Food Security Outlook

Conflict will remain the main driver of food insecurity in Sudan through December

July 2013 to December 2013
2013-Q3-1-1-SD-en

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

  • Conflict, displacement, assistance patterns, and rainfall define most food security outcomes in Sudan during the July to December outlook period. The lean season, which will peak in agricultural and agro-pastoral areas in August/September, further constrains food security during the outlook period. 

  • The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North- (SPLM-N) controlled areas face the greatest restrictions to market access due to conflict and will be in IPC v2.0 Phase 4 (Emergency) through the end of the lean season in September, improving to Phase 3 (Crisis) in October. 

  • Conflict-affected areas and new IDP populations in Darfur States, particularly in South Darfur, and SPLM-N-controlled areas of Blue Nile will remain in IPC v2.0 Phase 3 in September and into the post-harvest season.

  • At least 80 percent of households in most of central and eastern Sudan will face Minimal (IPC v2.0 Phase 1) acute food insecurity  and will have adequate access to food from the good harvest last year and/or affordable market purchases.

  • Late rains in June/July delayed planting in the surplus-producing areas of Sudan. However, average rains are forecasted for the remainder of the season, and average harvests are assumed to be most likely in these areas. 

National Overview

Current Situation

Security conditions deteriorated significantly in Darfur in 2013 and also in South Kordofan, displacing over 400,000 people over the first half of 2013. Inter-tribal fighting in South Darfur, North Darfur, and Central Darfur, and fighting between the Sudan Liberation Army - Minni Minnawi (SLA-MM) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in East Darfur and South Darfur displaced about 300,000 people within Darfur states. An additional 30,000 people sought refuge in Chad. Fighting between SAF and SPLM-N in South Kordofan over the past three months has displaced about 100,000 people in Government of Sudan (GoS)- and SPLM-N-controlled areas.

Sudan announced suspension of the Implementation Matrix establishing terms of cross-border cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan with respect to oil, trade, and transhumance for grazing. In late May Sudan informed South Sudan that it would suspend the Implementation Matrix within two months under allegations of cross-border rebel support. It is reported that South Sudan has already started gradual reduction of oil production in order to comply with this suspension, which theoretically includes closure of the oil pipeline. Both parties to the agreement are in discussions with African Union mediators to address the issue, resulting in extension of the suspension deadline by two weeks. Oil revenues constitute nearly 98 percent of national revenue in South Sudan. The services fees paid to Sudan for oil transit via pipeline had helped mitigate Sudan’s hard currency deficit, the fast devaluation of local currency, and high inflation.

Poor start of the rainy season over most parts of Sudan delayed planting. Rains began early in May in some parts of Sudan, but were poorly distributed in June and July, particularly in the surplus-producing sorghum belt in the East (Gadaref, Kassala, Blue Nile, Sinar, White Nile and Gazira state). Planting, which is normally complete by mid-July, had not yet begun by the third week of July and is two to three weeks late.

Millet and sorghum price trends reflect the above-average harvest of 2012. Whereas these prices normally increase in May and June, they fell nationwide in May due to early rains, as well as to increased conflict and restricted exports to South Sudan. Between May and June, millet prices were generally stable. Sorghum prices were stable on most markets, but increased seasonably, between 5-10 percent, in El Fasher and Kadugli. Due to high inflation (about 30-40 percent per year), prices were 10 percent above last year (reflecting the strength of the 2012/13 harvest compared to the poor 2011/12 harvest) and 80 percent above the five-year average. Relatively stable cereal prices also maintained or improved terms of trade between cereals and income sources on most markets.

Background rates of acute malnutrition in Sudan remain above 15 percent. A recent report by Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and UNICEF cited as the main reasons behind high rates of acute malnutrition in Sudan poor water hygiene, poor dietary practices, destruction of livelihoods by conflict in some parts of the country, and growing poverty due to inflation following the separation of South Sudan in 2011 and the loss of oil revenues.

