Sudan Key Message Update: Continuing COVID-19 measures drive atypically needs leading into lean season, May 2020

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Key Messages

Increased numbers of people, including protracted IDPs in Darfur and South Kordofan, and poor households in urban and rural areas most affected by COVID-19 control measures, are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse food security outcomes through September 2020. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected among IDPs in conflict-affected areas of Jebel Marra in Darfur and SPLM-N areas of South Kordofan as well as parts of Red Sea and Kassala during the peak of the lean season between June and September 2020.

Strict COVID-19 control measures, first implemented by the government in mid-April 2020, have been extended through late May. The closure of airports, ports, land crossing borders, main markets, and restriction of population movements are continuing across Sudan. However, while curfew and restrictions on movement are strictly implemented in Khartoum and most main cities across the country, observance of movement restrictions has been less strict in peri-urban and rural areas of the country.

Staple food prices have continued to increase more rapidly than normal in May. Prices for sorghum, millet, and wheat have increased by 20 to 50 percent between April and May. At these levels, prices remain more than double compared to last year and more than four times higher than the recent five-year average. These price increases are likely being driven by a combination of the continued macroeconomic crisis as well as control COVID-19 control measures that are limiting market supply. These high prices, in combination with significant reductions in labor income, are likely to continue driving well above average humanitarian assistance needs through at least September 2020.