South Sudan Food Security Outlook July to December 2012
Crisis levels of food insecurity to persist through December in border areas
Crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) will persist until September and thereafter will be confined mainly to the northern parts of Unity, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, and Upper Nile states and parts of Jonglei State through December. Other parts of the country will face Stressed or Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity following harvests that begin in October.
Prices of sorghum, the main staple food, have substantially risen across key markets compared to the same time last year. Though cereal prices will remain above-average, they are likely to decline slightly as harvests begin, in line with seasonal trends. The main drivers of high prices are increased inflation, fuel shortages, increased demand, and trade restrictions with Sudan. June to September rains to date have been normal to well above normal (>125 percent of normal) across the country. Continued above-average rains could lead to flooding in the flood-prone areas of Warrap, Unity, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Jonglei states, potentially causing damage to crops and property.
Although rains may perform well this year, area planted is expected to be below average as many households remain displaced (particularly in Unity, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and Warrap states) and productive household assets have been lost. Departure of northern farmers from Renk means that production in this mechanized area is also likely to be below-average, while above-average fuel prices will further compromise production in mechanized areas. In Jonglei, cultivation is expected to be near-average, as disarmament appears to have temporarily resolved tensions. Given all of these factors, an average to below-average harvest is assumed at this point in the season.