Skip to main content

Significant household-level food deficits likely due to poor harvest, conflict, and rising prices

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Sudan
  • January - June 2014
Significant household-level food deficits likely due to poor harvest, conflict, and rising prices

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • National Overview
  • Areas of Concern
  • Events That Might Change the Outlook
  • Key Messages
    • As of January 2014, an estimated 3.3 million people in Sudan face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity. The size of the food insecure population is likely to increase to four million with the early onset of the lean season in March/April. Current and projected levels of food insecurity are driven by the impacts of conflict in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile States, the below-average 2013/2014 harvest, and soaring food prices. Cereal production (sorghum, millet, and wheat) for the 2013/14 season is estimated at 2.85 million metric tons, which represents 65-70 percent of the five-year average, and 45-50 percent of last year’s good harvest.
    • Staple food prices continued to increase atypically across most markets during the December harvest period, when prices normally decrease. High production and marketing cost have further contributed to upward price trends. Wholesale sorghum/millet prices in December were on average 30 percent above their respective 2012 levels and 104 percent above their respective five-year averages.
    • Millet and sorghum prices are likely to continue to increase through March 2014, as grain supplies to markets will begin to decrease, and traders hold onto stocks anticipating higher prices late in the lean season. Informal regional export demand (from South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea) is also expected to increase, further reinforcing upward price trends in Sudan’s main production zones. On average, staple food prices are expected to rise by 10-15 percent over the course of the January to June scenario period.
    • Continued and widespread conflict in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile is having major impacts on access to harvests, markets, and food assistance, with the most severe outcomes among new IDPs in Darfur and IDPs in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan. In Darfur, at least 30 percent of recently displaced IDPs (most of whom are in East and South Darfur) missed cultivation this year and have not yet received humanitarian food assistance; they are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity throughout the scenario period. In SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan, food security is likely to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels by the beginning of the lean season in March/April 2014.

    National Overview
    Current Situation

    As of January 2014, an estimated 3.3 million people in Sudan face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity, mostly driven by the impacts of conflict in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states, the below average 2013/2014 harvest, macro-economic policies, and soaring food prices. FEWS NET estimates that, of the total food insecure population, 71 percent are in the five Darfur states, 20 percent are in South Kordofan, 6 percent are in Blue Nile, and 3 percent are in Abyei area. The highest current phase of acute food insecurity (Crisis, IPC Phase 3) is among newly displaced people in Darfur, and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and poor households in Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N)-controlled areas of South Kordofan.

    Harvest prospects

    Cereal production (sorghum, millet, and wheat) for the 2013/14 season (November 2013-January 2014) is estimated to be 65-70 percent of the five-year average, and 45-50 percent of last year’s good harvest. In the surplus-producing, semi-mechanized areas in Gadaref, Sinar, and White Nile states, the sorghum harvest is projected to be 75 percent, 30 percent, and 35 percent, respectively, of the five-year average. The irrigated sector of Central and East Sudan performed better than the rain-fed sector, but on average it only produces 25–30 percent of national cereal production. In Darfur, North Kordofan, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states, production estimates range from 40-60 percent of the five-year average. In addition, production of sesame, an important export crop and source of cash income for farmers, is 60 percent of the five-year average and 35 percent of last year’s production. The below-average 2013/14 harvest was due to late and below-average rains in most parts of Sudan. Area planted for sorghum and millet was 65-75 percent of average and 55-60 percent of last year’s area planted.   

    Sudan is likely to face a cereal deficit of an estimated 1 million tons in 2014. Although 2012/13 was a bumper harvest, remaining carryover stocks are believed to be average, at best, due to substantial informal, commercial, and government exports over the 2012/13 marketing year.  Large farmers and traders are believed to be holding onto stocks in anticipation of much higher prices later in 2014, thereby limiting market supplies.  Along with the 2.9 million tons produced this year, there are 0.52 million carryover stocks from last year, and at least two million tons of wheat are expected to be imported.  Assuming no major formal exports, Sudan is likely to run 15 percent short of its requirement of 6.5 million metric tons (MT) for domestic consumption.

    Conflict in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile

    Security conditions remain tense in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states. Fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SRF) - the alliance of Darfur rebel faction and SPLM-N of South Kordofan and Blue Nile - has intensified in recent months. According to the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), fighting in November/December in South Kordofan displaced over 20,000 people from SPLM-N to GoS-controlled areas, and the influx is ongoing. Thousands of new IDPs also reportedly fled to bushes and mountains in SPLM-N areas.  Heightened tribal conflict and fighting has also continued between SAF and Darfur rebel factions throughout 2013, causing major displacement.  Intensified fighting in all conflict areas has hindered access by humanitarian agencies and disrupted trade flows and seasonal migration for labor to and from these areas.

    Macroeconomic context

    National macroeconomic factors have also affected household access to food. The 70 percent withdrawal of fuel subsidies in September 2013 has increased the cost of production and transport by 30-50 percent.  In addition, the local currency was devalued by more than 30 percent.  The official exchange rate was changed from SDG 4.4 per USD to SDG 5.7 per USD  (30 percent devaluation), to keep pace with the black market exchange rate of SDG 8 per USD.  Inflation increased from 29 percent in September to 41.6 percent in December.  The combined effects of recent macroeconomic policy changes are believed to have substantially contributed to these price increases (see below).

    Price trends

    Sorghum and millet prices have continued to increase atypically across most markets, especially in the eastern and central parts of the country including Gadarif and Damazine, since November/December, a time when prices normally decrease (Figure 1):

    • December wholesale sorghum prices were, on average, 30 percent above their respective 2012 levels and 104 percent above their respective five-year average.
    • November/December wholesale millet prices were, on average, 13 percent higher than their respective 2012 prices, and 86 percent above the five-year average.
    • November/December wholesale wheat prices were, on average, 44 percent higher than their respective 2012 levels and 106 percent above their five-year average. 

    South Sudan Crisis and Impacts on Sudan

    The developing crisis in South Sudan has had the following impacts in Sudan:

    • Oil exploration and export partially affected: Export was nearly stopped from the oilfields in Unity State, which produces about 50,000 barrels per day, while fighting is also ongoing in the oilfields in Upper Nile State, which produces over 200,000 barrels per day.  To date oil production from Upper Nile has declined by about 20 percent.
    • Limited impacts on nomadic herders, but concerns remain: Millions heads of Sudanese cattle are currently grazing in South Sudan; to date there is no evidence of negative impacts of the crisis on these nomadic cattle herders from Blue Nile, Sinar, White Nile, West/South Kordofan and East Darfur.
    • Reduced trade flows between Sudan and South Sudan: Though more than 1,200 Sudanese, most of whom are traders, are still living in UNAMIS compounds in South Sudan, most Sudanese traders fled the country.  Given the departure of traders and conflict along the main trade routes in Upper Nile and Unity states, there are reduced trade flows from Sudan to South Sudan.
    • Refugee movements into Sudan: An estimated 10,000 – 15,000 refugees have crossed over into Sudan from South Sudan since the conflict started in mid-December. About 2,000 are in Abyei area, 1,000 in in Mairam, Dibab, Heglieg, Kursana, Keilak and Muglad in West Kordofan, 2,000 are in El Leri and Abu Jebeiha in South Kordofan, about 6,000 are in Al Jabalinl and Alsalam localities of White Nile and about 1,000 in Boudh of Tadamon locality in Blue Nile state. Assistance to refugees is provided by government of Sudan and humanitarian agencies.
    • Currency devaluation: The value of the SDG has deteriorated by about 10 percent since the beginning of the conflict in South Sudan. Supply of foreign currency (U.S. dollars) by traders from South Sudan is one of the main sources of USD in the black market.
    National Assumptions

    Food availability:

    • Cereal production (sorghum, millet, and wheat) for the 2013/14 season is estimated to be 65-70 percent of the five-year average, and 45-50 percent of last year’s good harvest.
    • With a deficit of 15 percent of the 6.5 million tons annual staple food requirement in 2014, the government of Sudan is likely to impose restrictions and/or rationalize sorghum exports to neighboring countries. Imports of sorghum from Sudan are crucial to food security in Eritrea, Ethiopia and the northern parts of South Sudan.
    • Less grain will be available for zakat, the in-kind social safety net.

    Income sources:

    • In general income sources will be significantly reduced due to several factors:
      • Reduced production will mean reduced access to food from own production for a typical farming household in Sudan by 50-60 percent of normal and reduced income from sales of cash crops and labor wages during the harvest by 35 – 40 percent over the course of the scenario period.
      • In addition, animal sales will be below normal in conflict-affected areas due to livestock losses and low prices. 
      • The level and frequency of remittances will decline during the outlook below typical levels because of the anticipated increase in the cost of living coupled with the increased number of extended family members depending on remittances.
      • Income from wild food sales will be below average due to insecurity in conflict-affected areas.

    South Sudan Crisis:

    • Continuation and extension of the conflict to border areas and oilfields in Upper Nile and Unity states of South Sudan during the scenario period could lead to disruption of oil exploration and export via facilities in Sudan. Sudan has incorporated revenues from export of South Sudan oil in its 2014 budget, and plans to generate over US$ 1 billion from the export. Halting oil exports would significantly increase the budget deficit, and could trigger austerity measures by lifting subsidies from strategic commodities (e.g. wheat) in 2014.
    • Reduced trade from Sudan to South Sudan is likely as many Sudanese traders fled back to Sudan for their safety. This will impact border areas of South Sudan that are highly dependent on food from Sudan, and will also reduce the supply of foreign currency on the black market in Sudan.  This would further devaluate the local currency.
    • Increased refugee flows into border areas of Sudan are likely. FEWS NET assumes that about 50,000 refugees from South Sudan could cross into Sudan during the scenario period.
    • If conflict extends to border areas in Bahr el Ghazal, Unity and Upper Nile in South Sudan, where over millions of heads of cattle from Sudan seasonally graze, this would force nomads to return to Sudan, to areas without adequate pasture and water. 
    • The developing crisis in South Sudan disturbed humanitarian assistance to over 200,000 Sudanese refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile in Unity and Upper Nile states. However, IDPs are unlikely to return to Sudan as the underlying reason of their displacement still persists in Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The prevailing conditions in South Sudan are likely to disrupt the influx of refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile state to South Sudan.
    • Conflict is likely to halt the return of over a quarter million people of South Sudan origin living in Sudan.

    Cereal Prices:

    • Given the likely reduction in oil revenues, reduced sesame and sorghum exports, and the reduction of foreign currency flow from South Sudan, macroeconomic indicators (e.g. inflation, local currency devaluation), are likely to continue to deteriorate during the scenario period.  This will likely put upward pressure on prices.
    • Millet and sorghum prices are likely to continue to increase through March 2014, as grain supplies to markets will begin to decrease, and traders hold onto stocks anticipating higher prices late in the lean season. Informal regional export demand (from South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea) is also expected to increase, further reinforcing upward price trends in Sudan’s main production zones. 
    • Wheat prices are expected to increase in the coming months due to low levels of remaining stocks of local wheat and the persistent devaluation of the Sudanese pound vis-à-vis the USD. The official exchange rate was SDG 5.5 per 1 USD in December 2013 (8 SDG per 1 USD in the black market) compared to 4.4 SDG per 1 USD in August. National-level imports of wheat grain from international markets will increase to compensate for local grain production gaps.
    • In the surplus-producing areas of the country, prices will likely remain stable but high (compared to 2013 and the five-year average) in January (rather than declining during the post-harvest period). Starting in February, prices are expected to start increasing rapidly through June 2014 due to reduced remaining supplies from below-average harvests and increased household-level dependence on markets. Local availability in the surplus-producing areas will also be affected by increased demand from deficit areas of Sudan as well as export demand from South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and to a lesser extent, the Gulf States. On average, a 10-15 percent increase in staple food prices is likely over the course of the January to June scenario period.  

    Civil insecurity:

    • Insecurity/conflict between SRF and SAF is likely to continue and worsen during the scenario period in South Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile states. FEWS NET estimates that about 100,000 people are likely to be newly displaced in these areas during the scenario period, with the bulk of the IDPs in Darfur and South Kordofan.
    • Insecurity will continue to disrupt humanitarian assistance and trade flows to and within South Kordofan, Darfur, and Blue Nile states, at the same levels of 2013 or even worth.
    • In contrast to levels of conflict between SRF and SAF, tribal conflict in Darfur may continue through the scenario period at lower levels than last year, due to reconciliation between tribes and the end of the cultivation season, which tends to reduce friction between sedentary farmers and pastoral tribes in Darfur.
    Most likely food security outcomes

    Reduced food availability, curtailed income sources, and expected sharp increases in food prices will culminate in household-level food consumption gaps during the scenario period and an early start to the lean season. In a typical year, a household produces 5 – 6 month’s worth of food from their harvest. This year, most households will produce enough harvest for 3-4 months.  To compensate for production losses, households will turn to market purchases earlier than normal (in March/April versus May/June) this year. However, income sources will be reduced by 20 – 25 percent due to decreased wage labor, due to the poor harvest and lack of access to labor opportunities in conflict-affected areas. Households in conflict-affected areas also had reduced livestock to sell due to losses incurred from conflict. As a coping strategy, many poor households will send one or two members to seek labor in urban areas or on gold mines.  Nonetheless, remittances are not expected to compensate for income deficits for poor households.

    While households will turn to markets earlier than normal, food prices are expected to be exceptionally high this year, increasing further during the later months of the scenario period. Given reduced access to food and income sources, the lean season will start in March/April rather than May/June.  The following food security outcomes are expected:

    • Despite the below-average harvest, most households in surplus-producing areas (e.g. Sinar, Gadaref, most of White Nile, Gazeira) will have minimal food consumption gap during the scenario period, and therefore have Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) throughout the scenario period.  
    • In parts of North Kordofan, Red Sea, Kassala, White Nile, and North Darfur states, most households will face minimal acute food insecurity during the first half of the scenario period (January-March).  However, more than 20 percent of poor households are likely to have modest food consumption gaps during the second half of the scenario period (April-June) and to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity.
    • In SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity among IDPs and poor households in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan state will continue through March, and to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels by April 2014. This is due to multiple factors including the very poor harvest in SPLM-N controlled areas, restricted access by humanitarian agencies, degraded asset holdings (e.g. livestock), restricted trade flows to SPLM-N controlled areas, and intensified conflict between SAF and SRF.
    • In GOS-controlled areas of South Kordofan, over 80 percent of IDPs and poor households have been receiving regular food aid (full rations) from the government and WFP, and will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) levels throughout the scenario period.
    • In SPLM-N-controlled areas of Blue Nile, IDPs and poor residents will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions through March, with food security impacted by similar factors as those in South Kordofan. By April 2014, food security will deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels, when people will exhaust harvests and become entirely dependent on wild foods and market purchases with limited purchasing power.  Outcomes are better in Blue Nile than in South Kordofan due to a smaller area affected by conflict, better trade flows from GoS to SPLM-N areas, better access to markets in GoS-controlled areas and in Ethiopia, and access to seasonal labor in GoS areas.
    • In GOS-controlled areas of Blue Nile, IDPs and poor residents have relatively better access to humanitarian assistance provided by the government and WFP, and better access to labor wages in large urban settings (e.g. Damazin and Roseries) than in SPLM-N-controlled areas.  Due to the presence of humanitarian assistance, they will be at Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) levels throughout the scenario period.
    • In Darfur, at least 30 percent of newly displaced IDPs (e.g. in Muajeriya, Adila, Ed Daein and Labado, in East Darfur, and Beliel, Kalma, Beliel, El Salam, Deriege, and Otash camps in Nyla town of South Darfur) missed cultivation this year and have not yet received humanitarian food assistance; they are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity throughout the scenario period.
    • Among long-standing IDP communities in Darfur, most IDPs are receiving a 50 percent ration of food assistance in the form of general food distributions or food vouchers.  In some cases, the ration was adjusted to 25 percent due to logistical constraints triggered by insecurity.  Due to the presence of humanitarian assistance, most of these IDPs are likely to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) levels of food insecurity throughout the scenario period.

    Areas of Concern

    South Kordofan

    Current Situation

    Conflict and insecurity since June 2011 are the overriding determinants of current and projected food insecurity in South Kordofan. The renewed and intense military campaign by SAF, and counter-attacks by SPLM-N, have generated new displacement from within SPLM-N controlled areas in the Nuba Mountains and from the Nuba Mountains to GoS-controlled areas. 

    The harvest in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan controlled by SPLM-N is projected to be about 30 percent of average.  Therefore, access to food from own crops will be about 35-40 percent of normal. Poor households typically access 30-40 percent of their annual food needs from own production, however due to poor below average harvest of this year, they will only be able to access 10-15 percent of their annual food needs this year. The harvest is likely to be exhausted in two months instead of 5-6 months.

    Cereal prices are higher than normal in South Kordofan, especially in SPLM-N controlled areas. Sorghum prices are 50-100 percent higher than October prices in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan. Current (November/December) sorghum prices in Kadugli (GoS-controlled area) are 61 percent above the five-year average, although prices have been relatively stable in recent months due to the availability of humanitarian assistance. In more remote areas, prices are believed to be higher as households are relying more on market purchases with limited market supplies.

    Conflict continues to restrict access to markets, and access by humanitarian actors in SPLM-N controlled areas. Conflicted-affected and poor households in SPLM-N controlled areas are largely inaccessible to humanitarian assistance. However, humanitarian interventions are ongoing for IDPs in GoS-controlled areas; an estimated 80 percent of the IDPs and poor households have access to food rations, supplementary feeding programs, and other basic services.

    Income sources are significantly below average:

    • The below-average harvest and the intensified conflict have reduced access to farm labor. Thus, income from agricultural labor will be below average during January (for harvesting and cutting straw). Similarly, in-kind labor payments have also declined by 50 percent and now contribute five percent to household food supply (typically 10 percent).
    • Income from livestock sales are substantially reduced due to high losses and excessive sales over the past two years. While poor households and IDPs typically remained with a small number of livestock since the start of the conflict in 2011, more livestock were lost during the recent resurgent conflict. IDPs in SPLM-N areas are expected to have significantly fewer livestock than poor households.
    • Income from sales of cash and/or food crops is negligible due to the poor harvest.
    • Income from wood and charcoal are reduced because of restricted access for collection in the forest and reduced trade from SPLM-N areas to GoS areas (source of demand). 
    • Remittances from laborers traveling to GoS-controlled areas are assumed to be significantly below average in SPLM-N areas as most cash transfer mechanisms (mobile phones) are non-operational and population movements across the front lines are highly restricted.
    • Gifts and social support in SPLM-N-controlled areas, though present, are expected to be below average due to the assumption of a below-average proportion of middle and wealthy households.