As of July 2013, an estimated 3.7 - 4 million people in Sudan face Stressed and Crisis (IPC v2.0 Phase 2 and 3) acute food insecurity. Crisis (IPC v2.0 Phase 3) acute food insecurity persists in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan, the Darfur states, Blue Nile, and Abyei.

National Assumptions

The Implementation Matrix will be suspended. Despite continuing talks between Sudan and South Sudan, FEWS NET assumes for its most-likely scenario that Sudan will formally implement its decision to suspend the Implementation Matrix with South Sudan by late August 2013. This is expected to have the following consequences during the scenario period:

  • FEWS NET expects that the Abyei referendum, currently scheduled for October, will not take place this year.
  • Conflict will increase in border states. Civil insecurity will be most acute in Abyei and SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan, particularly in September-November around the time proposed for the Abyei referendum. The 57,000 returnees in Abyei, particularly north of Bahr Al-Arab/River Kiir, are likely to displace again to South Sudan.
  • Informal flows of cereals from Sudan to South Sudan, which had increased significantly with the execution of the Implementation Matrix in March to May, will fall again to the low levels of 2012, when Sudan had imposed tough restrictions on cross-border trade with South Sudan.
  • Oil flows and related export and service fee revenues are likely to decline rapidly before reaching nil by September.
  • The macro-economic impact of this change (deteriorating balance of payments, increasing inflation, etc.) will begin in July due to reduced confidence in markets, even though revenues are likely to continue through part of August.
  • The deficit in balance of payments will likely increase, which will also likely increase the gap between official and black market exchange rates beyond the current level of about 55 percent. Inflation rates are likely to return to 2012 levels (20-40 percent per year).

Forecasts suggest average July-September rainfall in the center and eastern surplus cropping areas (Figures 2 and 3). Despite the poor start of season in surplus-producing areas in June and July, rainfall for the remainder of the season is expected to be average. The surplus-producing areas are responsible for about 60-65 percent of national production.

Given rainfall forecasts in the surplus-producing zones, national cereal production is likely to be near average. However, harvests may be delayed due to observed planting delays. The progress of rainfall and crop development will require close monitoring.

Average to below-average rains are expected in Darfur and much of South Kordofan with below-average harvests likely.

Conflict will decline seasonably through September, increasing again in October. Rains will hamper the mobilization of troops and heavy equipment.

In Darfur, the civil security situation is likely to remain tense throughout the scenario period due to the intensification of tribal conflict, the return of Darfur rebel fighters from South Kordofan, normal seasonal pastoralist-cropper conflict in wet-season grazing areas, and the high tension between armed militias and government security forces in South Darfur.

As a result of the factors mentioned above, real cereal prices are expected to follow relatively seasonal trends for most of the country. Inflation will likely increase from current levels, however, and nominal prices will fall slightly above a strictly seasonal projection. Due to anticipated delayed harvests, nominal prices will peak at levels about 10-20 percent above June 2013 levels in August but will remain high for longer than usual into September due to delayed harvests before falling in October-December to levels near or slightly below those of June 2013. In general, nominal prices in 2013/14 are expected to be significantly higher than those of 2012/13 (more than 30-40 percent higher) due to low prices from the above-average 2012/13 harvest and the anticipated high inflation. Prices in areas experiencing significant and unusual market disruption due to conflict (South Kordofan and the Darfur states) are likely to see higher prices.

Despite debates to the contrary, FEWS NET expects the government of Sudan to maintain subsidies on wheat and fuel.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned of a low to moderate risk of a significant desert locust outbreak. Hence, it is assumed that locust numbers will be higher than normal in the vast, summer breeding areas across Sudan. Ground teams from the Plant Protection Department (PPD) of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (FMoAI) are monitoring and treating breeding areas. At present vegetation remains dry and unfavorable for breeding due to below-average rains in June and July. Nonetheless, at least one generation of breeding is likely to occur in Darfur, North Kordofan, White Nile, Khartoum, and Kassala States. No significant or widespread impacts on crops or pastures are expected in the most likely scenario.

