Situation Report


  • UNHCR reports the arrival of 7,000 Ethiopian refugees in eastern Sudan fleeing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
  • FAO will support 70,000 families affected by floods in Sudan with agricultural assistance.
  • 2.2 million hectares of cropland have been damaged by the floods this year putting affected families at risk of food insecurity.
  • Sudan has seen a fivefold increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, up from about 10 cases per day at the start of November to around 50 cases a day.
  • As of 10 November 2020, there are 14,346 people confirmed to have COVID-19 Sudan, including 1,116 fatalities, according to the Federal Ministry of Health.
Flood-affected people by state, as of 6 October 2020 (Source: HAC)
Flood-affected people by state, as of 6 October 2020 (Source: HAC)




Situation Report

Key Figures

severely food-insecure people
people targeted for assistance in 2020
internally displaced people
total people who contracted COVID-19
COVID-19-related deaths




Situation Report






Paola Emerson

Head of Office for OCHA Sudan

James Steel

Head, Communications and Information Management

Alimbek Tashtankulov

Head of Reporting


Situation Report
Emergency Response
Ethiopian-refugees-arriving-in-Hamdayet-border-crossing Kassala-state-WFP
Ethiopian refugees arriving in Hamdayet border crossing, Kassala State (WFP, 11 November 2020)

UNHCR Press Release: Clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray region force thousands to flee to Sudan

Press release, 11 November

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is working with authorities in Sudan to provide lifesaving assistance to more than 7,000 refugees from Ethiopia, who have fled across the border in the past two days.

The women, children and men reaching Sudan are seeking safety after a week of fighting between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray regional government forces.

Inside Sudan, arriving refugees are being temporarily sheltered in transit centres located near the border entry points of Ludgi in Gederef and Hamdayet in Kassala state. Water and meals are being provided. UNHCR and local authorities are jointly screening and registering people.

Expecting more refugee arrivals in the neighbouring countries, UNHCR is stepping up emergency relief preparedness in the region working with governments and partners to put in place measures to respond to additional displacements as the situation evolves.

“We are urging governments in the neighbouring countries to keep their borders open for people forced from their homes,” said UNHCR Regional Bureau Director, Clementine Nkweta-Salami, “While at the same, asking the Ethiopian authorities to take steps that will allow us to  keep providing assistance in safety to refugees and internally displaced within Tigray.”

With thousands of refugees arriving at the Sudanese border in the space of 24 hours, and with the conflict appearing to escalate, the number is likely to rise sharply. This will require a significant mobilization of resources to address the needs of those seeking asylum.

Inside Ethiopia, UNHCR is deeply concerned for the more than 96,000 Eritreans living in the four refugee camps and the host community living alongside them, as well as the 100,000 people in Tigray who were already internally displaced at the start of the conflict.

Roads are blocked and electricity, phone and Internet are down, making communication nearly impossible. There is a shortage of fuel, and banking services have halted resulting in a lack of cash.

While camps are not in the immediate conflict zone, UNHCR remains worried about the safety of refugees and humanitarian workers due to the relative proximity of the camps to the fighting and the deteriorating situation. Access to refugees and others affected by the conflict remains a concern, including lack of access to border areas.

For more information on this topic, please contact:

In Khartoum, Sophia Jessen,, +249 900 921 267

In Ethiopia, Kisut Gebre Egziabher,, +251 911 208 901

In Nairobi, Dana Hughes,, +254 733 440 536

In Geneva, Babar Baloch,, +41 79 513 9549

Official UNHCR Press Release




Situation Report
Emergency Response
Flooded-fields-near-Al-Azaza-village Blue-Nile-State FAO-Mohammed-Omer 29Sept20
Flooded fields near Al Azaza Village in Blue Nile State (FAO Sudan/Mohammed Omer)

FAO to assist nearly 70,000 families with agricultural assistance

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will provide more than 70,000 families with critical livelihood support to mitigate the devastating combined impact of the recent floods and COVID-19 pandemic on the food security of vulnerable farming households. In Blue Nile, Kassala, Sennar and North Kordofan states 3,510 households (17,550 people) will receive agricultural inputs, cash transfers and training in good agricultural practices and fish production to help improve their food security and nutrition. Funding for this programme comes from the generous donation of US$1 million from the Government of Belgium to the FAO Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA). Additionally, FAO will assist a further 67,420 vulnerable households (337,100 people) with agriculture and livestock-based livelihood support in Blue Nile, Sennar, Kassala, Gedaref, Red Sea, North Darfur and Central Darfur states through the generous contribution of $3.8 million from the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF).

The unprecedented floods that began in July and continued through mid-September of this year have exacerbated and intensified food insecurity, malnutrition and livelihoods impoverishment of vulnerable people in Sudan putting them at risk of falling into more severe phases of food insecurity. About 9.6 million people (over 20 per cent of the population) faced severe acute food insecurity between June and September, the highest number ever recorded by the IPC in the country, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report.