    Although there is no recent information on nutrition available in South Kordofan, rates of acute malnutrition are assumed to have increased by now in SPLM-N controlled areas because of the expected food consumption gap, inaccessibility to basic humanitarian services, especially primary health services. 

    Assumptions for South Kordofan

    In addition to the national-level assumptions specified earlier, this Outlook makes the following assumptions for South Kordofan in particular:

    • Conflict is likely to increase between the SAF and SRF, due to the extended dry season which will facilitate military incursions.  In addition, the Sudanese government vowed to carry out a comprehensive military campaign to clear South Kordofan from the rebel groups. 
    • A significant decline in wage labor contribution is expected, principally due to reduced production, increased insecurity, and renewed displacements as SAF control more of the SPLM-N controlled areas.
    • Market purchases are expected to decline to below 50 percent of normal in SPLM-N areas, particularly after March, because of an anticipated sharp rise in food prices, once household stocks are exhausted.  Limited access to markets and inability to freely access wage labor will also cause a reduction in household capacities to purchase food.
    • External food assistance by the WFP and GoS, to poor households and IDPs in GoS-controlled areas, is expected to remain constant throughout the scenario period.  However, this assistance is not accessible to SPLM-N controlled areas and does not contribute to food sources for households in those areas.
    • Prices in urban areas controlled by the government are expected to remain relatively stable throughout 2014 due to: (1) relief distributions by the government and WFP, (2) sale of rations by recipients to purchase other food and non-food items and services, and (3) reduced purchasing power as a result of conflict, displacement, and lack of normal livelihood activities. Prices in more remote rural areas and SPLM-N areas will likely be higher and more variable and food availability will likely not be as stableProjected prices for June 2014 in Kadugli are 74 percent higher than the five-year average.
    • More resource-based conflict between sedentary farming communities and pastoralists is expected due to lack of grazing in South Sudan. Messeriya pastoralists from South Kordofan are unlikely to access normal dry season grazing areas in South Sudan because of the ongoing crisis.  Competition for grazing resources among pastoralists and with sedentary farmers could precipitate additional resource-based conflict, causing further displacements and loss of income and food from both household level stocks and milk and livestock products.
    • Although positive relations between Sudan and South Sudan may allow Sudan to participate in the mediation of the conflict in South Sudan, the on-going crisis in South Sudan may precipitate an influx of displaced populations from South Sudan into border areas including South Kordofan, increasing tensions and likely widening the conflict, causing additional displacements.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes of South Kordofan

    During January, household food consumption for IDPs and poor households in SPLM-N controlled areas will continue to decline precipitously because of a combination of poor production, increased insecurity that has restricted access to markets, above average food and non-food prices and a lack of viable alternative food sources except wild foods, which are associated with high risk. Consumption of wild foods is likely to be the most important food source during the scenario period.  In GoS-controlled areas, the situation is likely to remain relatively stable because of continued humanitarian food assistance by WFP and/or GoS. However, sources of food will decline because of reduced yields and constrained purchasing capacities due to heightened food prices and rising inflation.

    In SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity among IDPs and poor households in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan state will continue through March, and to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels by April 2014. This is due to multiple factors including the very poor harvest in SPLM-N controlled areas, restricted access by humanitarian agencies, degraded asset holdings (e.g. livestock), restricted trade flows to SPLM-N controlled areas, and intensified conflict between SAF and SRF.

    In GOS-controlled areas of South Kordofan, over 80 percent of IDPs and poor households have been receiving regular food aid (full rations) from the government and WFP, and will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) levels throughout the scenario period.

    Darfur

    Current Situation

    Total cereal production in Darfur is estimated to be 60 – 70 percent of the five-year average and 30 – 50 percent of last year’s good harvest. South and East Darfur states had the worst production, estimated at 30 percent and 40 percent, respectively, of average. In areas affected by tribal conflict in Central Darfur, animals grazing on arable lands destroyed 5 – 10 percent of crops this year. IDPs in many areas missed cultivation.  Below-average production has reduced access to food from own production to 50-60 percent of average, reduced income from the sale of cash crops by more than 50 percent, and reduced income from agriculture labor by 40-50 percent of average. Many households also lost assets (such as livestock).

    Cereal prices have been steadily increasing in most Darfur markets: Staple food prices in Nyala started to increase rapidly

    in August/September and continued to increase sharply through December due to expectations of a poor harvest, traders holding onto stocks until later in the marketing year, increased transport costs, and distortion of the marketing system by security tensions and conflict. Traders from Darfur normally source from Chad and the central parts of Sudan as the lean season approaches. However, these traders are currently supplying from Gadaref, which is of an indication of the expected reduction in supplies, as sorghum flows from Gadaref to Darfur are very rare due to high transport costs.  Sorghum prices in Nyala are currently 89 percent higher than the five year average while millet prices are 119 percent higher than the five year average.

