Conflict and amacroeconomic crisis drive above-average needs through September 2021
Displacement due to tribal clashes, above-average staple food prices and continued macroeconomic difficulties are contributing to higher-than-normal emergency food assistance needs in Sudan during the post-harvest season. These needs are expected to persist into at least May 2020, particularly as the lean season in agricultural and agropastoral areas approaches. Between February and September 2021, most areas of Sudan will face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity, although parts of Jebel Marra, South Kordofan, Red Sea, Kassala, North Kordofan, and North Darfur will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
On February 21, Sudan's government devaluated the Sudanese Pound from 55 SDG/USD to 375 SDG/USD at commercial banks and declared a policy of flexible management in foreign currency rates. In the parallel market the exchange rate remained at 385 SDG/USD.
The forex deprecation rate will likely be lower through March as the market adjusts to the new economic policy. During this time, prices are likely to remain high but not significantly change. Beginning in April, the gap between the official and parallel exchange rates will be determined by the availability of hard currency reserves.
National cereal production for the 2020/21 main summer season in Sudan is estimated at 7.6 million metric tons, approximately 7 percent higher than last year’s harvest and 19 percent higher than the five-year average, including a forecasted 695,000 tons of wheat to be harvested in March. Total cereal requirements for 2021 are estimated at around 9.9 million tons, including about 3.5 million tons of wheat. The production of sesame and groundnut—main cash crops—is 6 percent and 15 percent lower than last year, respectively, but 49 percent and 18 percent above the fiveyear average.
Staple food prices continued atypically increasing across most main markets in Sudan during the post-harvest period of February 2021. This was driven by the extremely high production and transportation costs, limited carryover stock from last year, and above-average demand for sorghum and millet for local consumption due to shortages, and high wheat and wheat flour prices. Cereal prices in February remained on average over 200 percent higher than last year and over six times higher than the five-year average.