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Sudan Key Message Update: Flooding in August is likely to increase assistance needs, July 2021

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Key Messages

  • Sporadic violent inter-communal clashes have continued across Sudan, disrupting market functions, market access, and typical livelihood activities, including planting for the 2021 agricultural season. In July, violence in West Darfur, South Kordofan, and North Darfur displaced households and disrupted market functions and access, planting for the 2021 agricultural season, and seasonal livestock migration in affected areas. As of July 27, 2021, over 46,500 Ethiopian refugees from Tigray have been biometrically registered in eastern Sudan since November 2020, with around 150 new arrivals in Hamdayet Transit Centre since July 17. In Blue Nile State, there are around 7,400 Ethiopian refugees from the Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia. WFP is providing in-kind food assistance and cash transfers equivalent to a full ration to registered refugees.

  • Between May and June, the retail prices of sorghum, millet, and locally produced wheat increased seasonally by 15-20 percent across most markets in Sudan. In June, staple food prices remained 120-150 percent above respective prices last year and 450-500 percent above the five-year average. The persistently high cereal prices are driven by the depreciation of the SDG, atypically high transportation costs following the removal of fuel subsidies, seasonally reduced market supply, and high demand following the government’s resumption of exporting sorghum in June 2021. Sorghum and millet retail prices are expected to continue seasonally increasing through the lean season (June-September). Prices are likely to be on average over 100 percent higher than last year and over 450 percent above the five-year average through the harvest.

  • The June to September 2021 main rainy season’s effective rains began on time across much of Sudan; however, rainfall was a dekad late in localized areas across Sudan, particularly in the rain-fed sectors. In some areas of northern North Darfur, northern East Darfur, northern Kassala, North Kordofan, and northwestern Blue Nile, the late establishment of the rainy season delayed planting and crop germination. However, average to above-average cumulative rainfall in July has been favorable for crop germination and development in the traditional and semi-mechanized eastern and western Sudan areas, including South Darfur, southern parts of East Darfur, southern Sinnar, and Blue Nile state. Across Sudan, farmers are reporting that the shortages and high fuel prices, high prices of labor, and agricultural inputs are constraining agricultural activities and resulting in below-average planted acreage.

  • According to the Basin Excess Rainfall Map (BERM) catchment model and the two-week rainfall forecast, there is a high risk of flooding in South Darfur, West and South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Sinnar states in Sudan, particularly in August. According to NASA seasonal experimental flood forecasts and NOAA VIIRS flood extent, flooding will most likely be above-average in the Blue Nile and White Nile River basins. Seasonal flooding in the Blue Nile River in southern Sudan is likely to be comparable to 2020. In late July, flooding in Gedaref, White Nile, South Darfur, and Kassala affected over 1,700 households and flooded agricultural land, main roads, and markets. The rapid rise of the Blue Nile’s water levels in late July raises concern for further flooding in August.

  • Poor households in the pastoral and agropastoral zones across eastern and western Sudan and IDPs are expected to continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through September 2021 due to limited access to income and conflict impacting market and food access. In the absence of humanitarian assistance, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely among newly displaced people in Darfur affected by tribal clashes, IDPs, and conflict-affected households in isolated areas of Jebel Marra in Central Darfur, SPLM-N areas of South Kordofan, and poor households in northern Red Sea state, particularly during the peak of the lean season in August and September. In October, the start of the harvest season is expected to improve food security outcomes to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) across most of Sudan. However, most conflict-affected areas of Jebel Marra and South Kordofan, southern Blue Nile, and some pastoral and agropastoral areas of northern Kassala and northern Red Sea states are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to high food prices and limited household purchasing power.