• 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 8.5 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 around 1 million refugees, including over 810,000 refugees from South Sudan, and acts 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


Violence in Pieri in Jonglei State in South Sudan and an attack on a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Rokero in Central Darfur, Sudan, have caused a reduction of health activities in both areas. On 14 May, fighting erupted between factions of the Sudanese security forces and soldiers forced their way into a MSF facility in Rokero,  Sudan, injuring one staff member. The health facility has been reduced in capacity to provide life-saving care only.

On 16 May, intercommunal violence erupted in Jonglei state in South Sudan, forcing civilians and MSF staff to flee. One MSF employee was killed and more than 50 people wounded. Médecins Sans Frontières has suspended all activities at their Pieri health centre. It is not known just how many were killed or wounded in the incident and displacement is likely given that many homes were burned. Pieri experiences high levels of intercommunal violence and access to healthcare is a challenge. With the closure of the Pieri facility, the nearest MSF clinic is 50km away in Lankien.?

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


Very high constraints

Humanitarian access deteriorated during the escalation of protests in June 2019, when security forces raided demonstrations, resulting in significant operational constraints. Humanitarian operations remain restricted in conflict areas. Areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan controlled by the Sudan People ’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) remain hard to access. In Jebel Marra, Darfur, the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) personnel were sporadically denied access to conflict areas due to insecurity. Humanitarian travel policies were eased in 2016, but administrative procedures still present obstacles. Mines, explosive remnants and poor roads hamper assistance. In August 2019 heavy rains and flooding damaged infrastructure further, hindering the delivery of aid. The economic crisis and countrywide lack of fuel and hard currency hamper delivery and access to aid.

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 5.8 million people are experiencing Crisis phase or worse (IPC 3 or higher) levels of food insecurity across the country?. Broad instability, leading to increased food prices, is expected to continue to heighten levels of food insecurity across the country into January 2020.?

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. ?

Protection: Approximately 3.9 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


In an attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19, additional customs measures have been implemented for all cargo passing through the Suez Canal into the Port of Sudan, the country's primary port for importing commodities. Ships and cargo must undergo a 14-day quarantine before clearing customs.

It typically takes 3-4 weeks for medicines and medical supplies, including those related to COVID-19 response, to complete clearance procedures. The quarantine will delay this further, negatively impacting the COVID-19 response and other humanitarian activities in Sudan.

Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, Sudan's import of medications was already affected by the economic crisis in the country. In the last two years, imports have decreased nearly 20%, resulting in shortages of medicine and medical equipment for both government and private sector health facilities.?

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 4 August has affected 7 states, resulting in 1,197 suspected cases and 5 deaths as of 22 November.?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 worst desert locust outbreak in more than 25 years has been intensifying across the Horn of Africa since July 2019, due to favourable conditions for breeding and limited operational capabilities, such as a shortage of aircraft to conduct the aerial spraying of pesticides. Several countries in the region are currently infested with locust swarms. Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are the most heavily impacted, where the risk the desert locust infestation poses to agriculture is at “threat” level as of 6 January. Threat level indicates there is a direct threat to crops and that control and survey operations must be conducted to reduce the risk. The ability of locusts to form large swarms and consume vast quantities of crops and vegetation raises the risk of further food insecurity across the three countries, where more than 11 million people already face Crisis (IPC-3) level or higher.

Djibouti, Eritrea, and Sudan have also reported swarms, although have lower “caution” level of risk, as of 6 January, meaning increased awareness and control operations may be needed. Uganda and South Sudan are additionally on “caution” level as of 6 January, but as of 10 February only Uganda has reported swarms, in the northern region of the country. Breeding of the locusts is anticipated to continue and intensify until at least June 2020. If coordinated control measures are not taken, there is a high probability that the outbreak will spread to neighbouring countries, including into South Sudan and further into Uganda.?