Sudan + 8 more

DRAFT Sudan 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview, as of 13 March 2019

Originally published


Humanitarian needs & key figures

Humanitarian needs in Sudan are driven by several factors including displacement, climatic shocks and hazards, localised armed clashes and inter communal violence, disease outbreaks, food security, malnutrition and protection risks. An estimated 5.7 million people in Sudan need some form of humanitarian assistance. This includes over 1 million refugees and asylum seekers, the majority of whom are largely dependent humanitarian assistance. Further the situation is exacerbated by the ongoing macro-economic challenges resulting in high inflation - a three-fold increase compared to one year ago. This has led to shortages of fuel and cash, increase in prices of key commodities and medicines and subsequently reduced household purchasing power.

key humanitarian issues

Food Insecurity

The Government led Food Security Technical Secretariat (FSTS) estimates that about 5.7 million people are experiencing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity in Sudan. This has been exacerbated by the current macro-economic situation including increasing year-on-year inflation rates - 73 per cent in December 2018, compared to 63.9 per cent in June 2018 and food inflation rate at 87 per cent in December 2018. This consumer price inflation and high-costs of agricultural inputs against a backdrop of austerity measures has led to a drop in purchasing power and increase in production costs. Households have had to cut expenditures on education, health, and other goods, sell livelihood assets or further reduce the quantity and quality of meals. Further, after several years of conflict, disrupted livelihoods undermine the populations’ resilience to future shocks and people are increasingly forced to engage in negative coping mechanisms.


Eleven out of Sudan’s 18 states have recorded global acute malnutrition rates (GAM) above the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency threshold of 15 per cent, with the highest rates found in eastern Sudan. Malnutrition rates are likely to stay at high levels. About 2.5 million children under age five suffer from wasting annually, out of whom close to 700,000 suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The Government has scaled up response in line with the National Nutrition Strategic Plan 2014-2025, and the number of children who have access to treatment of SAM has doubled over the past five years. Current nutrition programmes need to be significantly scaled up to achieve a meaningful impact and visibly reduce malnutrition rates in the coming years. Among South Sudanese refugees, GAM rates as high as 19.6 and some rates as high as 6.4 have been recorded in some refugee camps and settlements.

Displacement and Refugees

According to the Government, the overall number of IDPs is 1.86 million, which includes 1.6 million IDPs living in camps.

In 2018, limited displacement took place in areas of Jebel Marra, with some 24,000 people displaced. The situation in Darfur has remained relatively stable, except for intermittent clashes in western and southern Jebel Marra area. Disputes between herders and farmers, particularly between IDPs and returnees, over land and resources persist (UNAMID Secretary General Reports 2018), sometimes leading to displacement. The improvement of the security situation has influenced the increase of returns, which since 2016 accounts for some 324,000 people, of which 35,000 took place in 2018. As safety and security improves, returnees seek to find a solution to their long-term displacement by either returning to their areas of origin, resettling, or reintegrating in communities. Displacement has also been reported in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, although there is no verification. Sudan is one the largest refugee-hosting countries in Africa. In 2019 the country hosts over 1 million refugees and asylum seekers in need of assistance, including more than 850,000 refugees from South Sudan.. Refugees have particular vulnerabilities and different rights and access to services than Sudanese nationals. As a result, refugees are largely reliant on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.


Children, women and girls, people at risk of landmines, and host communities remain exposed to protection risks in Sudan. Other issues of concern are tensions caused by land occupation and conflict between farmers and herders during the harvest season, as outlined by the Secretary General’s United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) report of October 2018. As is the case worldwide, people living in protracted displacement remain exposed to risks of harassment, rape, or violence in and around camps. As UNAMID reduces its presence in Darfur, protection is one of the key areas of concern, which will require close monitoring during 2019.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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