Adaptation and Devastation

Conflict and crisis in Darfur has continued unabated since 2003. While there has been a growing body of knowledge about how this has impacted on livelihoods, there has been much less focus on understanding how trade and markets – the lifeblood of Darfur’s economy – have been affected.

This report begins to address this gap between livelihoods research and the crisis’ effects on trade and markets. Part of Tufts University’s livelihoods research program in Darfur, it provides an overview of how trade in cereals, livestock, cash crops and timber have been impacted. It reveals a crippling policy environment in which traders are struggling to meet an escalating tax burden and to pay the numerous informal levies and protection payments that are now an integral part of trading transactions. This is pushing a growing proportion of trade into the shadow or parallel economy, in which the de facto tax havens in the IDP camps play a part. There is also evidence of war economies developing, for example in timber. Yet the report confirms that a positive by-product of the massive humanitarian food aid operation in Darfur has been the shoring up of the grain market. Meanwhile the market infrastructure for cash crops such as groundnuts, tombak and gum arabic has suffered near collapse. Livestock trading is also under severe stress. Not surprisingly many traders have gone out of business as profit margins are severely squeezed. This scoping study proposes a number of follow-up market-related activities to support livelihoods programming, and ways of strengthening market monitoring – an essential indicator of the state of Darfur’s economy and its ability to recover when peace is restored. A deeper understanding of trading relationships also provides valuable insights into the dynamics of the conflict itself.






thumbnail image of report cover

This briefing describes the key elements and issues associated with conflict in pastoralist areas across sub-Saharan Africa.

thumbnail image of report cover

Ce document d’information décrit les éléments clés et les enjeux associés aux conflits dans les zones pastorales d’Afrique subsaharienne.

thumbnail image of publication cover

This briefing paper provides an overview of pastoralist livestock marketing in Africa. It also explains the marketing behaviors of pastoralists and the economic logic behind their decisions on when, how many, and which types of animals to sell.

thumbnail image of publication cover

Ce document d’information présente une vue d’ensemble de la commercialisation du bétail pastoral en Afrique. Il explique également les comportements des pasteurs en matière de commercialisation et la logique économique qui sous-tend leurs décisions quant au moment, au nombre et aux types d’animaux à vendre.

Thumbnail image of report cover

This study examines how anticipatory action was perceived and experienced among Ethiopians living with drought alongside other crises.

Thumbnail image of cover

This learning brief explores the continuity and changes to livelihoods in select sites in Isiolo and Marsabit Counties, Kenya, and reviews the implications of the continuity and the changes on the drivers of child acute malnutrition.

Load more