    Assumptions

    In addition to the national-level assumptions noted above, the following assumptions will apply in Darfur:

    Prices: In Nyala (Darfur), prices are currently among the highest in the country. Prices will remain higher than their respective 2013 and five-year average levels due to reduced local availability and increased dependence on food from other distant parts of the country. Production from typical source areas in Chad are below average too, limiting market supplies available for export to Sudan. Transportation costs will therefore increase as the distance traveled to source grain from areas of central and eastern Sudan will be higher and because of the removal of the fuel subsidy.  Prices in Nyala are expected to begin increasing rapidly from February through June 2014; projections indicate that millet prices will be 137 percent above average while sorghum prices will be 81 percent higher than average. These prices increases are likely indicative of price trends throughout Darfur. 

    Outcomes

    The poor harvest, soaring food prices, and prevailing insecurity are likely to affect both IDPs and resident communities. Below-average production has reduced access to food from own production by 50-60 percent of normal, reduced income from the sale of cash crops by more than 50 percent, and reduced income from agricultural labor by 40-50 percent of average. This will affect both residents and IDPs. However, residents will be able to compensate for the loss in food and income sources by expanding livestock sales and relying on other coping strategies, such as petty trade and firewood/charcoal collection.  Thus, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity likely to persist among at least 20 percent of poor resident households in these areas during the second half of the scenario period.

    IDPs in Central, East and South Darfur States

    Current Situation

    Heightened tribal conflict and fighting between SAF and Darfur rebel factions throughout 2013 have displaced nearly 500,000 people in Darfur. The table below outlines the main areas of conflict and impacts.  Most of these tribal conflicts are driven by conflict over natural resources (e.g. land, pasture, destruction of crops, gold mines). Sporadic fighting between SAF and Darfur rebel factions continued in some parts of Central, South and East Darfur states; however the most recent serious fighting was reported in Jebel Mara area in Central, North and South Darfur, and Kutum area in North Darfur.

    Main Areas of Conflict in Darfur

    Area affected

    Period

    Type of conflict

    Main outcomes

    Central Darfur state: Um Dokhon, Bendesi, Wadi Salih, Zalingi, Mukjar and Shataya localities

    Since February - December 2013

    Tribal conflict between Slamat and Rezeighat cattle herders

    -More than 200 deaths

    - < 60,000 IDPs in Um Dokhon, Mukjar, Wadi Salih, Zalingi, Beliel, Bendisi

    -< 30,000 refugees in Tissi in Eastern Chad

    -Looting of animals

    Destruction/burning of houses/properties

    -Distortion of cultivation season

    -Disruption of trade flow and humanitarian assistance

    East Darfur State: Adila, Abu Matrig, Abu Karinka, Kilakil Abu Slama, El Ferdus, Ed Daein and Sharef localities

    August – October 2013

    Tribal conflict between Ma’alia and Rezeight

    -Hundreds of death

    -<125,000 people displaced to Adila, Ed Daein, Yasin, Abu Karinka, Abu Matarig towns

    ->50% of normal area planted this year

    -Looting of cattle

    -Destruction of assets/houses

    North Darfur state: Serief, Saraf Omra and Kebkabiya localities

    January – June 2013

    Tribal conflict between Beni Hussein and Abbala camel herders due to dispute over Jebel Amer artisanal gold mining

    -Hundreds of deaths

    -<100,000 people displaced to Serief Beni Hissein, Saraf Omra, Khara Zawaiya and Kebkabiya town.

    -Closure of Jebel Amir artisanal gold mining

    -looting of cattle

    -Destruction of houses/properties 

    South Darfur: Um Labasa, Katila, Kabum, Ed El Fursan loaclities

    March – May 2013

    Tribal conflict between Gimir and Beni Halba

    -Tens of deaths

    -<45,000 people displaced to Ed EL Fursan, Katyayla, Tulus, El Slam localities in South Drafur state

     

    East Darfur: Muhajeria and Labado localities 

    April 2013

    Fighting between SAF and SLA-MMinawi

    -<60,000 people displaced to Selea, Yassin and Ed Daein towns in East Darfur state. Some displaced Kalma, Beliel, Deriege and Otash ISP’ camps in Nyala town in South Darfur state

    South Darfur: Ed El Fursanl, El Salam and Beliel localities

    April – May 2013

    Fighting between SAF and SRF

    -About 25,000 displaced to Sakali, Kalm, El Salam, Otach and Deriege IDP camps in Nyala town 

    Central Darfur: Golo, Guldo and Rokero localities

    December 2011 – January 2013

    Fighting between SAF and SLA-Abdelwahid

    17,000 people displaced to Nertiti town in Nertiti locality

    Insecurity in other places (e.g. East Jebel Marra)

    January – December 2013

    Fighting between SRF and SAF and small scale tribal clashes

    About 25,000 people displaced to existing IDP’ camps in South, Central, East and North Darfur states.

