Conflict, below average farming production and poor pastureland conditions are among the causes of this food shortage (1). And as anyone who follows Sudan in the news knows, prices for food and cooking supplies have gone up enough to hurt households nationwide (2).
So over the next six months or so, even if they receive food aid, people in the Jebel Marra area in Darfur and rebel-controlled areas of South Kordofan State are expected to suffer food gaps, acute malnutrition and deaths as a result of food insecurity, or at least to be forced to sacrifice a great deal of their livelihood assets in order to eat (3). And even if people in much of North Darfur State, North Kordofan, Red Sea State receive food aid, they are still expected to endure above average acute malnutrition rates, or to be compelled to give up more and more of their livelihood assets in order to get food (Ibid.).
And according to UNOCHA, as of March 6, aid agencies have reported a total of 102,753 people displaced by violence in Jebel Marra (1), and that : “There are also unconfirmed reports of up to an additional 70,000 IDPs [internally displaced persons] in Central Darfur as a result of the Jebel Marra conflict. The UN and partners have been unable to verify this reported displacement due to lack of access (1, page 1).”
- UNOCHA Humanitarian Bulletin Sudan, Issue 10, 29 February – 6 March: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/OCHA_Sudan_Weekly_Humanitarian_Bulletin_Issue_10_%2829_February_-_6_March_2016%29.pdf
- Radio Dabanga, March 10, 2016, “Basic commodity prices continue to rise in Sudan”: https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/basic-commodity-prices-continue-to-rise-in-sudan
- The first of these two categories is the Level 4 (Emergency) classification, and the other is the Level 3 (Crisis) classification as defined by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-Net), which is a collection of US government agencies and companies that monitors food security in about thirty-five countries. See: http://www.fews.net/
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.
- 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
- 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
- Famine Early Warning Systems Network, Food Security Outlook Update [for Sudan, November 2015]:
The Eurpean Union is giving an additional 4 Million Euros for aid work in Sudan. This brings the total EU donation for 2015 to 32 Million Euros. See related Radio Dabanga article:
UNOCHA funding for Sudan is now at the 36% mark. Germany has given the World Food Program 2.5 M Euros for work in Darfur. Also, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) gave a substantial amount of seeds and agricultural equipment to civilians in need of them in government-controled and other parts of Jebel Mara, which is the mountainous region in the middle of the Darfur states that has been the site of aerial bombardment and other attacks this year. See the UNOCHA Humanitarian Bulletin for July 6 – 12:
UNAMID, the African Union and UN peacekeeping force in Darfur has had its mandate renewed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2228 on June 29, which allows it to operate in the Darfur states of Sudan for another year. Several days later, on July 15, they have already had to defend themselves: UNAMID soldiers returning from escorting a World Food Program convoy were fired upon by unknown gunmen northwest of Kutum, North Darfur State. The peacekeepers returned fire and drove the attackers away. See: