Cultivating Change: Food and Nutrition Security for Refugees and Local Communities in East Sudan

Project description

Title: Food Security for Refugees and Adjacent Communities in Gedaref and Kassala States, Sudan
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Sudan
Overall term: 11/2017 to 10/2020


Climate change poses an enormous challenge to people living in the arid eastern Sudanese States of Kassala and Gedaref. Most of them depend on agriculture to live, yet they are unable to adapt their farming methods to climate change and see yields decline, leaving large parts of the population malnourished. In addition, many lack adequate knowledge and awareness of health and nutrition, leading to inefficient food consumption. As a result, they become more vulnerable to contagious diseases, while a lack of sanitation infrastructure and clean drinking water increases the risk of such diseases being spread.

Sudan is a country of transit, destination, and origin for migrants and refugees. Kassala and Gedaref host around 110,000 refugees that are of predominantly Eritrean origin, most of whom reside in camps. The large numbers of new arrivals strain already scarce resources, such as water and food supply in the post-conflict region. While refugees face restrictions on living and working outside of camps, they play a vital role in the local economy as labourers during the harvesting season, along with thousands of seasonal workers from Ethiopia.


Food and nutrition security of refugees in selected camps and of residents in adjacent communities in the states of Gedaref and Kassala has been improved.


The project has a three-tier approach to improving food security in eastern Sudan: increasing the availability of and access to food; promoting healthy diets; and improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene services. The project benefits refugees in selected camps, as well as nearby local communities. In all our activities, we promote women and people with disabilities, who are often marginalised due to stereotypes and traditional role models.

To ensure that more food is available, the project promotes efficient use of the available limited natural resources, climate change adaptation measures and sustainable agricultural production methods. Farmer field schools enable participants to learn about climate-adapted agriculture and efficient water management. Over 900 households will benefit from these activities.

At the same time, the project strengthens resilience and stabilises the livelihoods of at least 350 households by supporting them to grow their own vegetables in home gardens and learn about the value of consuming nutritious food.

The project also improves access to clean water for 70,000 people in the most vulnerable refugee and local communities. Furthermore, support is provided for the construction and maintenance of new sanitation facilities with the aim of improving hygiene and reducing the spread of contagious diseases.

The project will be conducted as a trilateral cooperation under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).