The joint needs assessment carried out by FAO, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the State Ministries of Production and Economic Resources, determined that approximately 2.2 million hectares (ha)—out of a total 28.27 million ha—of croplands have been damaged by the floods. Blue Nile, North Darfur, Central Darfur, Red Sea, Kassala and North Kordofan are among the states with the highest level of acute food insecurity. In terms of damage to planted area due to the floods, Gedaref has been most affected with a total loss of 450,173 tonnes of different crops. Blue Nile is the second most affected state with 341,000 tonnes of production loss followed by Kassala and Sennar states with 58,000 and 52,000 tonnes respectively. Horticulture, seeds, tools, equipment, machinery and agriculture-related infrastructure were either lost or damaged. Affected communities are borrowing money and selling their productive assets for food. Levels of debt are increasing, and affected communities need to access cash as soon as possible to repay their debts. More than 70 per cent of the people in these states depend on livestock and crop production as the primary source of livelihoods, giving them agricultural inputs is crucial to ensure they can continue agricultural activities in the coming seasons.

FAO needs $70 million to cover livelihood needs of 582,000 households (about 2.9 million people) affected by floods this year. To date, only $6 million has been received.




Situation Report

SUDAN: COVID-19 Situation Overview & Response

SUDAN COVID-19 Situation Overview 10Nov20




Situation Report
Women from Kasala contributing to the community fund UNFPA Sudan-Sufian Abdulmouty
Women from Kasala contributing to the community fund (UNFPA Sudan/Sufian Abdulmouty)

Community-based referral mechanism systems help women deliver safely

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Sudan has been working towards the reduction of maternal and child morbidity and mortality, raising awareness within communities about reproductive health and gender-based violence. Sudan has a high maternal mortality rate of 295 deaths per 100,00 live births, according to the UNFPA 2020 State of World Population report, while the world average is 211 deaths. Almost one-quarter of births in Sudan are not attended by skilled health personnel.

One way to reach these objectives is to establish community-based referral mechanism systems. The process begins with a selection of community volunteers, trained in reproductive health (RH) and management. An executive committee is formed which is provided with funds from monthly community contributions to create the “referral of pregnancy and childbirth seed”. The fund allows women to borrow money. The top priorities are high-risk pregnancies, women who will deliver with caesarean section, and women with bleeding. The women who borrow the money, refund it when they are able.

Safa Mohammed, a 19-year-old from Awad village in rural Kassala State, is one of the women who benefitted from the “referral of pregnancy and childbirth seed.”

Safa was married when she was 18 years old and became pregnant the same year. While visiting a midwife at the local health centre for her antenatal care, she was told that she had a high-risk pregnancy because she had high blood pressure. She was referred to Elsaudi Maternity Hospital. Here she would continue her care and eventual delivery. However, the hospital was one and half hours away from Kassala Town. The roads were bad, and on top of this came the rainy season and a country-wide lockdown because of COVID-19. Safa’s husband lost his job and income during the pandemic lockdown and they could not afford transportation and consultation fees at the Elsaudi hospital. Fortunately, Safa was a member of the “referral of pregnancy and childbirth seed” supported by UNFPA. She was able to obtain a loan that allowed her to rent a car to take her to the hospital for her appointment and also to pay for the caesarean operation. Safa delivered a healthy baby girl who she called Fatima.

“This referral and the service saved my and my daughter’s life. I have since mentioned this to many other women from my village and even villages far away and they all understand and encourage the importance of the referral service and wish something similar will be established in their own communities,” said Safa.

These referral services are important and contribute to the reduction of maternal and child morbidity and mortality. More than 30 women benefited from the ““referral of pregnancy and childbirth seed” and even women who were not members in the “seed” benefited from it.

For more information maternal and newborn health, and much more, visit the UNFPA World Population Dashboard.




Situation Report
Sudan — Trends
COVID-19 cases in Sudan
COVID-19 cases in Sudan

The country continues to face the health and humanitarian consequences of COVID-19

  • First case: 14 March 2020

  • Total cases:  14,346 (as of 10 November 2020)

  • Total deaths: 1,116

  • States affected:  All 18 states

  • Schools: Closed (8,375,193 learners affected).


Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sudan in mid-March, the Government confirmed that 14,346 people contracted the virus, including 1,116 who died from the disease, as of 10 November. All 18 states have reported cases, with Khartoum, El Gezira, and Gedaref amongst the hardest-hit. Although Khartoum State accounts for most of all reported cases in the country, the majority of all COVID-19-related deaths have been reported from outside the capital. Recently, Sudan has seen a fivefold increase in the number of cases being reported each day up from about 10 cases per day at the start of November to around 50 cases a day. Sudan’s health system was under extreme stress prior to the pandemic and has been further stretched to prevent, contain and treat COVID-19. Approximately 81 per cent of the population do not have access to a functional health centre within two hours of their home and the situation is getting worse, as many clinics are closing during the pandemic. In Khartoum State alone, nearly half of the health centres closed during the pandemic, and Darfur had already closed a quarter of their facilities in 2018 due to lack of funds and staff. Sudan has only 184 beds in intensive care units (ICU) and approximately 160 of them have ventilators, according to WHO. Only four ICU doctors—three in Khartoum and one and Gezira State— are prepared to deal with patients infected with the virus, according to WHO.

