Sudan: WFP responds to a changing climate

WFP is prepositioning 73,000 tons of food items ahead of the approaching rainy season

World Food Programme Insight


Awatif and her children live in a temporary home in Al Fao town after flooding forced them from their home in 2021. Photo: WFP/Rayyan Elbashier

By Leni Kinzli and Rayyan Elbashier

Awatif and her family live in a temporary camp in the town of Al Fao in Gedaref State in eastern Sudan. A mother of nine, heavy rains and flooding forced them and hundreds of other families to abandon their homes and livelihoods and to seek assistance from humanitarian organizations.

With so many people seeking refuge, Awatif and her children spent their first few days sleeping under plastic sheets as they waited for the rain pass.

“Most people in our community moved to this camp and there were not enough tents for everyone,” she says, “Some were lucky enough to find tents when they arrived, but we weren’t as lucky.”

To make matters worse, Awatif had left almost everything behind and had little means to feed her children. The rains also made the roads impassable, so even with the little money she had, travel to the nearby markets was difficult.

“The cold weather meant that hunger would bite my kids even harder,” says Awatif.

Thousands of people like Awatif (centre) lost their homes and livelihoods in 2021 and now live in temporary homes. Photos: WFP/Rayyan Elbashier

Heavy downpours fell in 14 out of 18 states in Sudan in 2021 and affected over 300,000 people, leaving thousands homeless.

In the immediate aftermath of the flooding, the World Food Programme (WFP) supported 2,150 flood-affected people in the Al Fao locality with emergency food rations which included pulses, sorghum, oil and salt, and nutrition supplements for pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children.

“Thanks to WFP’s support my children and I did not starve,” says Awatif. “We were even able to save a little money and to build the hut we currently live in, which is the closest thing to a home we have for now.”

As the next rainy season approaches and many roads become impassable, WFP is already prepositioning 73,000 tons of food items including in the hard-to-reach areas such as Darfur and Kordofan States.

Many roads become impassable in Sudan’s rainy season. Photo: WFP

In 2021, WFP assisted 75,000 flood-affected people with emergency food and nutrition assistance in the most affected states across Sudan, including North Kordofan, White Nile, Blue Nile, Gezira, and Gedaref States.

“I will forever be grateful for the help we received from WFP, I believe they were the thing standing between us and a fate we don’t wish to think of,” says Awatif.

Generous contributions from donors such as The Big Heart Foundation made WFP’s response to flood-affected people in Sudan possible in 2021.