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Sudan Key Message Update: High prices, flooding, and conflict drive high needs as the lean season peaks, September 2021

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Key Messages

  • Humanitarian assistance needs are expected to remain high through September 2021, the peak of the lean season, driven by above-average staple food prices and reduced household purchasing power, particularly in areas impacted by flooding and intercommunal clashes. The number of people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity outcomes is expected to remain above the five-year average, particularly among IDPs and conflict-affected households in Darfur, Kordofan, and parts of White Nile, and poor households in flood-affected areas in central and eastern Sudan. However, the start of the harvest in October is expected to improve food security outcomes for most poor households.

  • Seasonal rainfall has been favorable for cropping and pasture regeneration across most crop production and grazing areas. The millet and sorghum crops are in the vegetative to reproductive stage, with the harvest expected to start in November. Crop conditions are generally favorable due to above-average rainfall from June through August except in eastern Sudan, where flooding and water-logging in August and September are likely to impact crop production. According to the satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), greener-than-average vegetation conditions are present over most of Sudan. However, below-average vegetation greenness is present in localized flood-affected areas in northern and eastern Sudan. However, livestock body conditions and pasture and water supplies are above average across most pastoral and agro-pastoral areas following consecutive above-average rainfall seasons.

  • Heavy rains and flooding during August and September 2021 have affected over 314,000 people across Sudan. Over 62,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the rainy season in July. Between August 15 and September 15, the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and WFP, in partnership with Cloud to Street, reported that approximately 6,083 km2 was flooded, impacting around 208,300 people and an estimated 356,800 hectares of cropland. Sesame production in Gadaref, White Nile, River Nile, Kassala, Al Jazira, and Sennar state is likely to be negatively impacted due to its sensitivity to standing water. As of September 22, the Nile water levels at Ed Deim, Khartoum, Shandi, and Atbara stations are seven to 84 cm below the flooding risk levels, reducing the risk of further flooding events occurring.

  • Between August and September 2021, staple food prices had mixed trends as prices either increased seasonally by 5-10 percent, remained relatively stable, or slightly decreased. Market prices are being influenced by a combination of increased market supply as traders release stocks in anticipation of the coming harvest, along with the continuation of high food prices, high production and transportation costs, and persistent shortages and high costs of imported wheat and wheat flour. Staple food prices remain 100-200 percent above respective prices last year and 500-600 percent above the five-year average. Sorghum and millet prices are anticipated to begin seasonally decreasing by October 2021 with the start of the 2021/22 season harvest but remain significantly above average through the post-harvest period in March 2022.