South Sudan has enhanced border security, and the declared intention of the Sudanese government to allow border trade with South Sudan, might ease trade flows to SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan through informal leakage of traded commodities via South Sudan. Prices are likely to remain relatively high compared to GoS controlled areas.

Poor livestock conditions triggered by a lack of access to seasonal grazing in South Sudan were alleviated as cattle herders have started crossing the border. The improved Sudan and South Sudan relations enabled million heads of cattle stopped at the Sudanese side of the border to cross for seasonal grazing in South Sudan. Access to seasonal grazing in South Sudan is the only means of survival for Messeiriya cattle herders of South Kordofan; otherwise, cattle would be subjected to a high risk of mortality due to water and pasture shortages.

The majority of IDPs and poor households from the host community in GoS controlled areas of South Kordofan state have relatively better household food consumption and livelihood status compared to the last six months. This is attributed to the better grain availability from markets and households’ own production, market purchases, WFP’s food distribution for IDPs, and food aid from the Sudanese government.

Food consumption and livelihood status are likely to deteriorate for IDPs and poor households in SPLM-N controlled areas. These areas lack access to regular humanitarian assistance and cultivation last season was curtailed to minimum due to prevailing insecurity conditions. As well, they face high food prices, massive reduction in households’ assets, and limited access to common income sources. Lack of food, water and health services were cited as main reasons for recent people displacement from SPLM-N controlled areas to GoS controlled areas. These conditions are likely to persist in addition to further deterioration during the peak of the lean season.

Assumptions
  • Conflict: Although the recent agreement between Sudan and South Sudan is expected to improve the security situation in South Kordofan state in the short-term, it is likely that incidents of direct fighting between SPLM-N and SAF will escalate before the onset of the upcoming rainy season in June, vying for key strategic positions to ensure availability of supplies. This could be potentially avoided if a mutual peace agreement and/or ceasefire were to be signed between conflicting parties. Yet, this is unlikely over the course of scenario period.
  • Market access and prices: Restrictions on market access in SPLM-N controlled areas and on trade flows originating from GoS controlled areas to SPLM-N controlled areas are likely to continue during scenario period.
  • Delivery of humanitarian assistance to SPLM-N controlled areas: Both current restrictions on humanitarian access to SPLM-N controlled areas and current access to GoS controlled areas are likely to continue. Access to both areas will decline during the rainy season (June to September). Thus, the pre-positioning of relief items is vital; otherwise, more expensive modes of transport (airlift) of relief efforts must be considered.
  • Improved access to seasonal grazing in South Sudan: The high risk of high animal mortality has been alleviated by the recent agreement of cross-border trade. Million heads of cattle owned by the Messeiriya pastoralists of South Kordofan have gained access to grazing areas in South Sudan.
  • Reduced access to food through market purchase: Access to food through market purchase is likely to reduce due to expected increases in food prices and decreases in income because of reduced labor opportunities during the dry season. Income will partially recover during the cultivation season but is likely to be jeopardized by the increased need for cash to pay for other basic needs (e.g., education, health, seeds, tools, etc.).
  • Onset of rains increase susceptibility to waterborne diseases: The onset of rains in June will bring about a greater risk of susceptibility to waterborne diseases that are usually associated with high acute malnutrition. This can exhaust considerable amounts of households’ budgets.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Access to food by IDPs and poor households from the host community in SPLM-N controlled area is likely to be influenced by restricted trade flows and high food prices, restricted population movement, limited access to local agricultural labor, and restrictions on humanitarian access. The food security situation for affected populations is expected to deteriorate to below consumption requirements for survival, especially during the lean season (June to September). In SPLM-N controlled areas, households’ income during the scenario period will decrease to a minimum and food prices will tend to be at their peak. Wild food consumption is likely to remain as the main food source. The availability of wild foods is likely to improve during the rainy season, but not makeup the food deficit in SPLM-N controlled areas. Consequently, IDPs and poor households from the host community in SPLM-N areas of Heiban, Um Durein, Al Buram, Delami, Salara, and parts of Kalogi, Talodi, and Aleiri localities are facing Crisis acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) during the first two months of the scenario period. Food insecurity in these areas is likely to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) during the peak of the lean season, from June to September.

The food security situation for IDPs and poor households in the GoS controlled areas of South Kordofan state is likely to remain stable as delivery of humanitarian assistance is expected to be maintained. Prices may increase but not very much in GoS controlled areas. Better income sources from domestic and daily skilled labor in urban areas and from seasonal agricultural labor will exist during the rainy season. Thus, the majority of IDPs and poor households from the host community in GoS controlled areas are likely to remain at Stressed acute food insecurity (IPC phase 2) during scenario period.

