The Sudan is suffering one of the world’s largest protracted humanitarian crises. Localized displacement, climatic shocks and harsh macro-economic situations are putting a huge strain on peoples’ food security, livelihood strategies and coping mechanisms. Beginning in July 2020 and continuing through mid-September 2020, torrential rains and flooding, combined with the historical overflow of the River Nile and its tributaries, affected all of the states in the Sudan, with the exception of South Darfur, causing devastating damage alongside riverbanks in the northern, central and eastern regions of the country. This has caused widespread damage in a range of sectors, including and most significantly, the agriculture sector.
The recent floods have exacerbated and intensified the food insecurity, malnutrition and livelihoods impoverishment of already vulnerable populations and have further put them at risk of falling into more severe phases of food insecurity – such as IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) and Phase 5 (Famine).
According to a joint needs assessment carried out by FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Ministries of Production and Economic Resources, approximately 2.2 million ha of cropland have been damaged. Horticulture, seeds, tools, equipment, machinery and agriculture-related infrastructure were either lost or damaged in the disaster. Affected communities have begun to borrow money and sell their productive assets to access food. Levels of debt are escalating and affected communities need to access cash as soon as possible to repay their debts. Kassala and Blue Nile are among the states with the highest level of acute food insecurity. They are also among the most affected by the floods. Blue Nile is the second most affected state with 617 419 ha destroyed, followed by Sennar and Kassala with 112 579 and 109 048 ha, respectively. Since more than 70 percent of rural people in Blue Nile and Kassala states depend on livestock and crop production as the primary source of their livelihoods, the replacement of agricultural inputs is crucial to ensure that affected populations can continue agricultural activities in the coming seasons.
Through SFERA, the Government of Belgium contributed USD 500 000 to FAO to mitigate the devastating impact of the floods on the food security of vulnerable farming households (internally displaced persons and residents) in Kassala and Blue Nile states. With Belgium’s generous support, FAO will assist 1 830 households (9 150 people) by providing them with season-sensitive agricultural inputs, accompanied by cash transfers and trainings in good agricultural practices, to improve their food security and nutrition.