Food security concerns heighten as October referendum approaches
- The influx of the returning population to Abyei is likely to create increased needs and exceed the capacity of current levels of intervention. For the over 60,000 people displaced from fighting that erupted in Abyei between 2008 and 2011, access and availability to foods and markets has been limited.
Given the current price of cereals higher than prior to the displacement, poor households south of the River Kiir have expanded their livelihood strategies, employed only in times of severe food insecurity. North of the River Kiir, cultivation has not been possible, putting a further strain on their livelihoods. In Abyei area, basic services are minimal and insufficient for the continuous influx of returnees as fighting has diminished and security has improved. This group is expected to rely heavily on the host community for food. It is likely, given the widespread displacement and its effects, that food consumption gaps will be extensive going into the lean season. Currently, most of the poor households are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes.1 Humanitarian assistance will need to increase to keep up with rising needs.