Across Sudan, clinics and hospitals lack critical medicines, as they can no longer afford to stock them due to the economic crisis and also due to disruption in the supply chains. The situation makes it extremely challenging for the Government and aid organizations to respond to the pandemic and maintain essential services. Women and children have been especially affected. Maternal health clinics have closed, reproductive health services have been interrupted and over 110,000 children are missing out essential vaccines. Prevention to COVID-19 is also a challenge in Sudan, as 63 per cent of the population do not have access to basic sanitation, 23 per cent do not have access to a hand-washing facility with soap and water and 40 per cent do not have access to basic drinking water services. The risk of transmissions and increased humanitarian needs are especially high amongst the nearly 2 million internally displaced people (IDP) and 1.1 million refugees living in collective sites or host communities across the country and the population living in urban slums.

COVID-19 is having direct and indirect impacts on food access in Sudan, according to the latest food security alert report from FEWS NET. Some families lost their incomes at a time where they also face higher living costs, including due to increasing medical costs related to the pandemic, as well as the ongoing economic crisis. The necessary COVID-19-related containment measures have also indirect negative impacts, limiting many poor households’ physical access to areas where they typically earn income from daily labour.

Before COVID-19, about 9.3 million people were already in need of humanitarian support across Sudan. Years of conflict, recurrent climatic shocks and disease outbreaks continue to affect the lives and livelihoods of many Sudanese. The situation is worsening and now over 9.6 million people are facing severe hunger, in a country with already high malnutrition rates. Because of the fragile economy, more and more people are unable to meet their basic needs, as high inflation continues to erode families’ purchasing power. An average local food basket takes up at least 75 per cent of household income.


  • The Federal Government, the United Nations and humanitarian partners have joined efforts to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Sudan. A COVID-19 Country Preparedness and Response Plan (CPRP), organized around nine pillars, is currently being implemented by UN agencies, NGOs and other partners in support of the Sudanese Government-led response.

  • Aid actors are establishing quarantine or isolation spaces and shelters, providing the country with COVID-19 testing kits and setting up water points and handwashing stations in IDP and refugee camps and in host communities. Over 1,600 health workers and rapid response teams in at least 277 localities across Sudan have been trained, hygiene kits distributed to nearly 500,000 people and protective equipment to attend the needs of 6,000 health centres in the country. Over 25 million people have been reached with campaigns to raise awareness to prevent transmissions and at least 2.8 million people were reached with food assistance in May.

  • The Transitional Government initiated the Family Support Programme, with support of the World Food Programme (WFP), to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19-related restrictions on vulnerable families. The programme will provide 600,000 families—about 3.6 million people, nearly 80 per cent of the population—with US$5 per person per month.

  • An estimated $582 million was pledged by donors for this programme during the Sudan Partnerships Conference that took place in Berlin on 25 June.

  • The UN and its partners launched on 19 July the COVID-19 addendum to the Humanitarian Response plan, a US$283 million appeal to address the most immediate and critical needs of millions of Sudanese people affected by the health and humanitarian consequences of COVID-19.

  • On 22 August, the Government of Turkey sent medical supplies and equipment to Sudan to assist Government response to COVID-19. The supplies included 50 respirators, 50,000 masks and 50,000 face shields, and 100,000 surgical masks.

  • On 16 August, the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent 24 tons of medical and food aid to assist in COVID-19 and floods response. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sudan in mid-March, the UAE has donated nearly 90 tons of medical supplies and equipment. In addition, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development donated 136 tons of medicines to the National Fund for Medical Supplies in Sudan. On 6 June, the UAE-based Al Maktoum Foundation sent 37 tons of medical supplies including protective clothing, masks, sterilizers, glucose, and other supplies to help Sudan fight COVID-19.

Official sources:

Sudan Federal Ministry of Health

WHO Sudan Twitter

Other sources:

COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response, by UNESCO

COVID-19 World Travel Restrictions, by the Emergency Division of the World Food Programme (WFP)

Global COVID-19 Airport Status, by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)




Situation Report
Director-of-OAD-Reena-Ghelani-visits-a-water-project-in-Al-Salam-area WDarfur 21Sept20-(5)
Children collect water from a mini-water yard funded by the Sudan Humanitarian Fund and run by the NGO International Aid Services (IAS) in Al Salam area.

Director of OCHA visits SHF funded projects in West Darfur

The Chair of the IASC Emergency Directors’ Group (and Director of OCHA Operations and Advocacy Division), Reena Ghelani, visited Sudan from 18 to 21 October on a three-day mission to better understand the humanitarian situation, advocate for continued support, and discuss coordination following a significant increase in needs in the country.

During her visit, Ms. Ghelani met with government officials and representatives of NGOs, UN agencies and development partners. She also visited West Darfur State to get a better understanding of the situation, the impact of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) drawdown and ongoing humanitarian response. While in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, she visited a new internally displaced persons (IDP) gathering point, Dahkhiliat Al Zahraa. Some of the IDPs she met shared their experiences of why they were temporarily displaced to government buildings following inter-communal fighting between Arab and African tribes in their home area of Mesteri.

