Sudan Food Security Outlook Update, June 2017 to January 2018
Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes likely in SPLM-N and Jebel Marra areas
Humanitarian assistance needs are expected to remain high due to continued needs among IDPs and resident households in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, IDPs in Jebel Marra, refugees from South Sudan, households in localized areas that saw poor harvests in 2016, as well as well as long-term IDPs. Through the peak of the lean season between June and September 2017, up to four million people will likely require assistance, with needs likely to decline with harvests between October 2017 and January 2018.
SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan and IDPs in Jebel Marra will likely be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) between June and September 2017. Displacement and restricted population movements are resulting in reduced own crop production, high staple food prices, and disruptions to normal livelihood activities. In South Kordofan, humanitarian access also remains restricted.
Starting in October, food security outcomes will improve to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Jebel Marra and SPLM-N-controlled areas due to increased wild food availability, increased community support, and slight improvements in access to food via market purchases.
Throughout Sudan, household food access should start to improve beginning in October with the onset of harvests, access to harvest labor and livestock products, and seasonal declines in staple food prices. Although much of the season remains, rainfall progress to date has been favorable, and international and regional forecasts suggest cumulative will be average in most areas of Sudan during the main June to September 2017 rainy season.
Seasonal progress. The onset of the main June to September rainy season has been early or on time in much of western, southern, eastern, and parts of northern Sudan (Figure 1). According to RFE 2.0 and ARC2 satellite-derived rainfall estimates, rainfall since the beginning of June has been above average across most areas. Rainfall over some areas such as eastern areas of South Kordofan and southern Blue Nile State has reached between 100-200 mm during the month of June, which is well above what is typical. In high crop-producing areas such as Gadaref and Sennar starts, rainfall has been more than 20 percent above normal for the month of June.
Good performance of early season rainfall has enabled the start of cropping activities, including earlier than normal planting of crops in some western and central areas. Overall, planting is expecting to continue through mid-July, which is normal. Though earlier in the season, vegetation conditions are beginning to respond to early season rainfall. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) shows above average levels of vegetation beginning to emerge in parts of Blue Nile and Sennar State, as well as parts of central South Kordofan.
With heavier than normal rainfall early in the season, there have also been reports of localized flooding in Atbara town in River Nile State, Singa town in Sennar State, Al Rahad locality in Gadaref State, and Nyala in South Darfur State. In some areas, some flooding is seasonally normal and can support cropping activities. However, if rainfall continues to be heavy, flooding could lead to localized losses of crops, livestock, and household assets.