Blog Post

Expanding conflict brings new food security challenges for Sudan

Conflict continues to drive acute food insecurity and food assistance needs in Sudan, according to a recent FEWS Net alert.

Fighting in the country has expanded into Sudan’s southeast region, a major agricultural production and food storage area. The region typically accounts for more than 50 percent of Sudan’s annual domestic cereal production. Conflict-led disruptions to both agricultural production and trade, including destruction of infrastructure, pose a substantial threat to food availability throughout the country, reports FEWS Net.

The ongoing conflict has also disrupted Sudan’s cereal imports, particularly wheat. The country relies on wheat imports for an estimated 85 percent of annual food needs. However, disruptions to trade and decreased government revenue as a result of the fighting have led imports to fall as well. The Sudan Ministry of Agriculture estimates that total wheat imports for 2023 were only half of normal levels and only one-third of what was needed to meet the country’s consumption demand.

The combination of falling import levels and interrupted domestic production spells trouble for food security in the country. Sudan is experiencing widespread IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) food insecurity, with Phase 4 (Emergency) levels in urban areas impacted by the conflict. Households in several regions could reach IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe) levels of food insecurity during the upcoming lean season.

FEWS Net is calling for immediate approval and provision of humanitarian aid across lines of conflict to prevent even more acute hunger and even potential famine in 2024.