The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2013: Sudan

The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2013: Sudan
Dec 2012

Over 6.9 million Sudanese are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. Recurrent natural disasters, continued conflict and low levels of domestic food production, combined with a weakening economy, have rendered people more vulnerable. In 2012, losses in oil revenue linked to the ongoing dispute with South Sudan forced the Government to reduce spending on basic services, while the devaluation of the Sudanese pound significantly reduced the purchasing power of the population.

Challenges facing food security and livelihoods

An estimated 3.2 to 3.5 million people in the Sudan will face acute food insecurity from October 2012 to March 2013. Persistent insecurity, rising food and agricultural input prices and heavy flooding prevent the most vulnerable farmers from producing enough food to meet their household needs.

Although good weather conditions in 2012 are predicted to improve agricultural production in many areas, this is not the case for all farming families. A proliferation of crop pests in parts of Darfur and Kordofan (mainly in low-lying areas), heavy flooding, along with high input prices and insecurity, will reduce yields for the 2012 harvest, thus worsening the general food security situation in the affected areas.

The Sudan’s reliance on importing key food items makes the country vulnerable to price fluctuations in the global food market. This, compounded by low levels of domestic production, the removal of government subsidies on key inputs and a devalued currency, has resulted in a considerable rise in food prices. In some states, prices of staple foods have doubled since 2011. With the poorest people spending more than two-thirds of their income on food, rising prices, combined with weak purchasing power, are expected to further reduce access to food in 2013.

Insecurity in parts of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile States has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, with over 240 000 refugees fleeing into neighbouring South Sudan and Ethiopia. For the second year in a row, massive displacement and ongoing conflict have forced many farmers from their fields at critical stages of cultivation.

Seasonal migratory routes have been restricted by the closure of border points between the Sudan and South Sudan, meaning herders are unable to bring their livestock to traditional pasture and water points. Flash floods have killed livestock and damaged key livestock water points. The lack of grazing areas has caused the concentration of a large number of animals in areas ill equipped to cope with the additional pressure on natural resources. This has increased localized conflict between farmers and pastoralists, and heightened the risk of livestock disease outbreaks. It is critical that such diseases do not spread from state to state and into neighbouring countries.

FAO Response

The Food Security and Livelihoods Sector aims to assist approximately 5.1 million vulnerable people in the Sudan, mainly through reducing food insecurity, restoring livelihoods and improving the availability and management of natural resources.

By providing farmers displaced by conflict or unable to access inputs following poor production in 2011 with improved agricultural inputs, FAO plans to help the most vulnerable quickly resume and increase their food production. At the same time, FAO will support community-based seed production initiatives and strengthen local extension services.

Cash-for-work activities will enable the poorest farmers to meet their most immediate needs and diversify their livelihoods. Training on improved storage methods, agrofood processing and marketing techniques will help farmers conserve and sell the surplus food they produce.

FAO also plans to help pastoral and agropastoral households to safeguard their existing herds by rehabilitating damaged water points, protecting pastures and distributing animal feed. Animals, such as small ruminants, donkeys and poultry will be provided to start rebuilding herds and generate income. Through vaccination and treatment campaigns, and by training community members to provide basic animal health services, FAO seeks to help prevent and control animal disease outbreaks, reducing livestock losses across the country.

FAO will promote awareness on sustainable ways to manage natural resources, like using fuel-efficient stoves or constructing rainwater harvesting structures, to help vulnerable communities adapt better to climate change, reduce environmental degradation and ease conflict over the availability of natural resources.

Legend: FAO funding requests for Sudan from 2008 to 2013

The Food Security and Livelihoods Sector, co-led by FAO and WFP, will focus on strengthening national and local capacity to prepare for and respond to food- and agriculture-related threats and emergencies. This will be done by building the capacity of national institutions, community-based organizations, NGOs and government line ministries.