• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 43,000,000 Total population [?]
  • 3,200,000 People displaced [?]
  • 9,300,000 People in Need [?]
  • 1,107,000 Refugees in Sudan [?]



Conflict, political instability, slow and sudden onset disasters, and poor economic conditions contribute to Sudan’s complex crisis, which has left 9.3 million Sudanese in need of humanitarian assistance. The crisis has generated food insecurity, malnutrition, and a lack of access to basic services, particularly health services and medicines. The complex crisis has led to the internal displacement of more than 2 million Sudanese since 2010.  Additionally, Sudan is host to over 1.1 million refugees, including over 821,000 refugees from South Sudan, and acts as a key transit country for migrants from the Horn of Africa heading to Europe.?

The political backdrop of Sudan’s complex crisis has been particularly dynamic since 11 April 2019, when President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a military coup, after a 30-year rule. Since 21 August, an 11-member Sovereign Council has been the collective head of state, consisting of members selected by both the Transitional Military Council (TMC), and the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) alliance. Although the council aims to steer the country toward democratic elections in 2022, mass protests have continued frequently throughout Sudan.  Alongside political developments, conflicts between armed groups have continued, maintaining protection concerns for the population.?

Sudan has a high exposure to natural hazards. Slow onset disasters, such as desertification and drought, strongly deteriorate agricultural conditions and increase food insecurity across the country.? Sudan is also prone to sudden onset disasters, such as floods. The 2019 rainy season (June-October) led to widespread flooding that destroyed homes and farmland, damaged infrastructure, and impeded humanitarian access. ?

INFORM measures Sudan's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, at 6.9/10, and level of hazard & exposure at 7.3/10.?

Latest Developments


17/09/2020: On 12 September the Minister of Education announced that the start of the new school year is postponed to 22 November due to damage to educational and general infrastructure by heavy floods. The state of El Gezira reported that almost 5,000 schoolchildren were unable to attend the first day of school due to flooding.?

15/09/2020: The government of Sudan declared a three-month national state of emergency on 5 September due to severe flooding in 17 out of its 18 states. The Nile River has risen to a century high at 17.5 metres. The heavy rainfall has killed 110 people and affected more than 650,000 people across the country since July. The flooding is aggravating food security countrywide, with some areas already facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity. Rising water levels and consequent landslides have blocked roads and are impeding effective aid delivery to those in need. The situation is expected to worsen with heavy rainfall forecast in the coming weeks. Staple food prices are expected to remain high, preventing general access to food for poor households, due to the combination of the economic crisis, ongoing conflict, floods, and COVID-19 pandemic.?

03/09/2020: Khartoum state was placed under a state of emergency on 30 August because of continued flooding. Across Sudan, over 380,000 people in 17 of its 18 provinces are affected. The flooding is aggravating food insecurity in Sudan, with parts of the population already facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) levels, and impeding effective aid delivery to those in need.?

01/09/2020: Intercommunal clashes erupted in Kassala city on 25 August following Saleh Ammar's nomination to state governor. The acting governor imposed a three-day curfew but fighting between opposing groups continued, leaving at least two people dead, 20 injured, and one missing. Shops were looted, crops and the market were torched, and cattle killed.?

20/08/2020: On 9 August the Sudanese government declared a vaccine-derived polio outbreak in nine out of the total 18 states. At least 5.2 million children under age five will require urgent vaccination in the affected states. According to WHO, a vaccine-derived polio outbreak occurs in countries with low levels of immunisation and poor sanitation conditions. COVID-19 caused disruptions to polio vaccination campaigns, resulting in increased transmission of polio. Additionally, other essential health services were suspended, and WASH infrastructure destroyed by floods, increasing the risk of spread of communicable diseases such as polio. This is the first polio outbreak since March 2009.?

For more information on the desert locust outbreak in East Africa, please see the relevant paragraph below.

For more information related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Sudan, see content below.

Humanitarian Access


high constraints

Humanitarian operations remain restricted in conflict-affected areas. Areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) led by Abdelaziz El Hilu, and the Jebel Marra Mountain area in Darfur controlled by the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army led by Abdul Wahid Al-Nur (SLM-AW) remain hard to access. Intercommunal violence has resulted in reduction and disruption of service provision to refugees and internally displaced people. Infrastructure damage and constraints, cause by heavy rainfall brought by the March-May rainy season has contributed to the disruption of humanitarian access in the past months.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Information Gaps and Needs

  • Lack of regular gender-sensitive needs assessments in all sectors.
  • Lack of information about the security situation in conflict-affected areas.
  • Access to public services often remains unclear in rural and remote areas. 
  • Information about refugees, their whereabouts and the severity of their needs remain limited.

Key Priorities


Food security: Around 9.6 million are facing Crisis or worse (IPC-3 or higher) levels of food insecurity over the June-September period. The key drivers of food insecurity are the COVID-19 lockdown, the country's economic decline, and conflict-induced displacement. Internally displaced people, returnees, households living in conflict areas, and refugees are among the people most affected by food insecurity.?

Health: Outbreaks, especially waterborne diseases, are straining limited health services. Severe medicine shortages are reported countrywide. ? Health and hygiene promotion is needed to prevent the spread of diseases in many parts of the country. Some 5.2 million  people are in need of healthcare, while 1.9 million IDPs lack access to basic health services.?

Protection: Approximately 1.8 million people are in need of protection. Protests increase protection concerns. Civilians across Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile are at high risk due to continuous high insecurity levels.?

Impact of COVID-19


Sudan has registered 11,496 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 725 related deaths as of 29 July. Despite the lockdown in Khartoum state was lifted on 7 July, a 6:00 p.m to 5:00 a.m curfew is still in place. Some states in Darfur region have closed borders and imposed curfews to limit the movement of people and avoid the spread of the virus.?

COVID-19 is putting a strain on the country's weak healthcare system. Before the pandemic, approximately 81% of the population had no access to a functional health centre within two hours walk from their home. Now, clinics and hospitals across Sudan lack critical medicines, as they can no longer afford to stock them. This is due both to the economic crisis and the disruption in the supply chains as a result of COVID-19. For the same reasons, many clinics and hospitals are closing. In Khartoum state alone, nearly half of the health centres have closed. Darfur had already closed a quarter of their facilities in 2018 due to lack of funds and staff. ?

COVID-19 movement restrictions and insecurity have compounded Sudan’s economic crisis, leading to a significant decrease in commodities' movement, market functionality, and cross-border trade. This has disrupted livelihoods, reduced households' purchasing power, and further increased the already high food prices.?

The ACAPS team is monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information related to the outbreak, see the ACAPS COVID-19 Project.

Disease Outbreaks


Since 28 August 2019, cholera has been on the rise in Sudan, predominately in the states of Blue Nile and Sinnar. The number of confirmed cases as of 19 November is 337, including 11 deaths.?On 7 October, 1.6 million doses of Oral Cholera vaccines were flown into Khartoum in an effort to control the outbreak.? Simulteanously, Sudan is also experiencing its first outbreak of Rift Valley Fever since 2008. As of  11 November, there have been 293 suspected cases of the disease, including 11 associated deaths. The concentration of cases are primarily in Red Sea State and River Nile States.?

A dengue fever outbreak since 8 August 2019 has affected 7 states, resulting in 1,197 suspected cases and 5 deaths as of 22 November 2019.?The combination of outbreaks across Sudan puts pressure on an already debilitated health system, leading to the need for external assistance.

Desert Locust Outbreak


The Horn of Africa is suffering from the worst desert locust infestation in decades, threatening food security and livelihoods. Since July 2019, eight countries have been most affected: Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Sudan.?

Despite control measures, the situation in Sudan has deteriorated, as an increase in rainfall along the Red Sea coast created favourable conditions for locust breeding. As of June, new swarms expected to migrate northwards from Kenya to Ethiopia and traverse South Sudan to Sudan after mid-June.?