Most Likely Food Security Outcomes—National Summary (Figures 4 and 5)

At least 20 percent of the population living in SPLM-N controlled areas is expected to face severe food gaps due to conflict-related restrictions to market and humanitarian access. These areas will be classified as IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) through the peak of the lean season in September, improving to IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) with the harvest period in October.

Other areas of concern include conflict-affected areas of South Darfur, Abyei, and Blue Nile, where Crisis acute food insecurity is likely through the peak of the lean season in September. IDPs and poor households in SPLM-N controlled areas of Blue Nile and new IDPs and local people in conflict-affected areas, having lost their assets or access to livelihood strategies, also face limited access to humanitarian services. In these areas, wild foods are currently available, especially leafy greens. However, they are not expected to mitigate the moderate food deficits expected during the peak of the lean season in July-September.

Despite the agricultural lean season during July - September, Minimal (IPC v. 2.0 Phase 1) acute food insecurity will be maintained in most parts of Sinar, Gadaref, Khartoum, Kassala, Gazeira, Northern, River Nile, and North Kordofan States, as well as in western parts of South Kordofan State. As of July, most of households in these areas maintain adequate access to food from stocks of their own harvest of last season, which was above average; payment in kind; improved milk production; and the green harvest in September; or via market purchases funded by income generated from the sale of livestock and cash crops, seasonal agricultural labor, artisanal gold mining and remittances. With the new, though late harvest in November, adequate access to food from the above-mentioned sources is likely to be maintained.

South Kordofan and Blue Nile

Civil insecurity along the border between Sudan and South Sudan continues to be the main driving factor of food insecurity in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The ongoing conflict between the SPLM-N and SAF since June 2011 has caused significant displacement and disruption to livelihoods and markets in general, particularly in SPLM-N-controlled areas (Figure 6).

The Government of Sudan allows humanitarian access and trade in areas it controls. In June, for example, the World Food Program (WFP) distributed assistance to 100,000 displaced people. However, the GoS imposes strict access constraints for traders and humanitarians to SPLM-N-controlled areas. This control is porous, and the incentives to trade are high. Small-scale informal trade and movement of people between GoS-controlled and SPLM-N-controlled areas occur on foot, by donkey and by motorcycle. Traders exchange foodstuffs from GoS-controlled areas for livestock from SPLM-N-controlled areas.

Current Situation in SPLM-N-controlled Areas of South Kordofan

Periodic, active conflict is ongoing in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan. Access to information about food security conditions in these areas is extremely limited. Most of the analysis regarding these areas is based on assumptions using evidence from areas controlled by the Government of Sudan.

Typically in July poor households in SPLM-N-controlled areas of the Nuba mountains rely on wild foods and on market purchases funded by income earned from remittances from relatives in other parts of Sudan, agricultural labor, wood or charcoal sales, and a small portion from livestock sales. Current conditions in these areas are as follows:

  • Despite below-average rainfall totals through July, early rains in May improved water and pasture availability earlier than usual.
  • Wild food availability in July is assumed to be near average. In addition, stocks of wild foods from the above-average 2012/13 season is assumed to still be available for consumption, which is unusual for this time of year.
  • Livestock body conditions in June/July are reportedly average to good for this time of year. Milk yields per animal are assumed to be near average.
  • Livestock holdings, however, are assumed to be below average, though not nil, both to reduce risk of losses from conflict and as more livestock has been sold than usual since 2011 to mitigate the food security impacts of conflict. IDPs are assumed to have significantly fewer livestock than poor households.
  • With below-average livestock holdings and average milk yields, less milk than usual is assumed to be available to households for sale and consumption in July. Demand for milk and milk income is also assumed to be below average.
  • Markets in SPLM-N-controlled areas function and are supplied in cereals, pulses, and other goods from GoS-controlled areas. Prices in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan are assumed to be the highest in Sudan due to the high risk associated with evading GoS restrictions and the low volumes of commodity that the means of transportation allow under these conditions. In addition, local production in these areas was poor in 2012/13 due to conflict, thereby increasing household’s reliance on markets and household food expenditures compared to usual over the course of the consumption year. No information regarding terms of trade is currently available to FEWS NET.
  • FEWS NET was unable to acquire information about income from wood or charcoal sales. These are assumed to be slightly below average in July due to low demand (fewer people in the area, more of whom are poor) and to be currently constrained by rain and intermittent fighting.
  • Though the supply of laborers is lower than usual due to displacement, it is still assumed to exceed the demand for local agricultural labor within SPLM-N-controlled areas, leading to below-average income from local labor.
  • Remittances from surplus laborers traveling to GoS-controlled areas to work and from family members in other parts of Sudan are assumed to exist but to be significantly below average due to constraints to cash transfers from GoS to SPLM-N controlled areas.
  • 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.
  • FEWS NET assumes that no humanitarian assistance has arrived in SPLM-N-controlled areas since 2011 due to GoS restrictions.
  • Due to the poor start of season to date, demand for agricultural labor in July is below average both in GoS-controlled areas, where some people in SPLM-N-controlled areas work, as well as in SPLM-N-controlled areas. In addition, constraints to land access due to displacement or insecurity in SPLM-N-controlled areas suggest that the demand for labor in SPLM-N-controlled areas is lower than in GoS-controlled areas.
  • No recent or historical information regarding nutrition exists. However, rates of acute malnutrition are assumed to be increasing in July, as is usual during the lean season, due to the combined effects of poor hygiene, malaria and other diseases, and low food access.
  • FEWS NET does not have access to information regarding household coping strategies.

As a result of the conditions mentioned above, poor households are assumed to have relied more heavily on markets than usual with less income than usual over the past few months. Constraints to movement and trade limit coping options. As a result of extended marginal to insufficient consumption, rates of acute malnutrition are assumed to be slightly above average for this population and season. As a result, poor households and IDPs—who comprise almost the entire population currently living in SPLM-N-controlled areas—face moderate and increasing food consumption gaps and are classified in July as IPC v2.0 Phase 3 (Crisis).

Assumptions for SPLM-N-controlled Areas of South Kordofan
  • Conflict will increase. The continued tension over the Implementation Matrix and the efforts by SPLM-N, SRF, and SAF to gain ground and influence is likely to increase conflict, particularly beginning in October with the dry season. The scale of fighting is likely to be worse than levels observed over the first half of 2013.
  • Rainfall is likely to be average to below average in SPLM-N-controlled areas beginning in August-September/October. However, rainfall totals are likely to be sufficient to meet needs for rain-fed sorghum cropping (Figure 7). Normal distribution of rainfall beginning in late July/early August through the end of the season is assumed.
  • However, households will avoid using far fields due to insecurity, and access to inputs is below average, so the area planted will be below average. This is particularly the case among IDPs, who must travel farther than usual to their fields.
  • Access to labor opportunities in GoS-controlled areas is expected to be similar to 2012 through September. However, as conflict is expected to increase in October, access will become more difficult. Demand for labor in GoS-controlled areas is expected to be above average due to delays in the start of season and rapid harvesting as a strategy to mitigate the impact of increasing conflict in October/November. The season for peak labor demand, however, will likely be shorter than usual and may end in November instead of December/January as usual.
  • GoS will maintain access restrictions to SPLM-N controlled areas by traders and humanitarian actors.
  • Though informal trade between GoS- and SPLM-N-controlled areas using light trucks may be reduced through September due to the rains, informal trade by donkey, motorbike, bicycle, and person is likely to continue throughout the outlook period.
  • Prices are likely to follow the national, seasonal trends identified above. Price levels are likely to remain significantly higher in SPLM-N-controlled areas than in GoS-controlled areas.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes in SPLM-N-controlled Areas of South Kordofan

