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Sudan and South Sudan's agreement to prevent floods and droughts

The two bordering countries will cooperate to strengthen their strategies in response to the situation they are facing
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Sudan and South Sudan have agreed, through the signing of a memorandum of understanding, on joint measures to combat floods and droughts, which affect the land and economic activities of both countries. 

Meeting in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, the two countries agreed on cooperation between governments, as well as the establishment of measures such as the management of river levels during the rainy season, in order to prevent floods or droughts from affecting the population's food supply by destroying livestock and crops. 

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The agreement aims to rehabilitate irrigation systems in the Upper Nile region of northern South Sudan to improve water management in both countries.

As the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) states: "Schools, homes, health facilities and water sources are flooded, affecting people's access to basic services. Physical access remains a major challenge for humanitarian organisations in assessing and responding to the needs of flood-affected people".

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 Catastrophic flooding in northwest Africa 

Floods in both northwest African countries have had devastating effects. Sudan faces torrential rains in the period between June and October, with the devastating effects of the water destroying property and farmland every year.

In 2020, rainfall forced the Sudanese authorities to declare a state of emergency after experiencing the worst flooding in 60 years. This natural disaster displaced 850,000 people and affected the livelihoods of 700,000 people, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

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Between July and September, the rains and floods affected 102,000 people, according to the UN. Among them, 50 villages in South Sudan were submerged, 65,000 residents were displaced and refugee camps remained completely flooded, according to the organisation's report.

The situation in South Sudan is also complicated, according to the UN humanitarian agency (OCHOA) at least 623,000 people have been affected by massive flooding in the country.

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The lack of funds is affecting the action of the organisations in the country, OCHA warned of financial difficulties receiving only 54% of the 1.7 billion dollars (1.45 billion euros) for the programme. For its part, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) was forced to suspend food aid to 100,000 people due to a lack of funds.

Risk of famine

According to UN reports, drought in South Sudan reached its most critical level in 2020, affecting 5.5 million people. In Sudan, the most catastrophic events date back to 1886, 1913, 1940, 1967-1973 and 1980-1984, with 8.5 million people affected and 7.8 million livestock killed in the latter period, according to Space borne Technology for Drought Monitoring.

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Of South Sudan's 11 million people, more than 82 per cent live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank, and 60 per cent of its population suffers from hunger due to conflict, drought and floods.