• Crisis Severity ?
    4.4
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    4.4
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    4.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    4.4
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    4.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 48,000,000 Total population [?]
  • 4,890,000 People displaced [?]
  • 14,300,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports

28/07/2022

Overview

03/08/2022

Sudan’s complex crisis has left at least 14.3 million Sudanese in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022, up from 13.4 million in 2021. Drivers include political instability following the military takeover on 25 October 2021, a socioeconomic crisis characterised by high inflation rates and currency depreciation, and food insecurity affecting nearly a quarter of the population. Intercommunal clashes and violence in some areas of the country also contribute to the high numbers of internal and cross-border displacements.?

Towards the end of October 2021, the Sudanese military forces took over and removed the civilian components of the transitional government, which had come into power in July 2019 and aimed to transition Sudan into a democracy by 2023. Since the takeover, widespread demonstrations denouncing military rule and violent clashes with security forces have been taking place almost every week, especially in Khartoum and Omdurman cities. These demonstrations have often resulted in injuries, fatalities, and damage to infrastructure. The general insecurity, road blocking, and communication blackouts that come with the demonstrations affect humanitarian access across the country. The military takeover has led to the suspension of international financial aid to the country. It has also aggravated Sudan’s deteriorating economy, contributing to high inflation rates, the depreciation of the Sudanese pound, and shortages in hard currency and foreign reserves. In 2021, Sudan imported more than 80% of wheat from Russia and Ukraine; the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent disruption to supply chains will likely affect the prices of grains and fuel.?

Estimations for June–September 2022 show that 11.6 million people in Sudan are food insecure – that is, facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse levels of food insecurity. A below-average wheat harvest season (March–April) in 2022, deteriorating economic conditions, and intercommunal clashes resulting in displacement and affecting the agricultural sector drive food insecurity in the country. The war in Ukraine and Sudan’s limited ability to import wheat and compensate for shortages because of the country’s limited foreign currency aggravate the situation. In June, the lack of access to food resulted in deaths among children and elderly people in Darfur.?

Latest Developments

18/09/2022

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

Humanitarian Access

07/07/2022

Very high constraints

Sudan faced Very High humanitarian access constraints in the past six months, scoring 4/5 in ACAPS Humanitarian Access Index. The humanitarian access situation has been deteriorating because of general insecurity, demonstrations, and communications disruptions since the military takeover in October 2021. In addition, intercommunal clashes in Darfur regions and South Kordofan state has increased, resulting in the temporary suspension of some humanitarian operations and making access to people in need more challenging. 

For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – July 2022.  

Risk

A reduction in subsidies causing severe electricity and fuel shortages leads to crop failures, livelihood loss, and worsening food insecurity Latest update: 27/03/2022

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

Rationale

Sudan’s economic crisis has worsened following the October 2021 military coup, foreign assistance cuts, and rising prices and taxes.? Since mid-2021, the country has been following a three-year economic reform programme with the International Monetary Fund, which requires the Government to reduce subsidies on retail electricity and fuel prices.? In January 2022, the Government reduced subsidies on electricity, resulting in a 460% increase in electricity costs for the agriculture sector.? In February, fuel prices increased by nearly 13%, aside from a 400% spike in October 2020.? Further increases in the retail costs of electricity and fuel are likely throughout 2022, especially as global fuel prices rise as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine.?

Higher electricity prices have already affected farmers in northern Sudan, who depend on electricity to irrigate crops. Farmers protested and blocked the Shiryan El-Shamal highway (linking Egypt to Sudan) between 9 January and 16 February and demanded a freeze on electricity prices. The blockade ended when they reached an agreement with the Government.? The Government has exempted the agriculture sector from the increase until 30 April. If the Government cancels or does not renew the exemption, similar blockade events will likely resume in May.? As announced in past protests, farmers could likely pressure the Government to reach a new agreement by disrupting the electrical supply line from Merowe dam in northern Sudan.? The dam contributes to Sudan’s electricity production.? Any disruption will likely result in shortages in electricity across Sudan, where power cuts already occur every three to four days.