    Conflict has also disrupted trade flows between central Sudan and Darfur and within Darfur, caused destruction of crops and assets, and losses of hundreds of lives. It has also created a prevailing environment of lawlessness in Darfur, disrupting normal livelihood activities (e.g. cultivation of farms, firewood collection, seasonal agricultural labor) and substantially reducing access by humanitarian agencies. As a result, in some locations organizations have skipped one to two months of food distributions for IDPs.  An estimated 30 percent of newly displaced IDPs are not receiving humanitarian assistance. A recent inter-agency assessment in South Darfur revealed that tribal fighting between Gimir and Beni Halba in Katila and Ed Al Fursan localities displaced about 45,000 people in April and May 2013 to Ed El Fursan, Katyla, Tulus and El Salam localities in South Darfur state, and they are reportedly desperately in need of humanitarian assistance.

    Insecurity has increased travel time and transaction costs to/within Darfur. Heightened insecurity due to tribal conflict, armed robbery groups and fighting between SAF and Darfur rebel groups has also led to nearly doubling of travel time of commercial conveys traveling from Central Sudan to Darfur and within Darfur, and have doubled patrol fees since last year. For example, the 220 km long road between Nyala town in South Darfur and Zalingie town in Central Darfur has more than 50 check points claiming protection fees, further increasing transaction costs and terminal prices. Transporters have also raised concerns about the repeated incidence of truck-jacking by armed groups along the roads in Darfur.

    Cereal prices increased in most Darfur markets since the beginning of harvest in October/November, the time when cereal prices normally decline. Sorghum prices in Nyala market in South Darfur were 11 percent higher in November/December than last October; 20 percent higher than the same period last year; and 90 percent higher than the five-year average. Millet prices were 10 percent higher in November/December than in October, about 24 percent higher than the same period in 2012, and 120 percent higher than the five-year average.

    Supplies from Chad to border markets in Darfur are below average. Normally supplies of grain from Chad are an important source for markets in Darfur, and represent about 20-25 percent of annual domestic availability in West, Central, and South Darfur. In November/December 2013, only about 20-30 percent of typical supply levels from Chad to border markets in West Darfur (e.g. For Baranga and Beida markets) and Central Darfur (Um Dokhon) were reported, due to localized production deficits. Supplies from Chad might increase with the completion of the harvest in January 2014, but are unlikely to exceed 50 percent of normal.

    Terms of trade are deteriorating as labor wages decline and cereal prices rise. Daily wage labor in Nyala town has started to decline gradually, from SDG 75 per day in September to SDG 40 per day in December. This could be a reflection of poor harvests in South Darfur which have lowered demand for labor by 30-40 percent of normal. Therefore, terms of trade between daily wage labor and cereal have started to deteriorate. The terms of trade between wage labor and sorghum/millet in Nyala town are 10–15 percent lower in December than in November.

    Although the recent crisis in South Sudan has not directly impacted Darfur, it could impact the livelihoods of Rezeighat cattle herders who seasonally graze their animals in South Sudan. If conflict extends to Bahr el Ghazal State of South Sudan, which borders East Darfur State, it will adversely affect Rezeighat cattle herders, who seasonally migrate with their livestock to Bar el Ghazal during the dry season (November/December to May/June). The extension of the conflict to Bahr el Ghazal could also trigger displacement of 40,000–50,000 people from South Sudan to East Darfur State in Sudan. A similar number of South Sudanese from Bahr el Ghazal were displaced to the same area before the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. Since then, over 70 percent of them have returned to South Sudan, especially after separation of South Sudan in 2011.

    Political unrest in the Central African Republic (CAR) has affected refugees from Darfur. The growing political unrest in CAR raises concerns for tens of thousands of refugees from Darfur currently residing in CAR. These refugees fear being targeted by conflicting parties in CAR, and the prevailing insecurity has affected delivery of humanitarian assistance to refugee camps in CAR. The government of Sudan deported about 600 Sudanese nationals from CAR from the capital Bangi.

    Assumptions for East, Central and South Darfur

    Current levels of sporadic tribal clashes, fighting between Darfur rebel groups and SAF, and criminal activity are likely to continue in Darfur with the following impacts on food security:

    • FEWS NET assumes that about 50,000 –70,000 new displacements will occur during the scenario period.
    • Heightened insecurity will also reduce access by humanitarian agencies to IDPs, similar to 2013. Humanitarian agencies will likely adjust their assistance (such as reductions in food rations) and may not be able to deliver assistance to beneficiaries in some instances.
    • Insecurity will continue to disrupt/delay trade flows from Central Sudan to Darfur and within Darfur, which could lead to reduced supplies of basic food needs (e.g. sugar, cooking oil, rice etc), which could lead to a 30 – 50 increase in prices during the scenario period.
    • Tribal clashes among pastoralist tribes could divert seasonal livestock migration routes to cropping zones and cause destruction of winter crops (e.g. vegetables) that will affect sedentary-farmer’s income and refuel conflict between pastoralist and sedentary farmers in Darfur.

