Tuesday 19 March 2019
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Sudan: SKBN Coordination Unit Humanitarian Update, February 2019 [EN/AR]

Source: Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust Country: South Sudan, Sudan
FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURE Rising food insecurity due to food scarcity and growing prices The main harvest in monitored areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile under (SPLM/A-N) control is ongoing, however the production is below expectations. As availability is limited, food prices in the markets are rising above average. Sorghum prices increased the most from 35 SDG in December to 60 SDG in January in Western Jebels, where maize and wheat are still not available in the markets. Food insecurity is affected also by the situation in the rest of the country. According to FewsNet January update on Sudan, prices of sorghum and millet have continued to increase in December and January, which is atypical of the harvesting period (sorghum and millet prices are on average 150 per cent above last year and over 270 per cent above the five-year average). This is due to the delayed harvest in semi-mechanized sorghum-producing areas, economic policies and austerity measures announced by the Government of Sudan in early 2018 as well as currency depreciation (with a national inflation rate of 73 per cent and a food inflation rate of 87 per cent) 1 and the impacts of macroeconomic conditions on the cost of production and transportation. Food prices are expected to further rise in 2019 in Sudan and food access among poor household will be much lower than normal during the 2019 lean season when poor households are reliant on markets to access food. As a result, food security is expected to deteriorate in SPLM/A-N areas as well. While all markets are functioning in the monitored areas of Blue Nile, the harvest in Wadaka and Komo Ganza localities are concerning, with very poor levels recorded by Coordination Unit (CU) monitors. Farmers did not produce enough food from their own farms last year because of the erratic rainfall and lack of seeds. According to CU monitors, communities in Wadaka and Koma Ganza areas depend solely on collecting wild roots and fruits, and households can spend about two to three days without any food to eat. Communities in Koma Ganza have no access to functioning markets in their payam. With only a few weeks left of the main harvest season in South Kordofan, the poor harvest, as reported previously, continues in Thobo county and Western Kadugli, where sorghum prices started to rise already. This fragile humanitarian situation urgently requires a broader approach to address the food security situation in Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The vulnerability of communities has increased due to the economic decline, and the risk factor for humanitarian disaster is going up.


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