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The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2012: Sudan

The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2012: Sudan
Dec 2011

Protracted conflict and a weakening economy in the Sudan have left millions in need of humanitarian assistance.

2011 was marked by the independence of South Sudan, and a surge in refugees and IDPs returning to their places of origin. The most vulnerable and insecure areas continue to be Darfur, Khartoum State and the Three Protocol Areas (Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States) that border South Sudan.

High inflation, depreciation of the Sudanese pound and the loss of access to oil reserves in South Sudan have placed significant strain on Government programmes. Political turmoil in parts of the Middle East and North Africa has reduced remittances from Sudanese migrants and reinforced chronic poverty.

Challenges facing food security and livelihoods

The Sudan is a net importer of food and essential agricultural inputs. This, along with conflict, displacement and reliance on irregular rainfall for domestic crop production, has left the country in a state of chronic food insecurity.

During summer 2011, the country witnessed a 35 percent reduction in land under cultivation. Poor rains – including long dry spells in June and July – affected crop production. The violence in the Three Protocol Areas forced farmers from their fields either at the early stages of planting or as the crops began to mature. Much of the displacement occurred when household food stocks were at their lowest.

Low production levels led to hikes in food prices. In the first half of 2011, prices of staple foods rose by over 20 percent, hitting the poor hardest. This comes a year after the elimination of federal subsidies on key food and fuel items. The poorest fifth of the country spends almost three-quarters of household income on food.

More than 2.7 million people are currently displaced by conflict in the Sudan; the vast majority are IDPs unable to return to their homes and resume agricultural activities. Those with access to land are constrained by insufficient irrigation and high input prices.

Almost 4 million head of livestock were without pastures in summer 2011. Restrictions on livestock migrations to South Sudan led to herds being concentrated in already fragile grazing areas, increasing the risk of animal disease outbreaks. Competition over access to land and water has led to conflict between pastoralists and farmers. These factors have contributed to an overall decline in the livestock sector.

Insecurity and economic hardship are expected to continue in 2012. Disputes over the status of territories, such as Abyei, remain unresolved. As the number of returnee farmers increases in more stable parts of the Sudan, the timely resumption of agricultural production will be vital for restoring national food security.

FAO response

FAO seeks to restore agricultural production and access to food for almost 3.5 million people, mostly IDPs and returnees. In Darfur, Eastern Sudan, Khartoum and the Three Protocol Areas, FAO will provide crop and vegetable seeds and training on irrigation, veterinary care and post-harvest processing. More than 10 million head of livestock will be targeted for vaccination and treatment. Particular attention will be paid to rehabilitating and protecting degraded pastures and livestock water points.

As co-lead of the Food Security and Livelihoods Cluster, FAO will work to improve local capacity, especially that of the Government and civil society partners, to respond to agricultural threats and emergencies. FAO will assist the Government in producing foundation seeds to enable domestic multiplication for crop cultivation. Furthermore, training will increase the number and capacity of community animal health workers to deliver essential veterinary extension services to herders and enable over 1 000 national NGOs and CBOs to incorporate gender when formulating and carrying out emergency response activities.