The vast majority of the 200,000-220,000 poor households and IDPs in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan will be heavily reliant on markets for food through September/October due to low 2012/13 production and the delayed start of season. However, due to high prices and below-average incomes, notably from below-average agricultural labor opportunities, poor households and IDPs will likely be more reliant on wild foods than usual through September. The supply of wild foods, however, will be average to below average based on the rainfall assumptions and constraints to areas exploited due to insecurity. The harvest is expected to be delayed. No additional coping strategies are expected to be available to mitigate impacts to food consumption. As a result, IDPs and poor households in SPLM-N-controlled areas are likely to face a significant food consumption gap in August-September, provided that no humanitarian assistance is received. Based on these food consumption gaps, rates of acute malnutrition are expected to be significantly above typical background rates and increasing during this period. These food security outcomes correspond to IPC v2.0 Phase 4 (Emergency) for these areas for August and September. The worst-affected populations are those in Heiban, Um Durain, Al Buram, Delami, Talodi, Kalogi, and parts of Rashad, and El Dalang localities.

The harvest will be somewhat delayed, extending the lean season, though green harvests will be available beginning in October. Given the expectations for a below-average harvest with poorer rainfall than in 2012/13, own production in these areas is likely to be 1-2 months’ consumption less than usual, though still sufficient for November/December. Labor demand for below-average harvests will also be low. Despite these factors being unfavorable, they still constitute an improvement compared to the peak of the lean season. Food consumption gaps are expected to decline to slight to moderate levels, and rates of acute malnutrition are also expected to decline seasonably with improved health, hygiene and food consumption.

Government of Sudan-controlled areas of South Kordofan

In the GoS-controlled areas of South Kordofan, the majority of the 220,000 to 250,000 IDPs and war affected households are likely to continue to face acute food insecurity level IPC v2.0 Phase 2 (Stressed). This is mainly due to the relatively better access to cropping areas, agricultural labor opportunities, and food and non-food humanitarian assistance compared to SPLM-N areas. The main areas of concern in GoS-controlled areas of South Kordofan include parts of Kadugli, parts of El Dalang, Abassiya, EL Rief Alshargi, Abu Ghebaiha, Rashad, Kalogi, Talodi, and Rashad.

SPLM-N-controlled Areas of Blue Nile

People in SPLM-N-controlled areas of Blue Nile have relatively greater, intermittent access to informal trade with GoS-controlled areas compared with South Kordofan. In addition, they have access to the surplus production from Beni Shengol region of Ethiopia. Fighting in Blue Nile is not likely to be as intense as in South Kordofan, which is closer to the hotly-contested Abyei area. As a result, insecurity poses less of a constraint to cultivation than in South Kordofan. Finally, despite the late start of season, the rainfall forecasts in Blue Nile are slightly more favorable than in South Kordofan. Food security is likely to remain in Crisis (IPC v2.0 Phase 3) through the peak of the lean season in August/September but will likely improve to Stressed (IPC v2.0 Phase 2) levels during the harvest (October - December). 

Darfur Region

Civil insecurity and tribal conflict inDarfur Region revived in 2013, particularly since April, displacing approximately 300,000 people. There are several axes and origins of conflict, both political and tribal, including:

  • SAF vs. Sudan Liberation Army - Minni Minnawi (SLA-MM) in Muhajeria and Labado in East Darfur and in Beliel and Alsalam localities in South Darfur State;
  • Salamat vs. the alliance of Messeiriay, Taysha, and Rezeighat in Shataya, Um Dokkon, Wadi Salih, Mukjar, Reheid Al Birdi, Markondi, Beliel, Dagadusah, Kass, East Jebel Mara, and Al Malam localities;
  • Beni Hussein vs. Rezeighat Abbala (camel herders) in Serief Beni Hussein, Saraf Omra, and Kebkabiya localities
  • Gimir vs. Beni Halba in Id El Fursan, Intekeina, and Katiela localities; and
  • Crimes of opportunity, particularly banditry.