Impact

A possible spike in electricity prices in May will likely affect agricultural activities in northern Sudan that depend on irrigation by electricity-run machines.? On the other hand, fuel shortages will likely affect and reduce agricultural output in states highly dependent on fuel for agriculture, land preparation, and planting, such as Al Gezira.? Below-average harvest, combined with high inflation, could lead to a spike in food prices. More frequent power cuts and increased electricity and fuel prices would affect small businesses like plumbing and carpentry, which do not usually own generators, possibly resulting in closure. There have already been reports from small-business owners of income losses of up to 50% as a result of power cuts.? The impact on livelihoods will likely push people to adopt negative coping strategies, such as reducing meals.? Economic decline and inflation are among the key drivers of acute food insecurity for an estimated six million people between October 2021 and February 2022. An electricity and fuel crisis would possibly result in 3.5 million2 people facing severe food insecurity. Especially during the 2022 lean season (May–October), the number of people facing severe acute food insecurity could go back to June–September 2021 levels.?

Read this risk

Update from the October 2021 Risk Analysis

06/04/2021

LOW RISK LEVEL

Escalation of conflict between Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces and Ethiopian National Defense Force in Al Fashaga district, Gedaref state, results in violence against civilians, displacement, disruption of agricultural activities, and protection concerns

Except for a few clashes between Sudanese and Ethiopian troops in the border area of Al Fashaga district, this risk did not materialise. On 27 November 2021, members of the Ethiopian army launched attacks in Al Fashaga district to intimidate farmers and spoil the harvest season. The attack killed at least 20 soldiers of the Sudanese Armed Forces.? Ethiopia denied that their forces engaged with Sudanese soldiers.? Clashes between Sudanese and Ethiopian troops resumed between 30 November and 1 December, but there were no casualties or damages to crops.? The third filling of the GERD dam was suggested as a trigger of increasing tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia, leading to clashes in Al Fashaga, but it did not take place in early 2022. The Ethiopian Government announced rescheduling it to July, after the removal of 17,000 hectares of forests around the dam in February in preparation for the third filling.? There are no reports of crops failing in Al Fashaga or clashes displacing people.

Socioeconomic Crisis

13/04/2022

Sudan has been facing a socioeconomic crisis caused by the unstable political situation that followed the widespread demonstrations against the politics of former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir in April 2019. The military takeover of the transitional government in October 2021 has further deteriorated the economic situation in Sudan as it resulted in the suspension of international aid, on which Sudan has been depending. Since October 2021, the Sudanese pound has lost about a third of its value, inflation rates have been increasing, there have been shortages of hard currency, and there are no sufficient foreign reserves.?

On 8 March, the government decided for a floating exchange rate instead of fixed, following economic shocks. When the government had devalued the currency previously, in February 2021, the country saw a further increase in prices of food, fuel, electricity, transportation, and medicine. Between January–March 2022, the price of fuel has increased fourfold. As at end of March, fuel prices were 85% higher than October 2021. Wheat prices have also been increasing and affecting the ability of people below the poverty line to buy bread. In January 2018, the Sudanese government cut subsidies on wheat, which caused the price of one loaf of bread to double and drove people to protest. In March 2022, prices of wheat are estimated to have increased by 180% compared to March 2021. Wheat prices continue to rise because of inflation, currency depreciation, and the disruption to the wheat supply chain caused by conflict in Ukraine and sanctions over Russia. Sudan imports more than 85% of its wheat supplies from the two countries (7% from Ukraine and 80% from Russia).?

Key Priorities

22/09/2022

Health: more than ten million people in Sudan need health assistance. The health system is fragile. Many hospitals face shortages of medicine and medical supplies to treat patients while they continue to receive people injured during demonstrations or intercommunal clashes. Outbreaks of diseases such as malaria, hepatitis E, and dengue fever also increase needs for healthcare assistance.?

Education: school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic have affected children’s education. Despite the reopening of schools in early 2021, recurrent clashes continue to disrupt children’s access to education, especially in conflict-affected areas such as Darfur and Kordofan regions. Schools are also often used as temporary shelters for the displaced. The complex crisis in Sudan has resulted in an insufficient number of teachers, schools, and financial resources for education. This will likely disrupt education for about 12 million students in the 2022/23 school year.?

Nutrition: a lack of access to food, clean water, and health assistance contribute to increasing nutrition needs. More than four million people need life-saving humanitarian nutrition assistance in 2022. There is also a need for the treatment of severe and acute malnutrition and preventive interventions.?

Information Gaps

03/08/2022
  • 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.