Food Security Outlook

Escalating conflict in Darfur and South Kordofan continues to limit access to food for the poor

April 2015 to September 2015
2015-Q2-1-1-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

  • As of April 2015, an estimated 3.7 million people in Sudan face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) levels of acute food insecurity. Current food insecurity in Sudan is the result of conflict in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and West Kordofan. Food insecurity in some parts of east Sudan is mainly due to limited purchasing power. The size of the food insecure population is likely to reach 4.2 million during the July to September peak lean season.

  • Intensified hostilities between SAF and armed-rebel groups in South Kordofan, Darfur, Blue Nile and West Kordofan, and tribal conflict in some parts of Darfur, displaced thousands of people, caused loss of life and assets, interrupted livelihood activities, and disrupted access to markets and humanitarian assistance. 

  • An outbreak of measles has been declared in 31 localities of 14 states in Sudan. Out of the 3,015 suspected cases, 1,697 are confirmed. So far, confirmed measles cases were almost four times greater than last year. A large-scale vaccination campaign by FMoH, UNICEF and WHO is in progress, but not likely to reach insecure areas, where immunization against measles is likely to remain low.

National Overview

Current Situation

Current food insecurity is mainly caused by conflict in Darfur, South Kordofan, West Kordofan and Blue Niles states. As of April 2015, an estimated 3.7 million people in Sudan faced Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity. Most of these are conflict affected people in Darfur, South Kordofan, West Kordofan and Blue Nile states, with additional pockets of IPC Phase 2 acute food insecurity in the sparsly populated North Kordofan and Red Sea states. About 70 percent of current food insecure people were in Darfur, 15 percent in South Kordofan, 5 percent in Blue Nile state, 4 percent in Red Sea state, 3 percent were South Sudanese Refugees in White Nile, South Kordofan, Khartoum, West Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 2 percent in Abyei area and 1 percent in West Kordofan state. Prevalence of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) level of food insecurity is mainly amongst IDPs in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan and new IDPs in Darfur due to insecurity that have had led to displacement, loss of assets, disrupted livelihood activities and disrupted access to markets and humanitarian assistance.

National elections were peaceful in most parts of the country, but caused an upsurge in conflict between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and armed rebel groups in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur. Voter turnout for presidential and parliamentary elections was generally low, about 42 percent according to preliminary results. Voting was suspended in the border areas of EL Dibab in West Kordofan state, North Abyei, and seven constituencies in South Kordofan State due to rising tensions and insecurity. An upsurge in violence was reported in South Kordofan where the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) increased mortar attacks in Kadugli and Dilling towns. Since the third week of March, an estimated 24,000 people were displaced to EL Abassiya, Abu Jubaiha and Rashad towns and surrounding areas. Fighting between SAF and the SPLM-N in Habila town during the last week of March forced about 13,000 people to flee their homes. Most of these households have since returned to Habila according to the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC). HAC also reported an additional 26,000 people fled northern Jebel Mara, Central Darfur following an escalation of fighting there. 

Widespread tribal conflict displaced nearly 20,000 people in North, South, and East Darfur since late March, mostly caused by competition over natural resources and cattle theft. Heavy fighting between Ziyadiya and Berti tribes in Mellit and Sayah localities in North Darfur state resulted in widespread looting of livestock, destruction of homesteads, and disruptions in market activity. Nearly 10,000 people were displaced to surrounding areas, according to humanitarian agencies. Similar tribal conflict between Salamat and Falata tribes in Dimso and Tulus localities in South Darfur displaced 1,800 people to Katayla locality in South Darfur. Inter-tribal fighting between Ma’alia and Rezeighat tribes in Abu Karinka locality in East Darfur since early April displaced about 6,200 people to Adila and Abu Karinka localities in East Darfur state. 

Despite deteriorating security conditions, the World Food Program (WFP) and its partners distributed emergency food assistance to newly displaced people in government-controlled areas of South Kordofan. In March, WFP and its partner organizations distributed 105.5 tons of emergency food aid to 14,400 people in Al Abassiya, Aby Jubaiha and Rashad localities of South Kordofan recently displaced by violence. Humanitarian agencies have not been able to access new internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Central Darfur due to security and restrictions.                                                                              

A measles outbreak occurred in 14 states in the first quarter of 2015, with the largest number of cases reported in recent years. By the first week of April, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), UNICEF and WHO reported a measles outbreak in 31 localities of 14 states. Over 1,500 cases have been confirmed with an additional 3,000 suspected cases. The number of new cases confirmed since the begininning of year 2015 was almost four times greater than the total number of confirmed cases in 2014 and 60 percent greater than 2014. The majority of cases were recorded in Darfur and other conflict-affected areas, where large portions of the population have not been immunized and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) of food insecurity persist. Measle perceived an aggrevating factor to food insecurity that will increase probability deaths of malnourished children. UNICEF and WHO is supporting the government in a country-wide mass immunization campaign targeting 8 million children, which started in the last week of March.