In general there are three types of people at risk of food insecurity:

  • Old IDPs from the conflict of the early 2000s. In general, about 50-60 percent of this population engaged in own production during the excellent 2012/13 season. This population is also active in the unskilled labor, firewood, and petty trade markets. They receive half-rations from humanitarian agencies. Remittances are also a key source of income for many of the old IDPs.
  • Local populations in areas indirectly affected by conflict. Due to the impact of conflict on markets, this group has had more difficulty than usual selling their goods on markets and acquiring food from markets since January, though markets are, in general functioning. Access to health and education services, as well as to non-food items, is occasionally disturbed.
  • New IDPs displaced since January 2013. New IDPs are assumed to have lost virtually all of their livestock or petty trade goods, access to their land, and the few pre-lean-season food stocks remaining at the time of displacement. Information available to FEWS NET suggests that, though some of the recent IDPs are receiving assistance, many are not.

The most severe impacts and displacement are in South Darfur.

Current Situation in South Darfur

Poor security conditions delayed commercial convoys in April/May, increasing transportation costs and consumer prices. During the heavy fighting since April, insecurity and escort challenges delayed some commercial convoys carrying fuel and other essential food and non-food items from central Sudan to Darfur. The trip that usually takes 1-2 weeks took 1-2 months. The transportation delays doubled or tripled transportation costs and created occasional scarcity and price spikes of essential goods. Though these spikes may be temporary, they are significant. For example, when a commercial convoy heading to Nyala was delayed for 40 days in April/May, fuel prices in Nyala town more than doubled. This constrained access to power and increased water costs from pumps as well during the hottest and driest months of the year. At the same time, prices of other basic foods such as sugar increased by 25 - 50 percent compared to March. Again, though temporary, these issues increased household expenditures more than expected in advance of the lean season.

As with the rest of Sudan, due to above-average stocks from the excellent 2012/13 production, cereal prices in Nyala increased less than usual over the course of 2013.

Terms of trade from unskilled labor to cereals favor laborers. Unskilled day labor-to-sorghum terms of trade actually increased from about 6 kg/day in May 2012 to about 11.7 kg/day in May 2013, which is an increase in purchasing power of 95 percent. At this rate, a household of 6 people would require only 10 days of paid labor per month to meet the households’ minimum food needs for 30 days (assuming 2100 kcal/person/day and 3600 kcal/kg sorghum, the cheapest staple). Field investigation suggests that insecurity has reduced the flow of laborers from camps compared to last year. However, given the large magnitude of the increase in purchasing power and the fact that Nyala town is also affected by conflict and trade disruptions (not just rural areas), FEWS NET assumes that in rural areas labor-to-cereal terms of trade are also significantly better than last year.

Wild food availability is currently assumed to be near average.

Income from groundnuts, which are usually sold at harvest time between October-December, was about 80 percent of last year’s income due to low prices as a result of surplus production. However, in July, the low price of groundnuts is favorable to poor households and IDPs who are acquiring most of their food from the market and most income from unskilled labor wages in July.

Tribal conflict in January around gold mines in Jebel Amir displaced approximately 100,000 people. However, field information suggests that the displaced miners resumed their livelihoods in mines elsewhere in Sudan.

Of the 630,000 estimated displaced people in South Darfur in July 2013, about 160,000 people (20-25 percent) became displaced since January 2013. About 60 percent of these joined established camps in or around Nyala town.

FAO and some INGOs provided agricultural support (e.g. seeds, tools) to some IDPs so that they may cultivate this year. Other agencies provided livelihood support (e.g. livestock).