Darfur

Current Situation

Tense security conditions persist in some parts of Darfur due to fighting between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Darfur Rebel Groups, tribal clashes and activities of armed militias. Fighting between SAF and factions of Darfur rebel groups continued in South and East Darfur states despite of peace deal between Government of Sudan (GoS) and Justice and Equality splinter lead by Mohamed Basher (JEM-MB) and the Darfur donor meeting in Qatar. Insecurity over the past three months displaced about 200,000 people in different parts of Darfur. The most recent fighting between SAF and Sudan Libration Army of Mini Minawi (SLA-MM) was reported in Labadu and Mahajeiriya localities in East Darfur state have resulted in a number of causalities, destruction, looting of assets, and displacement of thousands to UNAMID compounds in Sheiriya and Labadu. A number of commercial conveys were attacked and looted by armed groups in recent months, including the attack on a train on the road between Nyala and (South Darfur) Ed Daein (East Darfur). The recent fighting between Salamat and Messeiriya clans in Um Kokhon locality of Central Darfur state is still ongoing with increasing numbers of causalities and thousands of people crossing the border to seek refuge in Chad.

Reconciliation occurs between conflicting tribes in Darfur. Reconciliation between conflicting tribes in Darfur over the course of March lessened the tribal fighting between Beni Hissein and Northern Rezeighat (Aballa - camel herders) in Serief locality of North Darfur and between Gimir and Beni Halba in Ed Alfursan locality of South Darfur state. Reduced tribal clashes in these areas improved access for humanitarian agencies to deliver humanitarian assistance to over 100,000 people displaced by these conflicts. However, artisanal gold mining in Jebel Amer in North Darfur (an important source of income to over 60,000 people) partially resumed as 15,000 gold miners reportedly returned to Jebel Amer for artisanal gold mining. Before the conflict about 60,000 to 100,000 people engaged in gold mining in Jebel Amer.

Darfur donor conference for reconstruction and development is likely to be challenged by insecurity in some parts of the region. The international conference was held in Doha, Qatar on April 7, 2013, under the framework of the Doha Peace Agreement for peace in Darfur signed in July 2011 between GoS and Libration and Justice Movement (LJM). The conference seeks US $ 7.2 billion for six year plan for reconstruction and development in the region, of which about US$ 3.6 billion committed by donors and GoS. The plan likely to be challenged by prevailing insecurity conditions in some parts of the region.

Cereal prices started seasonally increasing in most markets of Darfur during the post harvest and the approaching lean season. In comparison to last month, sorghum prices in March 2013 have increased by 28 percent in El Fasher market in North Darfur and 20 percent in El Geneina market in West Darfur. In March, millet and wheat prices behaved the same as sorghum. The increase of cereal prices in March is mainly attributed to insecurity and high market costs. Cereal prices could potentially increase further during the scenario period as demand for local consumption strengthens and supply decreases.

Assumptions
  • Increased likelihood of above-normal rains next rainy season (June to September) in Darfur: According to CPC and ECMWF forecast, Darfur region has a slightly increased chance for above normal rains in 2013. If this materializes, it will be the second consecutive year of above normal rains that likely to boost food security in Darfur. However, insecurity is the major challenge for utilization of above normal rains for cultivation in some parts of Darfur.
  • Seasonal deterioration in food security conditions is likely in remote areas: Despite the above-average harvest of last season, a deterioration in food security conditions is likely in the remote areas of North Darfur state due to diminishing food stocks from last season, increased dependency on market purchase, rising food prices, reduced income from artisanal gold mining in Jebel Amer and reduced labor opportunities during the summer (March to June). More seasonal agricultural labor opportunities will become available during the rainy season (June to September), but access will be affected by insecurity.
  • Fighting between SAF and Darfur rebel groups likely to continue in some parts of South Darfur, East Darfur, Central Darfur and North Darfur: Recent developments in Sudan and South Sudan might force Darfur rebel groups to move their bases to Darfur, which could lead to further deterioration of security conditions in Darfur. This will threaten lives and livelihoods, increase displacement, reduce access to cultivation in conflict affected areas, curtail activities of humanitarian agencies, and affect trade flows to and from conflict affected areas.
  • Sporadic tribal clashes likely to continue: Sporadic tribal clashes are likely to continue during the scenario period, especially between sedentary farmers and nomadic cattle herders during rainy season.
  • The ongoing fighting between SAF and SLA-MM in Mahajeiriya and Labadu is potential to affect commercial and humanitarian supplies to South Darfur, Central Darfur and West Darfur: Labadu and Mahajeiriya are located in strategic positions along the main supply routes used by traders and humanitarians to move supplies from Khartoum through Central Darfur, West Darfur, and South Darfur states. The disturbance of supplies at this time of the year will affect the pre-positioning plans of traders and humanitarian agencies before the onset of rains in June.
  • Cereal prices will continue to rise during the scenario period: Cereal prices are to continue a seasonal upward trend through the scenario period and are likely to peak during lean season (June to September).
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Food security conditions are likely to start a seasonal deterioration during the lean season (June to September). Most communities of poor households (IDPs and resident) will have diminished food stocks and an increased dependency on market purchase. Food prices will continue to increase, while income sources for poor households are diminishing. Thus, the approaching lean season is likely to offset the improved food security conditions as a result of above-average harvest last season. Most of these households are likely to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity during the lean season. Similarly, the over 1.4 million IDPs in camps will continue to face Stressed food insecurity in spite of the planned half-ration of food aid (50 percent of 2100 kcal per person per day) distributed by WFP to IDPs in camps.

