Sudan – Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment, Summary Report, Q1 2021



The Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment (CFSVA) was conducted from December 2020 to early March 2021 against the backdrop of ongoing economic instability and persistent chronic food insecurity and malnutrition. The assessment was conducted in all 18 states in Sudan and sought to ascertain the food security situation of the resident population, assess risk factors that contribute to food insecurity, and highlight vulnerable geographical areas. This information on vulnerability will enable wellinformed decision-making processes for programme design and targeting purposes, as well as provide evidence for the expansion of future assistance programs. The CFSVA results are also a major data source for IPC, HNO and HRP.

During this food security assessment, data was collected from approximately 36,300 resident households were completed in 181 localities distributed across all 18 states. The findings were aimed to be representative of households at the locality level. The questionnaire included information at the household level on demographics, housing, assets, livelihoods, expenditures, coping strategies and food source and consumption. Additional information was collected on child health and caring practices as well as awareness of nutrition related messages.

Due to different methodologies of assessing food security, CFSVA figures are different from the IPC figures. Also, as CFSVA covers more diverse indicators, it is mainly used for WFP’s internal programme decision making purposes.

WFP would like to thank State Ministries of Production and Economic Resources for their role in data collection, and HAC and COR for their role in field coordination.

Executive Summary

Despite the season’s above-average harvest (CFSAM), the food security situation has not improved significantly compared to last year (which had a poor harvest). This is likely due to the ongoing economic downturn, conflict induced displacements and impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods. Economic vulnerability has played a major role in this food insecurity as 91 percent of households are spending more than 65 percent of their total expenditure on food. According to CARI indicator, around 27 percent of the resident population households are estimated to be food insecure.

While the prevalence of poor food consumption was on the lower side, almost half of households relied on livelihood-based negative coping strategies, focusing on immediate food needs and depleting their assets. The most common livelihood coping strategies included spending savings and cutting down on expenses for other basic needs such as education and health. High market reliance was observed. The households’ market reliance for food commodities often reached higher than 90 percent, with the other significant source being own production.

With the deterioration of macroeconomic environment characterized by high inflation and food prices, the purchasing power of the households has significantly diminished. Other contributing factors include protracted political instability and the COVID-19 pandemic which has negatively impacted livelihoods. Households headed by women were more likely to be food insecure than a household headed by men by at least 11 percent, mostly due to limited access to the labour market. Considering that data was collected during the harvest season, and with the ongoing economic crisis and upcoming of the lean season in May, the food security situation is expected to worsen in the coming months.