Sudan’s crises are debilitating an already fragile country

A flood-affected village in Khartoum State, Sudan.

Recent flooding is becoming a humanitarian disaster that could simultaneously endanger Sudan’s peace process.

On 4 September, the skies opened up over East Africa, producing some of the most severe flooding that Sudan has experienced in approximately 30 years. The storm claimed over 100 lives and displaced more than 500 000 people, while submerging hundreds of kilometres of Sudan’s most productive agricultural land just before harvest.

As a natural disaster, the storm was bad enough. But Sudan is also in the middle of a complicated and fragile period in its history. The situation is rapidly spiralling into a multifaceted humanitarian crisis that is drawing less attention than it might otherwise warrant amid the chaos of 2020.

To begin with, Sudan is experiencing rapid inflation that has caused the price of the average food basket to increase by more than 200% from last year, according to the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme. Foodstuffs now account for roughly 75% of income in the average household.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in October that flooding has caused a shortage of critical goods and driven up prices even further, leading to the ‘highest level of food insecurity reported in Sudan in the last decade’. More than 9.5 million people are currently severely food-insecure, with 6.1 million people targeted for immediate assistance. Read more…

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