Staple food prices either remained stable or slightly decreased between February and March, in-line with seasonal trends. Adequate market supplies and low household demand kept sorghum prices stable in most markets. Prices decreased by 9 percent in El Obied and by 5 percent in Damazine. Sorghum prices increased by 5 percent in El Fasher due to conflict-related disruptions to trade. On average, sorghum prices in March declined by 10 to 25 percent compared to last year but remain 70 percent above the five-year average. Similar trends were observed for millet prices, which were on average, 5 to 10 percent lower than last year and 75 percent above the five-year average. Prices of domestic wheat started to decline seasonally in March with the start of wheat harvest. Direct purchase of wheat by the Strategic Reserve Corporation (SRC) at a fixed price of 400 Sudanese Pounds (SDG) per sack is likely to prevent sharp declines in wheat prices despite surplus production this year. Current price levels for wheat are 33 percent higher than last year and 77 percent above the five-year average.

National inflation increased slightly from 23 percent to 23.2 percent between February and March 2015. The official exchange rate remains stable since January at 6 SDG per 1 USD compared to 9 SDG per 1 USD in the informal market.  

Wage labor to sorghum terms of trade (ToT) declined seasonably in March (Figure 2). In Gadaref and Zalingi markets, daily wages declined due to the seasonal decrease in demand for agricultural labor. On average, daily wages declined by 13 percent in March while sorghum prices remained relatively stable. Between February and March, daily labor wages to sorghum ToT in Gadaref declined by 23 percent and are slightly lower than last year.  

Over 130,000 refugees from South Sudan have migrated to Sudan since December 2013. As of mid-April, a total of 131,226 refugees from South Sudan have been registered by UNHCR in Sudan; of these about 15 percent arrived during the first quarter of 2015. About 57 percent of new arrivals have settled in White Nile state, 25 percent in Khartoum, and 12 percent in South Kordofan. In April, an average of 1,500 South Sudanese refugees were arriving in Sudan per week. An estimated t 60 percent of refugees have received humanitarian assistance.

Assumptions

From April to September 2015, the projected food security outcomes are based on the following national key assumptions:

  • The current escalation of conflict between SAF and armed opposition groups in South Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile states is expected to continue during the remaining months of the dry season and will likely decline in July during the rainy season. FEWS NET assumes continued hostilities between SAF and the armed rebel groups, in addition to inter-tribal fighting in South Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile states, at least during the dry season through June. Conflict will subside from July to September during the rainy season due to reduced mobility of troops and military equipment. Conflict is expected to cause large-scale population displacement in North, East and South Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. FEWS NET assumes between 250,000 to 300,000 people are likely to be displaced in these areas over the course of 2015.
  • Seasonal upward trends in staple food prices are expected from July to September. Despite above-average harvests of the previous agricultural season in Sudan, staple food prices are likely to start to increase gradually from April to September across all markets due to the expected seasonal reduction of market supplies and increased demand during the June to September lean season.  Price levels are likely to remain similar to last year and well above the five-year average due to high inflation, local currency depreciation and high production costs. 
  • Daily labor wages will follow seasonal trends, declining through June and gradually increase from July to September.  The projected increase of staple food prices will likely outpace the daily labor wages during the scenario period. Daily wage labor to cereal ToT will likely be in favor of staple food prices, reducing purchasing power of the poor.
  • Own production access to food from the above-average harvest of 2014/15 is gradually depleting and poor households are increasingly shifting to market purchase. By June, most poor households will have exhausted stocks from own production and shift to market purchases - typical during the lean season. Above-average carry-over stocks of cereal traders, commercial farmers and better-off households will improve access to markets for food compared to previous years, especially in the drought prone areas of Red Sea, Kassala, North Darfur and North Kordofan states.
  • The influx of refugees from South Sudan is expected to continue. Given the conflict in South Sudan is expected to continue and is getting closer to border areas with Sudan, FEWS NET assumes the influx of South Sudanese refugees to White Nile, South Kordofan, Khartoum, Blue Nile and West Kordofan will continue through the scenario period. FEWS NET assumes the total number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan since December 2013, will reach 200,000 by end of year 2015.
  • The June to September main rainy season is likely to be near-average. The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC)’s consensus for March to May 2015 rainy season indicated average to above-average rainfall in southern and western Sudan. FEWS NET assumes timely, near-average June to September rains across Sudan. Planting is expected to begin normally in June/July with near-average area planted in areas unaffected by conflict.  
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Improved food security conditions as a result of above-average 2014/15 harvests in relatively secure areas of Sudan are expected through the end of the post-harvest period in May 2015.  June marks the beginning of the lean season this year, which is one month later than normal.  The number of food insecure people in drought prone areas of Red Sea, Kassala, North Kordofan, White Nile  and North Darfur states is expected to decline to levels below the five-year average due to improved access to food and income sources. Thus, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security is likely to persist in most areas of Sudan unaffected by conflict from May to June. By the beginning of the lean season in June, the number of food insecure people is likely to increase from current 3.5 million people to 4 million people and could peak to 4.2 million food insecure people in August/September 2015.

Despite above-average 2014/15 national production, acute food insecurity likely to persist in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur states due to limited access to income generating opportunities, restricted access to humanitarian assistance, disrupted access to cultivation and markets, and  lack of basic health services. An estimated 25 to 30 percent of IDPs in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan will continue to face food consumption gaps and remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Roughly 30 percent of IDPs in Darfur are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!), but only with humanitarian assistance, through September 2015. Newly displaced households in these areas without access to humanitarian assistance are likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity during the scenario period. 

 

For more information on the outlook for specific areas of concern, please click the download button at the top of the page for the full report.

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