The IDPs that are not receiving assistance face the most severe food security outcomes in South Darfur (IPC v2.0 Phase 3, Crisis). However, since new IDPs without assistance are estimated to constitute less than 20 percent of the total IDP population in the area, the IDP camps are classified as IPC v2.0 Phase 2 (Stressed) in July. Local populations in the area are also classified as IPC v2.0 Phase 2 due to the occasional, conflict-related constraints to market access.

Assumptions for South Darfur
  • Though rainfall is likely to be below average in central and southern parts of South Darfur, it is likely to be nearer to average in northern parts of South Darfur, where food insecurity is currently most acute. It is likely that total rainfall will be sufficient to meet crop development needs for millet, the primary crop, assuming that the distribution of rains will be near normal.
  • Though a lull is likely due to the rains in July-September, insecurity is likely to remain high in South Darfur State, particularly beginning in October. This will likely disrupt trade flows from central Sudan on occasion during the projection period.
  • Area planted will be below that of last year due to insecurity and the poor start of season. In particular, FEWS NET assumes that fewer IDPs will attempt to plant this year compared to last year. Last year the majority of IDPs engaged in own-production. Despite this, the significant increase and high levels of labor-to-cereal terms of trade in Nyala suggest that both agricultural and urban labor demand are still near average.
  • Based on the above, cereal prices in South Darfur will generally follow seasonal trends as described above, peaking in August/September, and declining in October. However, given that rainfall and production in the southern and central parts of South Darfur is assumed to be below average, cereal prices are likely not to fall as much as usual between October and December.
  • Remittances, year-round a moderate source of income to local populations and IDPs alike, are expected to be average.
  • Average to below-average rainfall will likely lead to below-average availability of wild foods later in the season in October to December.
  • Revenues from mining are expected to be seasonably low during the July-September rainy season but otherwise near average.
  • Increased expenditures during July/August for Ramadan and later in September/October for Tabaski.
  • Food aid is planned and funded and is likely to continue for IDPs in camps.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes in South Darfur

In general, food security is better this year than last in South Darfur despite this year’s conflict. However, newly displaced IDPs who have not yet received assistance are likely to face some slight to modest food deficits through the peak of the lean season in August/September (IPC v2.0 Phase 3, Crisis). FEWS NET expects these IDPs to become integrated into the humanitarian assistance programming over the course of the projection period. This, combined with the green harvests, is likely to improve food security outcomes for this group to IPC v2.0 Phase 2 (Stressed) beginning in October. However, as this group does not constitute 20 percent of total IDPs, the classification for IDP camps will be IPC v2.0 Phase 2 based on the food security outcomes of long-term IDPs, who are receiving half-rations to complement additional sources of food and income.

Local populations with below-average market access and assistance in some conflict-affected areas are likely to face IPC v2.0 Phase 3 (Crisis) as well during the peak of the rains and the agricultural lean season between July-September until the green harvests arrive in October. 

Events that might change the Outlook

Area

Event

Impact on food security outcomes

All Sudan

Sudan continues to cooperate with South Sudan regarding the Implementation Matrix

This would likely sustain revenues from oil export required by Sudan to balance its budget deficit, reduce inflation and local currency devaluation.

Darfur

Significant locust outbreak during the agricultural season

More significantly below-average own production and pasture production than anticipated in the most likely scenario, resulting in increased agricultural/pastoral conflict with earlier and larger areas of transhumance than usual as early as November/December.

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

Improved access for traders and/or humanitarian agencies

Improved availability and lower prices will improve access to food and other basic needs (health, water, protection, etc.). The Phase classification will likely fall by at least one phase from Emergency to Crisis or from Crisis to Stressed.

All Sudan

Withdraw fuel and wheat subsidies to reduce the budget deficit

Withdraw of fuel subsidies would increase transportation costs that would be transferred to rising consumer prices. Withdraw of wheat subsidies would likely to trigger civil unrest in the main urban areas of Sudan.

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. Read more about our work.

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