    The below average harvest in Darfur is likely to have the following impacts on IDPs in Darfur:

    • Reduced access to food from own production by more than 50 percent of normal, which is likely to increase dependency of IDPs on market purchase and food aid as the main sources of food during the scenario period.
    • Reduced access to income from sales of cash crops by 50 percent of normal.
    • Reduced opportunities for seasonal agricultural labor during the harvest, leading to declines in wages.
    • Reduced in-kind payment as a source of food by 50 percent of normal due to reduced labor opportunities during the harvest.
    • Inter-communal cash and in kind support in the form of Zakat is likely to be reduced this year as a result of the poor harvest

    An early onset of the lean season is expected: The lean season is anticipated to begin in March instead of May, principally due to poor production during the 2013 season, compounded by the unusually high food prices during the harvest, deteriorating macroeconomic fundamentals, and heightened insecurity.

    Normal levels of remittances are likely to be maintained during the scenario period. At least 1-2 members of IDPs will migrate to urban areas in central Sudan or to traditional gold mining in Northern and North Kordofan states during the dry season (November – June) and remit cash income to household members in conflict-affected areas of Darfur States. This is the most viable coping strategy for IDPs to compensate for cash income losses, reduced food aid rations, and reduced harvests in 2013. However, the likely increase in remittances is not anticipated to compensate for losses in income and food, due to sharp increase of food prices, and the likely additional increase in demand from extended family members.

    Livelihood options for IDPs will be reduced. Under the prevailing insecurity conditions in Darfur and the below average harvest prospects, income-generating options from dry season activities (such as firewood/grass collection, petty trade, sale of cash crops) will be reduced by 10 - 15 percent. Seasonal agricultural labor will improve by the beginning of the rainy season in May/June, but is not expected to boost the income of IDPs sufficiently, to keep pace with the soaring food prices.

    Over 80 percent of long-standing IDPs are likely to continue receiving 50 percent food aid rations in the form of general food distributions or food vouchers by WFP and ICRC during the scenario period.

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes in East, Central and South Darfur:

    Household food consumption among longstanding IDP camps is relatively stable for at least 80 percent of the population because of the continued supply of food assistance by WFP or ICRC. However, sources of food will nevertheless decline because of reduced yields and constrained purchasing capacities due to heightened food prices and rising inflation. The majority of longstanding IDPs will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) during the scenario period.

    Newly displaced IDPs who did not receive food assistance will not be able to fulfil their minimum food requirements for survival because they missed cultivation, lost asset holdings, and have reduced purchasing power. Increased wild food consumption and seasonal migration for agricultural labor by women during the harvest is an important strategy to expand income and improve household food access and consumption.  However, access to these activities will be reduced during the scenario period because of insecurity and the very poor harvest in Central, West and South Darfur states. Thus, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity is likely to persist among at least 20 percent of new IDPs in Darfur during the scenario period.

     


    Events That Might Change the Outlook

    Table 1: Possible events over the next six months that could change the most likely scenario.

    Area

    Event

    Impact on food security outcomes

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

    Improvements in the security situation in SPLM-N controlled areas, leading to substantial access to labor, markets and humanitarian assistance.

     

    The food security classification through the outlook for IDPs and poor households would be revised to Stressed (!) level of food insecurity (IPC Phase 2!)

     

    New IDPs in Darfur

    Improved coverage of humanitarian assistance to over 80 percent of new IDPs

    Food security classification of new IDPs would improve from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2!)

    All Sudan

    Crisis in South Sudan worsen to extend it halts oil exploration and export via facilities in Sudan

    The halting of South Sudan’s oil export would result in loss of US$ 1 billion for Sudan that could lead to a huge budget deficit. This would necessitate new austerity measures by lifting subsidies of strategic commodities like wheat, which could lead to increased cost of living and possible civil unrest in main urban areas.

    Nomadic cattle herders from East Darfur, West Kordofan, South Kordofan, White Nile, Sinar and Blue Nile state

    Crisis in South Sudan worsens and hinders seasonal grazing of cattle from these areas in South Sudan

    Millions head of cattle will be at risk due to lack of pasture and water in the Sudanese side of the border during the dry season. This would threaten livelihoods of nomadic groups and increase the tension between sedentary farmers and nomadic groups.

     

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year in Sudan

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year in Sudan

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1:  Cereal prices in 2013 compared to average (five-year) prices (SDG/KG)

    Figure 2

    Figure 1

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Source:

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top