Blog Post

Food Crisis in Sudan: New Report Provides Policy Recommendations for Recovery

Since the outbreak of conflict in April 2023, Sudan has seen deteriorating food security and economic activity, disrupted markets and agrifood systems, and a steadily building humanitarian crisis. According to a new policy note from IFPRI’s Sudan Strategy Support Program, if steps are not taken to protect livelihoods and food security, 4 million people could fall into poverty and an additional 2 million could face food insecurity and malnourishment by 2028.

Throughout the country, 60 percent of rural households are acutely food insecure. Nearly 40 percent of rural households do not have the ability to consume adequate diets, relying heavily on cereals and oils and not consuming vegetables, fruits, and other micronutrient-rich foods.

As of March 2024, the conflict has displaced approximately 8.4 million people in Sudan; a small portion of this population has sought refuge in neighboring countries, but many others remain displaced internally. This displacement, coupled with lack of access to inputs and markets, has particularly impacted Sudan’s smallholder farmer population. In a survey of more than 3,200 smallholders in late 2023, around one-third were displaced and 40 percent were unable to prepare for the upcoming planting season. The report expects additional reductions in food production and further deterioration in overall food security in the country as a result.

In the immediate near-term, the report calls for an end to the conflict and engaging in peace-building efforts, as well as a significant increase in rapid humanitarian interventions to provide financial aid and access to agricultural inputs.

In the medium term, policymakers and private sector actors can support agricultural producers in the country through policies to provide credit to smallholder farmers as well as small and medium food system enterprises and ensure delivery of seeds, fertilizers, and other agricultural inputs. Social safety net programs should also be stepped up to help the most vulnerable and food-insecure populations, including internally displaced households.

Long-term policies to enable the country’s recovery include the development of a holistic agrifood system strategy to address the interwoven shocks caused by conflict, climate change, and market disruptions. Support for farmers in adopting and maintaining climate-smart agricultural practices and investment in rebuilding and improving infrastructure are also needed to restore the country’s food system supply chains, boost resilience, and prevent future food crises.


Sara Gustafson is a freelance communications consultant.