Sudan Situation Report, 19 Dec 2019 [EN/AR]

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 19 Dec 2019
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HIGHLIGHTS

  • UN visits Yabus in Blue Nile State following a decade of inaccessibility

  • UN will provide affected people in previously inaccessible parts of Blue Nile with food, health care, education and livestock services

  • The early and timely response to the cholera outbreak saves lives and resources

  • Chikungunya (260 cases), cholera (346 cases), dengue (4,096 cases), diphtheria (80 cases) and rift valley fever (453 cases) were reported across the country as of 18 December 2019

UN visits Yabus in Blue Nile State following a decade of inaccessibility

United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, David Beasley, accompanied by teams from WFP’s Sudan and South Sudan operations and leaders of the UN country team in Sudan have achieved a significant breakthrough in humanitarian access, by landing in Yabus, a town in the southern Blue Nile State where they witnessed a food distribution to conflict and flood-affected residents for the first time since September 2011. The UN team included the United Nations Children’s Fund, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Health Organisation, United Nations Population Fund and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from Sudan. Parts of southern Blue Nile have been inaccessible to UN agencies and most humanitarian groups since conflict that began in South Kordofan in May 2011 spilt over to parts of Blue Nile in September 2011.

The first UN humanitarian assistance in the area in nearly a decade was distributed by a WFP-led, UN inter-agency team. The UN team provided food to nearly 10,000 people in Yabus as well as health and educations supplies made possible through the work of UN staff from Sudan and cross-border assistance from South Sudan. Yabus and some areas in the Blue Nile State were recently affected by floods, pests and diseases resulting in low farm harvests and leaving many of its residents short of food. The United Nations humanitarian agencies in Sudan will move forward together to provide sustained assistance to address food security, health, education and livestock health deficits in the area.

In October, Beasley visited Kauda in South Kordofan – the first UN visit to the area in nearly a decade. This followed months of negotiations with the new Government of Sudan, leaders of South Sudan and the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) leader, Abdulaziz Al-Hilu. Following this visit, commitments were made to enable humanitarian access to the conflict-affected areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Sudan’s economic crisis is affecting living conditions and pushing more people into poverty. Nearly 9.3 million people – one in four in Sudan – will need humanitarian assistance in 2020. Around 5.8 million people are food-insecure. That number could rise to more than 10 million if wheat and fuel subsidies are removed. The cost of food has more than doubled in the past year.

According to the December issue of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Prices Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Bulletin, prices of locally grown sorghum and millet in Sudan increased in November in spite of the ongoing harvest, while prices of imported wheat rose further. Overall, prices of cereals were at record or near-record levels despite the above-average 2018 harvest and overall favourable prospects for the current crops. An ongoing nationwide government-led crop assessment, supported by FAO, will provide detailed production estimates in early 2020.

Despite the good 2019 production outlook, food prices remained under upward pressure and at exceptionally high levels due to the significant depreciation of the country’s currency, coupled with fuel shortages and soaring prices of agricultural inputs, which inflated production and transportation costs. The weak currency, coupled with shortages of hard currency, restrained the country’s ability to import food and non-food items, including wheat flour and fuel, thus causing shortages and higher prices, according to the FPMA Bulletin.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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