At Hujaj IDP Camp, she visited a health facility run by the State Ministry of Health with support from the NGO World Relief and funded by the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF). The health facility serves 5,200 people living in the camp as well as nearby host and returnee communities. The SHF has supported the clinic with funds for medical equipment, medicines, pays healthcare staff and to set up a network of community health promoters. The SHF funds will also be used to construct four semi-permanent rooms to replace the health clinic structures which were built of local materials. The health clinic provides integrated health services including reproductive health and immunizations. While in Hujaj IDP Camp, Ms. Ghelani met with representatives of the IDP community—women, youth and men—who raised concerns on rising malaria cases and water shortages in the camp.

She also visited a water project funded by the SHF and run by the NGO International Aid Services in Al Salam area. SHF funds were used to upgrade an existing non-functioning hand pump into a solar-powered mini-water yard providing improved access to sustainable water services to some 3,000 people from the IDP, returnee and host communities in the area. The water project also helped reduce protection risks, especially for women and girls, who used to travel long distances to fetch water for their families.

Ms. Ghelani left Sudan with a better understanding of humanitarian needs, and how they are being compounded by an economic crisis, the worst floods in decades, disease outbreaks, and violence. As partners continue to assist millions of vulnerable people, more assistance is needed and the time to help Sudan is now.




Situation Report
Farmers inspecting early wheat growth (UNDP Sudan/Ala Eldin Abdalla Mohamed)

As long lines remain in front of bakeries, wheat assistance starts arriving in Sudan

Lines at bakeries snake across neighbourhood streets as people queue for hours to buy bread. Wheat flour is subsidized in Sudan and to sustain the subsidy the Government needs 160,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat per month. Sudan requires about 2.9 million MT of wheat per year. The Goverment imports a large portion of the country's wheat requirement as local wheat production cannot cover the country's needs.

The declining value of the local currency and ever-increasing inflation rates means the prices of imported goods rise and the country’s ability to import vital commodities such as wheat goes down. In the first half of 2020, Sudan imported 1.1 million MT of wheat, according to the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) foreign trade report.

In response, some countries sent relief supplies to help the Sudanese people. On 25 October, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent 68,000 tons of wheat which will be allocated to the mills across the country. Also, WFP facilitated the delivery of 40,000 tons of wheat in October as part of the wheat swap agreement signed with the Government of Sudan in June. Through this agreement, WFP will purchase wheat for the Government from abroad and will be paid in local currency, thus easing foreign exchange pressure on the Central Bank of Sudan and making local currency available for WFP’s operational requirements. WFP will be purchasing 200,000 metric tons of wheat for the Government of Sudan, which is equivalent to about 10 per cent of Sudan’s required wheat import for 2020.

Humanitarian needs in the country have been increasing as a result of the worst floods seen in decades, and also disease outbreaks, socio-economic impact of COVID-19, an economic crisis as well as chronic under-development, increasing poverty and conflict. The country’s Central Bureau of Statistics reports that the annual inflation rate in September rose to 212 per cent from 166 per cent in August. The average price of the local food basket increased by nearly 200 per cent compared to 2019, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Inflation is also pushing up prices of basic food, like sorghum, which is now 240 per cent higher than in 2019 and more than 680 per cent higher than the five-year average. Staple food prices are expected to remain high at least until the current season’s harvest arrives at the markets in November, extending the lean season—usually from May to October—leading to one of the highest levels of food insecurity reported in Sudan in the last decade. Over 9.6 million people were severely food insecure at the peak of the lean season from June to September, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report. The resulting spike in prices and shortages of basic commodities, including fuel, food, and medicine is affecting the most vulnerable, marginalized and impoverished people in the country.

As needs continue to increase, government authorities and humanitarian organizations are assisting millions of vulnerable people in the country. In the first half of 2020, humanitarian partners helped 7.5 million people (see the Humanitarian Response Monitoring Dashboard for more information). The number of people reached increased from 2.3 million in the first quarter of 2020 (January to March) to $5.4 million between April and June. More funds and supplies are needed to assist those most vulnerable. As we the end of 2020 fast approaches, less than half of the Humanitarian Response Plan has been funded.  




Situation Report
Stagnant-waters-are-breeding-grounds-for-vectors OCHA-Mohammed-Ahmed-Ali Sept20
Stagnant pools of water are breeding sites for different types of vectors (OCHA/Mohammed Ahmed Ali, Sept 2020)

Concerns over diseases following the rains and floods

Following the unprecedented rains and floods that wreaked havoc and left 875,000 people affected across Sudan, there are concerns of more than 4.5 million people at risk of vector-borne disease, according to health sector partners in Sudan.

As a result of the increase of breeding sites (stagnant water pools) and population displacements, there is a significant risk of a high incidence of vector diseases, the health sector reported earlier this month.

Viral haemorrhagic fever

The number of suspected viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) cases is increasing and as of 18 October stands at 2,226, with 99 per cent of cases reported in Northern State. According to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), 56 people have died from VHF.

VHF includes a wide range of viral infections, namely Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fevers, Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Rift Valley fever (RVF), Lassa fever, Hantavirus diseases, dengue and yellow fever, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Viruses that cause haemorrhagic fevers are transmitted by mosquitoes (dengue, yellow fever, RVF), ticks (CCHF), rodents (Hantavirus, Lassa) or bats (Ebola, Marburg).

Chikungunya outbreak in West Darfur

Meanwhile, 248 people in West Darfur were diagnosed with chikungunya, with one related death reported. With the rainy season, there is usually a spike in vector-borne diseases in Sudan as stagnant water provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which are the main vectors of chikungunya, malaria and other diseases.

