Political instability, port closures, and high prices drive food insecurity through the harvest
On October 25, the military overthrew the transitional civilian government and placed Prime Minister Hamdok under house arrest. In response, the USA suspended 700 million USD in economic support, and the World Bank paused economic support-valued at over 2 billion USD- and stopped processing any new operations. The removal of economic support is likely to result in persistent currency depreciation with high volatility, rising inflation, and high domestic and imported food and nonfood costs. FEWS NET is continuing to monitor the dynamics in Sudan closely.
Intercommunal clashes, civil unrest, above-average food prices, high inflation, limited local supply of wheat flour, and the depreciation of the SDG from around 380 SDG/USD in early April to around 450 SDG/USD by late October continues to limit household purchasing power and access to food towards the end of the lean season. The start of the harvest in November is expected to improve household food access; however, IDPs, conflict-affected people in Darfur and South Kordofan, and the most-affected poor households in Darfur, Kordofan, Red Sea, and Kassala are expected to be facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to limited access to income, below-average harvests, and high food prices.
Staple food prices remain extremely high through the harvest period in October, driven by seasonally reduced market supplies and increased demand, high production and transportation costs, and the shortage and high cost of imported wheat that has been exacerbated by the closure of the main ports and highway in the Red Sea state. Staple food prices are 60-90 percent above last year and 360-430 percent above the five-year average. Although the harvest will likely result in some seasonal price declines, staple food prices will likely remain 200-350 percent above the five-year average through the beginning of the next lean season in April/May- 2021.