In conflict-affected areas, food security is expected to remain at Crisis levels through the Outlook period due to new displacement, destruction, looting of assets, reduced income sources, and lack of access by humanitarian agencies. These areas include Jebel Mara, Labadu, Mahajeiriya, Um Dokhon, Serief Beni Hissein, Dar Al Salam, some parts of Tawila, Kuttum, El Fasher, Saraf Omra and Kebkabiya localities. The main populations of concern are those recently displaced by the ongoing conflict in Labadu, Mahajeiriya, Serief Beni Hissein, Um Dokhon and Jebel Mara.

Blue Nile State

Improved access to GoS controlled areas of Blue Nile state: For the first time since conflict erupted in Blue Nile state in September 2011, a rapid food needs assessment mission, composed of WFP, HAC, Sudanese Red Crescent, and local NGO Mubadiroon, visited all six localities of Blue Nile state in March 2013. The assessment revealed over 76,000 people (IDPs, returnees and resident communities) in need of humanitarian assistance. It concluded that most of these people missed their opportunity to cultivate last season and therefore have limited to no sources of income. Charcoal and firewood collection are found to be the main sources of income, while wild foods and government food assistance are the main sources of food. These findings confirm earlier projections made by FEWS NET about the number and status of food insecure people in GoS controlled areas of Blue Nile.

A joint mission composed of UNHCR, Government Commission of Refugees (COR), and HAC visited Geissan locality in Blue Nile state in February 2013. The mission confirmed the return of about 5,000 people from Ethiopia, which has been confirmed by Blue Nile refugees in Sherkole and Tongo in Ethiopia. The refugee population is down from 35,000 to 29,000. The mission confirmed food, health and shelter are the major pressing needs of returnees.  

WFP distributed two-month food rations to 51,000 in Kurmuk ad Geissan localities. Since the completion of the above mentioned assessment, WFP completed distribution of two-month food aid rations to 39,000 beneficiaries in Kurmuk and 12,000 in Geissan. Verification of beneficiaries in other localities is still ongoing and subsequent food distribution will follow once medium-term needs have been identified.

Precarious food security conditions in SPLM-N controlled areas persist and may potentially deteriorate further on into the lean season. As of April, about 100,000 people in SPLM-N controlled areas are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity. Most of these people who missed or cultivated only small plots last season have limited/no income sources and no access to humanitarian assistance. Wild foods are the main source of food, yet availability will be reduced during the first three months of the scenario and possibly increasing during the rainy season (June to September). Given some of the same factors facing GoS areas (high needs due to limited income and food sources during the upcoming lean season), SPLM-N controlled areas are further compromised without access to humanitarian assistance. Food security for IDPs and poor households of the host community are likely to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) during the peak of the lean season, when areas are further isolated by rains and their susceptibility to waterborne diseases (e.g., malaria and diarrhea) increases.

As conflicting parties expressed willingness for peace, direct fighting between SPLM-N and SAF reduced in recent months. However, the development of Sudan/South South's relations may force SPLM-N to move their bases inside Blue Nile state, increasing the risk of escalating violence during the scenario period, especially before the onset of rains in June. Increased fighting will disturb the next cultivation season in Blue Nile state and will force more people to flee to refugee camps in Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Events that Might Change the Outlook

Area

Event

Impact on food security outcomes

Blue Nile and South Kordofan

GoS and SPLM-N sign a peace deal

If GoS and SPLM-N were to sign a peace deal, it would likely stop violence, lift restrictions on trade and access to SPLM-N conflict affected areas, and accelerate the delivery of humanitarian services that could lead to improved food security conditions in these areas.

SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states

Improved access by humanitarian agencies

Humanitarian assistance in these areas would increase access to food and other basic needs (health, water, protection, etc.) and gradually lead to food security improvements, from Crisis to Stressed levels of food insecurity.

 

South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur

South Sudan expels Sudanese rebel groups from their territories as Sudan demands that relations normalize

Expulsion could result in increased fighting between SPLM-N and SAF in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and SAF and Darfur rebel groups in Darfur and some parts of South and North Kordofan. The effect would be more displacement, losses of assets, disturbance of the next cultivation season and further deterioration of food security.

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics