Sudan Key Message Update, September 2019
Staple food prices increased sharply during the lean season in Sudan
IDPs and poor households in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan and Jebel Marra in Darfur continue to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes during the lean season in September. Meanwhile, poor households in parts of Red Sea, North Darfur, northern Kassala, and North Kordofan states are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to high food prices and low purchasing power. Harvests starting in October should improve food security outcomes in these areas, which will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2), while most other areas will be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through at least January 2020.
Rainfall in September has been largely above average, according to remote sensing products and field reports, following above-average rainfall throughout much of the June to September 2019 rainy season. This rainfall has been favorable for crop development and regeneration of pasture in many areas. However, heavy rainfall and downstream flooding has caused damage in flood-prone areas, particularly in irrigated and semi-mechanized cropping areas. Replanting due to waterlogging and pest infestations has been reported in some parts of the semi-mechanized and irrigated sectors, while dry spells and pest infestations affected cultivation in parts of the traditional rain-fed sector.
Prices of key staple foods increased sharply in Sudan in August and overall prices in August appromixately twice as high as in August 2018, and were more than three times the five-year average. At a point in the year when market demand is typically high and supply is seasonally low, these high prices are also being driven by currency depreciation and atypically high transportation and production costs. At the same time, increases in livestock and labor prices have somewhat supported household purchasing power.
Despite recent government efforts to curb macroeconomic deterioration in Sudan, shortages of fuel and hard currency, local currency depreciation, and high inflation persist in September 2019. High production costs have negatively affected agricultural production and household food access, and these conditions are expected to continue through the end of 2019.