During the last outbreak of chikungunya, more than 300 cases were reported between July 2019 and February 2020. In 2018, however, over 19,000 cases of chikungunya were reported across the country.

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms of chikungunya are fever and severe joint pain, as well as muscle pain, joint swelling, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Joint pain associated with chikungunya is often debilitating and can vary in duration. There is currently no vaccine or specific drug for the virus and treatment focuses on relieving the disease symptoms, according to the WHO. For more on chikungunya, please go here.

Over 1.1 million malaria cases

By the end of September 2020, over 1.1 million malaria cases were reported across Sudan and reached epidemic levels in 15 out of 18 states. In 2018, malaria was the top killer accounting for about 9 poer cent of deaths in hospitals across Sudan, according to the FMoH’s Annual Health Statistics Report 2018. Malaria also accounted for the main reason of admission to hospitals – 12 per cent of all admissions. According to the malaria cases records from FMoH, the number of malaria cases tend to increase with the start of the rainy season and floods, peaking towards the later part of the flooding season (August-September). Stagnant water pools following rains and flooding result in the propagation of mosquitoes – the vectors of malaria and other diseases.

WHO has procured and is organizing the distribution of 266 Inter-agency Emergency Health Kits (IEHKs) to support malaria treatment and other health needs. These kits can serve up to 2.7 million people for three months. Also, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is preparing to distribute 18 IEHKs and 7 acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) kits. However, there are still significant shortages in malaria supplies to address the current endemic levels, with FMoH reporting difficulties in distributing medical supplies as some areas are inaccessible due to the recent flooding.

Lack of funding

Before COVID-19 the health system in Sudan had been weakened due to years of low funding, as well as lack of personnel and essential medicines. Against this backdrop, the health sector component of the Sudan 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is still underfunded, with only 19 per cent of the HRP requirements received and only 35 per cent of the COVID-19 appeal funded, according to the Financial Tracking Service. As a result, several key activities have been scaled back.

“There is an urgent need to raise an estimated US$25 million to respond to the urgent health needs of those affected by seasonal floods,” Kais Aldairi, Sudan Health Cluster Coordinator, said. “These funds will allow Sudan to procure essential medicines and supplies to support preventative measures for vaccine-preventable, vector and water-borne diseases.”

For more on the health sector’s response to multiple emergencies please see it here.




Situation Report
WFP Sorghum-Unload Warehouse ElObeid WFP-Gabriel-Valdes
WFP unloading sorghum

WFP calls for strengthening food systems as multiple crises drive up numbers of hungry people in Sudan

On World Food Day, 16 October, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) called for global action to improve the systems that produce and distribute the food we eat, so that they can better withstand shocks including the COVID-19 pandemic that can spark alarming surges in the level of hunger in the world.

In many countries, including Sudan, the socio-economic effects of the pandemic – particularly loss of earnings and remittances – are heightening existing threats linked to conflict and climate change. The number of acutely hungry people in the world could increase by more than 100 million this year, according to WFP estimates. For particularly fragile countries, a slide towards famine is a real risk.

“‘The world produces enough food for everyone so it’s a problem not of scarcity but of access to nutritious and affordable food,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley, “Smallholder farmers in developing nations need support so they can grow crops in a more sustainable way, then store and transport their produce to markets, and ultimately improve their own livelihoods. When food moves from the farm, along the supply chain and onto people’s plates in a fair and efficient way, then everyone benefits.”

WFP, which last week won the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to fight hunger, has unparalleled experience in buying and distributing food. Every year, WFP increases the amount of food it procures locally from smallholder farmers, providing training in post-harvest storage and in how to access markets. The aim is to build dynamic food systems which contribute to community-based agricultural growth and the strengthening of national economies.

The need for concerted action to improve agricultural production while enhancing global supply chains and ending food waste is captured in this year’s World Food Day theme: “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”. The three Rome-based agencies - WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – are calling for sustainable investment in food systems to achieve healthy diets for all. Without massive improvements in the food supply chain, many fragile nations are set to become increasingly vulnerable to financial volatility and climate shocks.

In Sudan, food insecurity remains alarmingly high with some 9.6 million people estimated to be food insecure. This is the highest figure ever recorded in Sudan. Sudan has also witnessed historic flooding in recent months that has devasted homes, destroyed vast swaths of farmlands and crops, and affected more than 875,000 people.

The economic crisis and inflation are also posing challenges to food security in Sudan. The average price of the local food basket has increased by nearly 200 per cent compared to 2019, making it even harder for families to put food on their plates.

“Combined, these multiple crises can further increase food insecurity and risk pushing millions of people into poverty. But if we take concerted action now, we can build a future we want – a world free of hunger. We remain committed to working with all our partners in Sudan, including the Government, to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Sudan Dr. Hameed Nuru.

No one government or organisation can achieve these goals alone. More than ever, there is a need for global solidarity to help all people, and especially the most vulnerable, to confront the crises facing the planet – multiple conflicts, climate change and COVID-19.

Official WFP Sudan Press Release on World Food Day




Situation Report
Emergency Response
Locust-control-operations---FAO-Oct-2020 small

Desert locust control operations continue

The environmental conditions remain favourable for desert locust in both summer and winter breeding areas in Sudan, creating a suitable habitat for breeding and development, according to the latest update from the Sudanese Government’s Plant Protection Directorate (PPD).

More dessert hopper bands of 1st and 2nd instars are hatching in the east between the Atbara River and the Red Sea Hills, as mentioned in the most recent update from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Locust Watch. Mature solitarious adults have been reported in the northeast and on the southern coast of the Red Sea between Tokar Delta and the Eritrea border where breeding is imminent. Surveillance, aerial and ground control operations are in progress in the high-risk areas, according to the FAO.

Desert locust breeding has been detected in Sufiya and Tomala in the Red Sea sub-coastal plains (PPD monitoring surveys, October 2020). Scattered mature and immature adults were detected in some of the surveyed areas in Red Sea, Kassala and Northern States. The vegetation is almost drying in most of desert locust summer breeding areas of the East belt. As of 13th October 2020, 4,668 ha were treated, including 2,800 ha by aerial control and 1,868 ha by ground control operations.

PPD forecast new hatchings and the fledglings are expected by the end of October 2020 in Red Sea, Kassala and River Nile states. PPD recommends close monitoring in both summer and winter breeding areas. FAO is working closely with PPD and providing technical support in surveillance, monitoring and control operations.

The threat to food security by Desert Locust is of great concern to all because an adult can consume its weight in fresh food per day, which is about two grams every day. A very small part of an average swarm (or about one tonne of locusts) eats the same amount of food in one day as about 10 elephants or 25 camels or 2,500 people, according to FAO.




Situation Report
Annual Inflation rate (December 2017 - September 2020, CBS)
Annual Inflation rate (December 2017 - September 2020, CBS)

Soaring inflation hits the most vulnerable and increase humanitarian needs in Sudan

A surging inflation, with annual rates reaching 212 per cent in September, is leading to increased humanitarian needs in Sudan and hampering humanitarian assistance when the millions of vulnerable people across Sudan need it the most. UN agencies and humanitarian partners are finding it difficult to procure supplies, inputs and other items as the prices increase on a weekly basis. Shortage and high prices of fuel also affects the delivery of aid.

Most of humanitarian partners operating in Sudan procure the supplies and other inputs they require locally to contribute to the local economy and speed up the process. However, the increasing inflation and surge in the price of the hard currency in the parallel market resulted in vendors and suppliers increasing prices up to three or four-fold over the past few weeks.

“Many companies that we work with have either increased their prices exponentially or they are refusing to supply their products until the volatility in the parallel market stabilizes. This of course affects our operations and the people that we are providing assistance to,” explained Arshad Malik, Country Director of the NGO Save the Children International.

According to humanitarian organizations in Sudan, in some cases, by the time the procurement process is finalized, the suppliers might have increased prices to such an extent that the original budgets are no longer valid. This means that agencies have to restart the process from scratch, while there is no guarantee that by the time the process is done, the prices will not have risen once again.

“We operate with the official exchange rate of SDG 55 per US$ 1, and in the beginning of the year we budgeted our activities accordingly. However, with the parallel market rate shooting up to more than SDG 250, the vendors increased their prices more than double than what they were in June-July. This means that with the amount that we exchange at the official rate we now can only assist one out of four people assisted previously,” Malik said.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects, critical to respond to the ongoing floods and COVID-19 outbreak in Sudan has also been impacted. According humanitarians in the country, vendors providing services for water pumps, for example, are now charging three to four times more for the same item or work. Several organizations reported that lack of funding is preventing them from revising budgets, as increases of 300 or 400 per cent are not possible. As a consequence, water pumps are not repaired, water yards are not completed, and thousands of people are not able to get access to safe water.

According to organizations working with cash-transfer programmes, the spiraling inflation is also badly affecting people who receive this kind of assistance. Although organizations increased the monthly amount disbursed, the adjustments are not enough to maintain the purchasing power of the families. “International organizations base the assistance in dollars and we have to use the official rate for the transfers. If a beneficiary was getting about $200 in the beginning of the year, once we transferred it in Sudanese pounds, the money would cover their main needs. However, now the same amount converted into SDG at the official rate, can only suffice for 20 to 25 per cent of what they could buy before,” explained Malik.

Activities in the health and education sector are also noticing the impact of the economic crisis. Prices have increased, availability of supplies reduced, and lack of resources to increase incentives to teachers and medical staff affected the quality of the services provided.

In addition, prices of agricultural inputs for the Food Security and Livelihoods Sector increased dramatically, which has reduced procurement levels considerably, with fewer people getting assistance. The price of sorghum in 2019 was the equivalent of $645 (at the official rate), now it costs $1,425. The price of donkey ploughs in 2019 was $39, and now it is $74.

“Thousands of Sudanese people in dire need of assistance are being affected and cannot get the support they urgently need amidst the impact of spiralling inflation, other aspects the economic crisis, floods, and implications of COVID-19 containment measures,” warned the representative of Save the Children.

For more information on the impact of the economic crisis on humanitarian needs and response, please check OCHA’s Humanitarian Key Messages.




