SITUATION AT A GLANCE
43.8 MILLION Estimated Population of Sudan UN – Jun. 2020
13.4 MILLION Estimated People in Need of Humanitarian Assistance in 2021 UN – Dec. 2020
7.1 MILLION Estimated People in Need of Humanitarian Food Assistance IPC – Oct.–Dec. 2020
2.6 MILLION Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Sudan UN – Jul. 2020
1.0 MILLION Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Sudan UN – Nov. 2020
• IPC analysis estimates that 7.1 million people required emergency food assistance between October and December; FEWS NET anticipates high food assistance needs through at least mid-2021.
• More than 56,000 Ethiopian refugees enter eastern Sudan between early November and January 5;
UNHCR and GoS open second camp to host refugees.
• WFP provides food assistance to more than 250,000 people affected by unprecedented flooding.
FEWS NET, IPC Anticipate Elevated Food Assistance Needs in 2021
An above-average number of households in Sudan will face emergency food assistance needs in 2021 due to the persistent macroeconomic crisis and increased health care needs associated with a recent increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, as well as an ongoing influx of Ethiopian refugees from Tigray Region, according to a December report by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). Although the ongoing harvest is improving food security outcomes among poor rural households, the number of households facing Crisis—IPC 3—or worse levels of acute food insecurity will remain greater than is typical through at least May 2021, particularly among internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, and poor urban households. 5 Below-average household purchasing power and extremely high prices for staple foods are the primary drivers of ongoing acute food insecurity; prices for sorghum and millet continued to increase in November and December and reached 240–300 percent higher than their respective 2019 prices and seven times higher than the five-year average, reports FEWS NET.
Similarly, a recent IPC analysis, released in November, indicated atypically widespread acute food insecurity in Sudan, estimating that 7.1 million people were facing Crisis—IPC 3—or worse acute food insecurity between October and December, including nearly 1.3 million people likely facing Emergency— IPC 4—conditions. The analysis cited inflation and resultant high prices of food and agricultural inputs, as well as the impact of flooding and displacement, as key drivers of acute food insecurity in Sudan.
More Than 56,000 Ethiopian Refugees Seek Shelter in Eastern Sudan
As of January 5, more than 56,000 people had fled violence in Tigray to seek shelter in eastern Sudan’s Blue Nile, Gedaref, and Kassala states since the outbreak of armed conflict between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) in early November, according to the UN. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is continuing efforts to reduce crowding at reception centers by transporting new arrivals from Kassala’s Hamdayet and Gedaref’s Abderafi border entry points to Gedaref’s Tunaydbah and Um Rakuba refugee camps, located further from the Ethiopia–Sudan border.
In coordination with the Government of Sudan (GoS), UNHCR is utilizing existing available land to expand shelter capacity at Um Rakuba; however, the camp was approaching full capacity as of early January. In response, relief actors recently opened Tunaydbah as a second camp to host Ethiopian refugees; Tunaydbah can host as many as 20,000 refugees. However, many new arrivals have expressed hesitancy about relocating to Tunaydbah and Um Rakuba camps, citing concerns about inadequate services and overcrowding, as well as a fear of being unable to return to Ethiopia when security conditions permit.
In November, UNHCR called for approximately $147 million in donor support to provide assistance through June 2021 for up to 100,000 Ethiopian refugees who may seek shelter in Sudan. The UN agency is prioritizing funding for health, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) support and for the establishment of up to 10 new resettlement sites in Sudan to accommodate new arrivals. UNHCR said it could revise its planning for up to 200,000 Ethiopian refugees if arrivals significantly increased, which would require additional funding to meet increased humanitarian needs.