Blog Post

Climate Shocks Worsen Food Insecurity in Sudan, South Somalia

Extreme weather events are driving alarming rates of hunger and malnutrition in South Sudan and Somalia, according to a new series of reports from the World Food Programme (WFP). These trends are expected to continue into 2024.

In South Sudan, repeated flooding has drastically reduced livelihoods and limited access to markets and food in the northern part of the country since 2021. As a result, acute hunger and malnutrition are rampant, and overcrowding and prevalence of water-borne diseases are further contributing to poor health outcomes. Skyrocketing food prices have further reduced food access, with prices rising by more than 120 percent since April throughout the country.

The WFP reports that throughout the upcoming 2024 lean season, more than 7 million South Sudanese are projected to experience acute food insecurity. As many as 79,000 will face IPC Level 5 (Catastrophe) food insecurity by April. These numbers could rise even higher as more South Sudanese return to the country to escape ongoing conflict in bordering Sudan.

In Somalia, the population has experienced over two years of severe drought, followed more recently by extreme flooding exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon. These cascading climate shocks hare destroyed livelihoods for nearly 500,000 people, according to the WFP. The flooding also destroyed key transportation infrastructure, which could hamper market access and trade.

Nearly 4.3 million people in Somalia are expected to experience IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) hunger or worse by the end of 2023 and into 2024.

The WFP emphasizes the need for significant increases in humanitarian aid and government funding for both countries to mitigate the catastrophic impacts of these climate shocks.