Sudan Food Security Outlook, October 2011 to March 2012
Conflict and expected poor harvest likely to result in emergency levels of food insecurity
About four million people currently face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity. Food insecurity is driven by conflict in Blue Nile, South Kordofan, Darfur, and Abeyi; ongoing lean season (May‐September) food shortages; poor rainfall in many areas of the country; and high food prices due to inflation and local currency devaluation.
Due to the late start of rains, crops remain at the vegetative growth stage at a time when they would typically be flowering. Full crop ripening would require continued rainfall through October. Typically, rainfall ends in September in most parts of Sudan except for the far southern areas. Even with rains through October, crop production will be significantly below normal. As of late October, some late‐planted crops are reportedly wilting in drought‐affected areas.
Poor crop development has been exacerbated by intense fighting between SAF and SPLA‐N in some of the main production areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile that forced farmers to flee their farms during cultivation. With increased mobility during the approaching dry season, fighting will likely intensify in both areas. The conflict can cause additional displacement, hinder harvests, limit agricultural labor opportunities, restrict access by humanitarian agencies, and disrupt seasonal nomadic movement.
The harvests will provide some short‐lived food security improvements in parts of Darfur, White Nile, North Kordofan, and Sennar states, bringing conditions to Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed levels. However, as harvested crops are exhausted and food prices rise, conditions in these areas will deteriorate to Stressed and Crisis levels by March, as the lean season is expected to start early, i.e., in March/April instead of May/June. In conflict‐ affected areas of Blue Nile, South Kordofan, Darfur, and Abeyi, food insecurity is not likely to improve through the end of the year. If limits on humanitarian access and food access continue, parts of Blue Nile and South Kordofan could reach Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity in early 2012.