Rome, 1 June 2022 (TDI): Thirty percent of the population of Sudan, 10.9 million people, will require lifesaving support in 2022. According to the Food and Health Organization (FAO), the current call is the highest need for assistance in the country in the past decade.

The country is struggling with acute food security due to internal armed conflicts, impacts of Covid-19, drought, low production of staple crops due to infestation of pests and diseases, economic crisis, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Recently, FAO has received $12 million in aid from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for a new project. The assistance in this project will ensure the provision of emergency agriculture and livestock supplies to farming and pastoral communities in 14 hardest-hit counties.

Currently, two-thirds of the population of Sudan live in rural areas. Subsequently, 90,000 people or 180,000 households from the most vulnerable farming and pastoral communities, displaced people, and refugees will receive aid from this project.

According to FAO Representative to Sudan, Babagana Ahmadu, this contribution can provide agricultural inputs to vulnerable farming households before the onset of the farming season in June. As a result, the farmers can produce enough food for the months to come.

Reducing poverty in Sudan 

According to FAO, the project covers agricultural and livestock assistance to reduce dependence on emergency food assistance. It also provides the basis for medium to long-term recovery.

The project aims to provide farmers with crops, seeds, donkey plows, hand tools, veterinary drugs and vaccinations, animal feed, donkey carts, and productive livestock.

Rehabilitation of community assets such as small-scale water infrastructure, pasture, artificial ponds for rainwater harvesting, and cash assistance is also part of the project provisions.

lifesaving support
A farmer with his cattle in Sudan
Food Security Crisis in Africa

Earlier, FAO issued a warning of the looming threat of famine in different parts of Africa. The listed countries are on the brink of starvation due to four failed rainy seasons.

Urgent scale-up of actions is needed to address famine and associated crises in different parts of Africa according to the UN agencies and other partners.

The drought in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia is the worst in 40 years. The situation is expected to worsen if immediate actions are not taken—16.7 million people in the region, projected to increase to 20 million by September.

“The climate conditions that cause the current drought are expected to prevail until the end of this year, posing a serious threat to the October-December 2022 season,” said Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Droughts in Africa

So far, nearly one million people have been displaced in Somalia and Southern Ethiopia. 3.6 million livestock has died in Kenya and Ethiopia. The estimates also reflect that one out of three livestock has perished in Somalia since 2021.

According to the long-lead seasonal forecast by WMO, the chances of the October to December rainy season are also low. The rainfall failure from March to May has already devastated livelihoods.

Moreover, the outcomes include a massive increase in food prices, acute water scarcity, and lack of nutrition, calling for a substantial rise in lifesaving support.