Navigating Sudan’s Conflict: Research Insights and Policy Implications

  • Date
    04.03.24 > 05.03.24
  • Time
    11:00 pm > 09:00 am UTC-05:00

The conflict in Sudan has persisted since April 2023, with the violence intensifying in December 2023. As of February 2024, the crisis has displaced more than 7.8 million people internally, with an additional 1.7 million seeking refuge across borders. The violence has now spread into parts of central and eastern Sudan that were initially considered safe havens, resulting in more displacement, and further increasing pressure on states in eastern Sudan.

Historically, conflict has been one of the major drivers of food insecurity in Sudan. The current situation is no different: by the first quarter of 2023, 34 percent of Sudan’s population—more than 16.2 million people—were food insecure. As a result of the ongoing clashes and economic deterioration in several parts of the country, an estimated 17.7 million people, or 37 percent of the population, experienced acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) between October 2023 and February 2024. There is an urgent need to strengthen Sudan’s resilience systems to protect the vulnerable and ultimately lay the groundwork to develop a more inclusive society and economy in a safer, more stable context.

The Sudan Strategy Support Program (SSSP) of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has been at the forefront of this crisis, providing policy and program recommendations to development and humanitarian agencies. IFPRI’s current activities in Sudan include a wide range of conflict-related studies that use various methodologies to assess the status of food security, poverty, agro-processing, forced migration patterns, and livelihoods of Sudanese citizens. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is also working in Sudan to address multisectoral early recovery needs, with a specific focus on restoring cohesion across communities and social contracts with local leadership.

IFPRI and UNDP have partnered on wide-ranging and in-depth analysis to better understand the socioeconomic impact of the war in Sudan, and to inform policy and programmatic recommendations. The ongoing work includes quantitative analysis using primary data collected through surveys in rural and urban areas for both households and micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME), following the start of the conflict. The joint research effort also uses economywide analyses to estimate the economic and regional implications of Sudan’s conflict. The ongoing research aims to yield insights on a wide range of topics, including poverty, food security, coping and livelihood strategies, income sources, employment dynamics, household demographics, and migration patterns, as well as the role of social protection in mitigating the shocks.  

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