Situation Report
Emergency Response

Floods in Sudan - Situation Report


  • Rains started to subside and flood waters are receding in Sudan, after months of heavy rainfall that left more than 875,000 people affected by unprecedented flooding.

  • Torrential downpours, landslides, flash and riverine flooding have killed over 150 people and left a path of destruction in all states across the country, according to the Government's Humanitarian Aid Commission data.

  • More than 30 per cent of the water samples analyzed across 13 states were contaminated and the extensive damage to hundreds of water sources, the collapse of several thousands of latrines increase the likelihood of disease outbreaks.

  • Over 10 million people are now at risk of contracting water-borne diseases, and more than 4.5 million are exposed to vector-borne diseases, an increase of nearly 100 per cent if compared with April 2020.

  • Malaria cases have increased in seven localities of North Darfur and different parts of Sennar State. West Darfur reported nearly 100 cases of chikungunya, and hundreds of cases of viral haemorrhagic fever have been reported in Northern, River Nile, Kassala, Khartoum, Sennar and West Kordofan states.

  • Humanitarians are in a race against time to respond to the crisis and save lives, but the extremely low funding, especially for health and water, hygiene and sanitation services are hampering aid organizations’ capacity to operate.


Flood waters started to recede in most of Sudan, following several weeks of torrential downpours that have caused deaths, displacement, and massive destructions to key infrastructure and livelihoods across the country.

At least 155 people lost their lives and the number of people critically affected reached over 875,000 as of 6 October, according to the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission. Blue Nile, Khartoum, North Darfur, Sennar, and West Darfur states were particularly hit and more than 150,000 refugees and internally displaced people are amongst those affected, according to UNHCR.

The full impact of the unprecedented rainy season that led to the worst flooding Sudan faced in more than three decades is yet to be felt. The stagnant water, coupled with the extensive damages to hundreds of water sources and thousands of latrines, pose a serious risk to the health of people in Sudan now.

The number of people at risk of contracting any water-related diseases, including cholera and diarrhoea, increased from 5.6 million in April to more than 10 million in October 2020, due to the floods and other humanitarian challenges the country has been facing, impacting access to water, hygiene and sanitation. According to water monitoring exercises carried out across 13 states, more than 30 per cent of the water sources tested showed biological contamination.

In Sudan, more than 63 per cent of the population have no access to basic sanitation, 23 per cent do not have access to a handwashing facility with soap and water and 40 per cent do not have access to basic drinking water services. The situation is now worse for more than 40,000 people of Twakar, in Red Sea State, following the collapse of the main water station of the locality in the last weeks, and for more than 100,000 people in Blue Nile State, due to the collapse of the Bout Earth Dam at the end of July.

The risk of vector-borne disease, including malaria, dengue, chikungunya and Rift Valley Fever, all endemic in Sudan, also increases. Malaria cases have increased in seven localities of North Darfur and different parts of Sennar State. West Darfur reported nearly 100 cases of chikungunya, and hundreds of cases of viral haemorrhagic fever have been reported in Northern, River Nile, Kassala, Khartoum, Sennar and West Kordofan states.

The already fragile food security situation in Sudan is likely to be compromised due to the ongoing floods, following the destruction of thousands of hectares of crops just before the harvest. The situation is especially concerning for farmers in different parts of River Nile State, where nearly 120,000 people are severely food insecure, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis. Across the state, around 36 per cent of farms are still flooded, according to WFP. In Sennar State, at least 21 per cent of the crops are flooded, which will likely extend the ongoing lean season that left over 373,000 facing severe hunger. The situation is also critical in Northern State—more than 24 per cent of farms flooded and nearly 80,000 people severely food insecure—and Blue Nile, a state where almost 433,000 people are facing hunger and 14 per cent of the farms are now under water.

The Government and aid organizations are providing life-saving assistance to people affected. Humanitarians reached over 400,000 people with critical support. However, the extremely low funding, especially for health and water, hygiene and sanitation services, the high inflation and fuel shortages are hampering aid organizations’ capacity to operate.

Read the CLUSTER STATUS for the detailed information on the response.

Check out the previous analyses and overview of the humanitarian response to floods in Sudan on the Flash Updates:

Floods Flash Update #1 – 3 August 2020

Floods Flash Update #2 – 5 August 2020

Floods Flash Update #3 – 14 August 2020

Floods Flash Update #4 – 27 August 2020

Floods Flash Update #5 – 31 August 2020

Floods Flash Update #6 – 8 September 2020

Floods Flash Update #7 – 18 September 2020

Floods Flash Update #8 – 24 September 2020




Situation Report
Emergency Response
Polio cases by state (WHO-UNICEF-FMoH, 28 Sep 2020)

More polio cases detected, 10 million polio vaccine doses arrive in Khartoum

The number of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) detected in Sudan has increased and currently stands at 23 cases. A total of 11 states are affected, indicating widespread circulation of the virus, according to the joint situation report by the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) of Sudan. The outbreak in Sudan is related to an outbreak of cVDPV2 in the eastern part of Chad.

Planning is ongoing for the first round of the national polio campaign in October. The plan is to vaccinate 8.6 million children under five, twice in all 18 states of the country, using monovalent Oral Poliovirus Type 2 (mOPV2) vaccine during October-November.

On 1 October, FMoH received 10 million doses of polio vaccine from UNICEF for the polio campaign. The first round of the campaign will start on 26 October with the support of UNICEF and WHO. WHO and UNICEF are advising health workers and caregivers to observe strict health and safety measures against COVID-19 during the campaign.

For more, please see:

Sudan cVDPV2 Outbreak Response Situation Report, Week 39

UNICEF brings 10 million doses of polio vaccine to Sudan

Poliomyelitis (polio) - WHO




Situation Report
Sudan: Humanitarian Key Messages - September 2020

Humanitarian Key Messages: Impact of the economic crisis on humanitarian needs and operations


  • The dire economic situation in Sudan, marked by soaring inflation, is compounding chronic underdevelopment and poverty, recurrent climate shocks, disease outbreaks, violence and conflict to generate rising humanitarian needs

  • The average price of the local food basket increased by nearly 200 per cent compared to 2019, and the cost of health services increased by 90 per cent in 2020.

  • The deteriorating economic situation has hampered humanitarian operations, negatively impacting people’s access to essential services when they need it the most.


The dire economic situation in Sudan, marked by soaring inflation, is compounding chronic under-development and poverty, recurrent climate shocks, disease outbreaks, violence and conflict to generate rising humanitarian needs. Inflation reached nearly 170 per cent in August, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics of Sudan, and the spike in prices and shortages of basic commodities, including fuel, food, medicine and hygiene products, is negatively affecting the most vulnerable, marginalized and impoverished people in the country.

The Sudanese Pound continues to depreciate rapidly, further eroding families’ purchasing power and ability to provide for themselves. In a country where 90 per cent of the families already spend around most of their incomes—some 65 per cent—on food, these additional shocks lead to increased hunger and less access to education, health and other essential services that families deprioritize as they try to cope with the economic hardship.

The average price of the local food basket increased by nearly 200 per cent compared to 2019, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). The inflation is pushing up prices of basic food, like sorghum, which is now 240 per cent higher than one year ago and more than 680 per cent higher than the five-year average. The stable food prices are expected to remain high at least until the production of the current season arrives at the markets in November 2020, further extending the current critical lean season that brought one of the highest levels of food insecurity reported in Sudan in the last decade. Over 9.6 million people are severely food insecure at the peak of the lean season (June to September), according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report.

The deteriorating economic situation has hampered humanitarian operations, negatively impacting people’s access to essential services when they need it the most. UN agencies and humanitarian partners are facing important challenges to procure supplies, as the prices increase on a weekly basis. Contracts are being delayed, as the vendors’ offer often change before the process is finalized. Some humanitarian partners reported that they are now able to reach only one of every four people previously assisted, as the increased prices and delays in procurements drained their budgets. Fuel shortages have also affected timely transportation and delivery of aid, which could lead to fewer people being assisted by the end of the year.

Organizations providing cash-transfers to vulnerable families must constantly adjust the amount disbursed, impacting their limited budgets. Even with these adjustments, many families are no longer able to purchase everything they need with the cash received. As result, even people receiving assistance may have to resort to negative coping mechanisms to survive.

During 2020, the cost of health services increased by 90 per cent and, according to National Medical Supply Fund, only 57 per cent of essential emergency medicines were available by September. The arrival of COVID-19 has exacerbated these challenges, resulting in a dramatic drop in health services coverage, including immunization programmes, treatments for malnutrition or maternal care. Underfunding led to a reduction of nearly 20 per cent of measles vaccinations across the country and around 10 per cent of the Penta 3 vaccine, which protects children against tetanus, diphtheria and polio. The low immunization is one of drivers of the vaccine-derived polio outbreak affecting Sudan, caused by low levels of immunization of children under age 5.

The urgent national immunization campaign to stop the ongoing vaccine-derived polio outbreak is facing challenges due to high fuel prices and availability of vehicles. The response to the outbreak must include vaccinating every child under age 5 in the country with oral polio vaccine to stop transmission. The overall cost for the first round of the campaign to reach the nearly 9 million children targeted by the campaign is now estimated in around US$10 million. More than $5.3 million will be needed for transport costs alone, based on the official exchange rates, which is used for humanitarian operations. With the extremely limited funding available, any further increase in costs would impact the Government and humanitarians’ capacity to carry out the exercise.

The economic situation, compounded by the historic flooding affecting over 875,000 people in all Sudan’s states, have also impacted access to water, hygiene, sanitation (WASH) and health services, increasing risk of communicable disease. Humanitarians are reporting major challenges as they rush to repair thousands of water points and latrines damaged during the rainy season. According to WASH partners, the prices of locally-procured supplies have increased by 300 to 400 per cent, and, in some cases, the services had to be stopped.

The situation is expected to further deteriorate over the coming months, increasing the number of people who need assistance and hampering humanitarian’s capacity to respond. The gradual reduction of fuel subsidies planned by the Government is likely to push inflation further up and negatively impact vulnerable families, as well as increase costs of humanitarian assistance.

Download here the PDF version of the Key Messages.




Situation Report

Sudan Education Sector: Impact of the Floods on Education

Impact of the Floods on Education

Sudan Education Sector: Impact of the Floods on Education