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Sudan Food Security Outlook Update, December 2019

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Harvests improving food security, but flooding and pests raise concerns about crop yields


  • Many areas of Sudan are expected to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity between December 2019 and January 2020, as harvests improve food access for many households. However, very high staple food prices are continuing to result in above-average humanitarian assistance needs. Conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan and Jebel Marra, and parts of northern Kassala, North Darfur, and White Nile will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through January.

  • Between February and May 2020, food security is expected to deteriorate as household food stocks begin to be depleted, livestock productivity declines, and staple food prices increase seasonally. Parts of North Kordofan, central Kassala, and Red Sea State will deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during this period, while parts of South Kordofan and Jebel Marra will deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) by May 2020 in the absence of humanitarian assistance.

  • Recent field reports suggest a late end to the rainy season, flooding, waterlogging of crops, and pest infestations reduced main season crop yields, though reports indicate area planted is above normal. Staple food prices are expected to remain much higher than normal during the outlook period, and should production be lower than expected, households could exhaust their food stocks and market supply could tighten earlier than normal in mid-2020.


The main agricultural season is coming to a close with harvests of most cash crops complete and cereal harvests to be completed by late January 2020. Overall, reports indicate national area planted in crops in 2019 is above average and available information from the field also suggests there has been a shift in area planted from cereal crops to cash crops this year.

Main season crop yields are reportedly lower than usual due to flooding, an extended rainy season, and pest infestations. This is despite a favorable start to the season that facilitated planting and early crop development. Significant waterlogging, particularly of sorghum, reportedly limited grain development and led to particularly severe impacts in flood-prone areas. In addition, mid-season dry spells in isolated areas have reportedly reduced yields.