• 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

  • 46,400,000 Total population [?]
  • 4,335,000 People displaced [?]
  • 13,400,000 People in Need [?]
  • 1,107,000 Refugees in Sudan [?]

Special Reports




Conflict, political instability, slow and sudden onset disasters, and poor economic conditions contribute to Sudan’s complex crisis, which has left 13.4 million Sudanese in need of humanitarian assistance (4.1 million more than in June 2020). 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 2.5 million Sudanese since 2010, mainly in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states. Sudan also hosts over 1.1 million refugees, including 763,000 refugees from South Sudan and more than 61,000 Ethiopian refugees, and acts as a key transit country for migrants from the Horn of Africa heading to Europe.?

The political background to 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 2020, an 11-member Sovereign Council has been the collective head of state, consisting of members selected by both the Transitional Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change alliance. On 12 February 2021, a new transitional government was sworn in – which included three former leaders of armed groups – to guide the transition of Sudan into democratic elections in 2022. Alongside political developments, conflicts between armed groups have continued, maintaining protection concerns for the population. A recent wave of violence in Darfur came shortly after the mandate of the UN–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) ended on 31 December 2020.?

Inflation continues to drive increases in prices of essential commodities, making them unaffordable to economically vulnerable populations. Inflation has also sparked nationwide protests that have led to seven states declaring a state of emergency, imposing curfews, shutting down schools, and limiting access to markets.

Sudan has a high exposure to natural hazards. Slow onset disasters, such as drought and the degradation of drylands, strongly deteriorate agricultural conditions and increase food insecurity across the country. Sudan is also prone to sudden onset disasters, such as floods. In 2020, almost 900,000 people were affected in the worst flooding the country had experienced in 100 years, which 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


No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

Humanitarian Access


VERY high constraints

With multiple crises already active in the country, Sudan witnessed a deterioration in humanitarian access after the start of the West Darfur intercommunal clashes in May 2021. UN agencies’ operations are facing restrictions in the country as the United Nations-African Union mission, which had been operating in Darfur since 2007, closed and finalised the handover process in May 2021. The mission contributed to peacekeeping and providing protection for people in Darfur; its closure is having an impact on overall perceived or actual security, as well as on people’s ability to move and reach needed aid. Armed opposition groups are controlling areas in the Blue Nile state, Darfur regions, and South Kordofan state, creating barriers to the delivery of humanitarian aid. As a result of insecurity, humanitarian operations in West Darfur were suspended in January 2021 and only resumed in El Geneina district in April. Lack of security also limits people’s access to aid as IDPs were affected by attacks between January–June 2021. Another challenge restricting access of refugees and IDPs to humanitarian and public services is the lack of documentation, especially birth registration, which puts unregistered individuals at risk of statelessness.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Update from the October 2020 Global Risk Analysis


Severe economic deterioration leads to an inability of the state to cope with immense economic and food insecurity

Severe economic deterioration and a significant increase in food insecurity, as identified in the October 2020 Global Risk Analysis, has gradually been materialising. Despite it being the harvest period, staple food prices continued increasing atypically between December 2020-January 2021. The prices of non-cereal food items increased by 20-40% between January-February 2021 and were 250-450% higher than in February 2020.? The rapid depreciation of the Sudanese pound has also resulted in a 60-85% drop in household purchasing power. The situation led to protests in January and February across Sudan and the declaration of a state of emergency in seven regions of the country.?

8.2 million people are projected to need food security and livelihoods assistance in 2021, compared to 6.2 million in 2020.? The most recent IPC analysis (covering October-December 2020) projected 7.1 million people (16% of the analysed population) to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher levels of food insecurity.? Conflict-affected areas continue to be particularly impacted by food insecurity. Although the economy has continued to deteriorate as projected, in February the government implemented some measures meant to improve the situation; these included the decision to devaluate the Sudanese pound in an attempt to merge the gap between the managed and parallel markets.? In December 2020, the US removed Sudan from the state sponsors of terrorism list, which may make it easier for Sudan to access debt relief packages and other multilateral loans and financing.?

Key Priorities


Food security: Severe floods in 2020, COVID-19, and the economic crisis have had a negative effect on agricultural production, which has contributed to increased food insecurity in Sudan. An estimated 7.1 million people faced Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 and higher) levels of food insecurity between October–December 2020, a 22% increase from the same period in 2019. IDPs, returnees, households living in conflict areas, and refugees are among the people most affected by food insecurity.?

Health: 9.2 million people are in need of health assistance across the country, including 1.3 million IDPs and 1.1 million refugees. Approximately 81% of the population do not have access to a functional health centre within two hours of their home, and many clinics are closing because of a lack of funds and staff and because of the increase in COVID-19 cases since November 2020. By the end of 2020, the number of functional primary healthcare centres had decreased by 40% across the country. Severe medicine shortages are reported countrywide. The lack of medicines is compounded by a 200% increase in the cost of health services compared to 2020.?

Protection: Approximately 4.6 million people are in need of protection across Sudan. Since the beginning of 2021, Sudan has seen an increase in intercommunal violence in the Darfur regions (West, South, and North). Violence in the Darfur regions between 15–18 January forced more people to flee their homes than in the whole of 2020.?



The Sudanese government has confirmed that, as at 3 March 2021, 30,500 people had contracted the virus and there had been 1,895 COVID-19-related deaths since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. All 18 states have reported cases, with Khartoum, Al Jazirah, and Gedaref among 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 outside the capital.

Sudan’s health system was already under extreme stress prior to the pandemic and has been further stretched to prevent, contain, and treat COVID-19. Clinics and hospitals lack critical medicines as they can no longer afford to stock them because of the economic crisis and disruptions in the supply chain.

COVID-19 is having direct and indirect impacts on food access in Sudan. Some families have lost their incomes and many poor households have lost physical access to areas where they typically earn an income, including markets. People are also facing higher living costs because of increasing medical costs related to the pandemic, as well as the ongoing economic crisis.?

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


Several diseases are endemic in Sudan such as malaria, cholera, dengue fever, and chikungunya, and there is a tendency for annual outbreaks to occur across several states. In October 2020, malaria reached epidemic levels in 11 out of the 18 states of Sudan. In September 2020, Sudan also faced an outbreak of viral hemorrhagic fevers, as well as the reemergence of polio in at least seven states. In November 2020, Sudan reported 103 cases of chikungunya.?

The main causes of disease outbreaks in Sudan are poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, and low vaccination coverage. 63% of the total population do not have access to basic sanitation, 23% lack access to handwashing facilities with soap and water, and 40% have no access to basic drinking water services. The risk of transmission is especially high among the nearly 2 million IDPs and 1.1 million refugees living in collective sites or host communities across the country, as well as among people living in urban slums. The risk of disease outbreaks remains high in 2021. ?


Desert Locusts


The outbreak of desert locusts in Sudan threatened the country’s food supply throughout most of 2020. The current outbreak that is affecting East Africa is the worst in 70 years. During the first months of 2021, hopper bands (aligned swarms of locusts) were present in Sufiya, Tomala, and Aiterba (Red Sea state) and along the Nile Valley. Adult groups and swarms may continue to lay eggs along the Red Sea coast, where hatching and band formation are expected during March 2021. There is a risk that small swarms will continue to move inland to the Atbara River and Nile Valley, which could be aggravated by additional swarms arriving from Eritrea. The continued presence of desert locusts has negatively impacted the food security of already food-insecure populations.?

Information Gaps

  • Lack of regular gender-sensitive needs assessments in all sectors.
  • Unclear information on access to public services in rural and remote areas.
  • Information about refugees, their exact whereabouts, and the severity of their needs is limited.
  • The last population census by the government was conducted in 2008, meaning that information on population numbers heavily relies on estimations or extrapolated data.
  • Lack of updated information on education, including attendance rates and WASH infrastructure in schools.
  • Comprehensive data on areas across Sudan affected by explosive ordnance is lacking, making mapping of risk areas challenging.
  • Lack of information on the access of people with disabilities to basic services, including healthcare.