The FAO/ WFP report indicated that violence and conflict risks remain acute key drivers of acute food insecurity in the country.
The report highlighted “civil unrest” and “political instability” as factors likely to continue disrupting supply lines in Sudan.
“After some signs of improvement in the first months of 2021, the Sudan’s renewed political uncertainty has caused a new and dangerous economic impasse. In particular, uncertainties about foreign economic support could further destabilize the local currency and increase already high food prices,” the report stated.
The waves of intercommunal violence that had plagued the Darfur region and led to the displacement of many, high food prices, and low purchasing power have also been highlighted as factors leading to the deteriorating food situation in Sudan.
13% of Sudan’s population faces acute food insecurity, the severity of which is classified into different phases in the report.
Around 4.6 million Sudanese citizens are living in an IPC (Integrated Phase Classification) Phase 3, while 2.4 million are living in IPC Phase 4 conditions.
It is noteworthy to mention that the IPC Phase 5 usually indicates famine, the most severe type of hunger.
As of the release of the report, Sudan remains among “countries of high concern.”
Coup a Factor
The coup orchestrated by army general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has also affected the food situation in Sudan, with the report explaining that “its [the coup] economic repercussions is likely to worsen the last projection made for the Sudan – issued last May – which estimated over 1.3 million facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) up to February
2022, a slight improvement compared to October– December 2021.
“Confirming this prediction of a deterioration, the last Humanitarian Needs Overview indicates an increasing trend of people expected to require food and livelihood assistance in 2022, reaching over 10.9 million people, up from 8.2 million in 2021,” the report continued.
On October 25th of last year, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan , the head of the Sudanese Armed Forces, overthrew the civilian government and installed martial law in the country.
Many Western countries, who had started strengthening business relations with Sudan, publicly announced they were withdrawing monetary aid and grants to Sudan.
After condemning the coup and demanding the return of the civilian led government, the US suspended $700 million in aid to Sudan.
Incidentally, the UN’s Humanitarian Response Plan for 2022 called for “USD 708.3 million for food security and livelihoods and USD 160 million for nutrition interventions” as part of the Emergency Response recommendations section of the report.