Late start to below-average rains lessens 2015 crop yields, preventing food security improvement in Darfur; 10,000 displaced on attack on 34 Kutum Locality villages

Thirty-four villages in Kutum Locality, North Darfur State were attacked on December 2 and 3.  Fourteen villages were burned, another twenty looted; five people were killed and about ten thousand were displaced, mostly to the mountains, were they remained as of December 20, according to UNOCHA’s Humanitarian Bulletin for Sudan (1).  Aid groups were planning to evaluate the needs of these villagers in order to get them much needed supplies and shelter.

DOHS has received calls from Darfur about food shortages that have been caused by the drought.  They are consistent with Famine Early Warning Systems Network reports on Darfur’s food security for late 2015 and early 2016 (2) (3).   FEWSNet has stated that due to a late start to the rainy season and below-average rainfall in some areas, crops were planted and will be harvested about a month later that normal.  This will mean less food produced, lower harvesting wages, less food for nonfood items in trading.  North Darfur is projected to remain at food stressed levels, through March 2016, with many parts of the state able to keep from getting worse only if they get a steady supply of aid.  Parts of the Jebel Marra area are expected to remain at food crisis levels (the next step after the food stressed level) for the same period.  Persons in camps for the displaced will continue to be badly limited in access to farmland and farm work due to ongoing conflict.

This makes news of aid groups serving about 7,875 people in the Northern Jebel Marra area with shelter and food supplies for the first time since 2011 somewhat encouraging, at least until you learn that another 29,000 people approached the aid groups asking for help (UNICEF, UNHCR and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society were among the aid groups involved) (1).

Funding for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan for 2015 was 57% funded as of December 20 (1).

The DOHS Board is considering how best to respond to these crises.

  1.  UNOCHA Humanitarian Bulletin for Sudan, December 14 to 20, 2015:  http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/OCHA_Sudan_Weekly_Humanitarian_Bulletin_Issue_51_%2814_-_20_December_2015%29.pdf
  2. Famine Early Warning System Network, Sudan Food Security Outlook:  October 2015 to March 2016    http://www.fews.net/sites/default/files/documents/reports/Sudan_OL_2015_10.pdf
  3.  Famine Early Warning Systems Network, Food Security Outlook Update [for Sudan, November 2015]:

http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Sudan%20-%20Food%20Security%20Outlook%20Update_%20Mon%2C%202015-11-30.pdf

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