Since July 2016 there has been a surge in conflict across the country including in previously less affected areas of Central and Eastern Equatoria. The current situation in these regions is volatile, and there is a large number of IDPs. Food insecurity and malnutrition rates are unprecedented, and insecurity is hampering the delivery of assistance. The UN reports widespread violation of human rights and targeted violence against civilians.

Violence spread across eastern and northern South Sudan in December 2013 after President Kiir accused Vice President Riek Machar of plotting a coup. A ceasefire was agreed in August 2015, and a transitional government set up in April 2016 but fighting continues.

INFORM measures South Sudan's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster for 2017 to be extremely high, at 8.8/10, an increase from 8.3/10 in 2016. South Sudan's vulnerability is measured at 9/10.?

Latest Developments

25/03: Six aid workers were killed in an ambush by armed men on the road from Juba to Pibor in Jonglei.?
23/03: 800 to 1,000 people fled from Pibor town in Jonglei because of cattle raiding.?
21/03: In Nasir in Upper Nile, displaced communities lack education material and space, as only one school is fully operational. Lack of latrines and hygiene supplies, as well as limited grain supplies on markets are also reported.?
Read more

Crisis Overview 2016 - South Sudan

The Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017, outlines the countries where needs are greatest, and growing, as we approach the end of 2016

South Sudan is one of the 15 crises analysed in this report.

Read the full report here

Key priorities

Food security: Ongoing violence, market disruption, and crop failures have resulted in record food prices, and instability has spread to areas that were previously stable. There are pockets of people in Unity and Bahr el Ghazal facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). ?

Health: The crisis continues to trigger major public health risks and disease outbreaks including malaria, cholera and measles. ?

Protection: Civilians are regularly subjected to human rights violations including sexual violence.  Reports of targeted attacks against civilians have increased since July 2016. ?

Read more

Information Gaps and needs

  • During the rainy season (May to December)m more than 60% of South Sudan is inaccessible by road, limiting data on displacement and population needs.?  
  • Lack of information regarding the number of displaced in host communities and the needs of host communities.
  • The frequency of fighting in Greater Upper Nile and the Equatorias is unclear. Restriction to freedom of movement make it difficult for monitors to investigate violations of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements.?
  • Most of the available data is based on the needs inside refugee and IDP camps, therefore information is largely limited to the condition of displaced people. 
  • Persecution of journalists by the government limits the availability of information.

Lessons learned

  • The start of the dry season in January normally facilitates a renewed threat of conflict as roads dry out, and government and opposition forces are more mobile.??
  • During the rainy season, increased flooding significantly reduces space for airdrops.
  • The conflict has previously affected the deployment of local staff from different ethnic backgrounds to conflict-affected areas.?
  • SGBV is commonly used as a weapon of war. Access to survivors is difficult: many are reluctant to come forward due to fear of stigmatisation.? Trained female health workers are needed.
  • The needs of pastoralists are often overlooked by humanitarian organisations. When data is collected regarding pastoralists, it is usually aggregated with data from other population groups.?
Key documents

South Sudan


Humanitarian Needs Overview

Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium


Looking back to look ahead? Reviewing key lessons from Operation Lifeline Sudan and past humanitarian operations in South Sudan

National Human Development Report 2015


South Sudan

Peace: the only thing worth fighting for


Scenarios for South Sudan in 2020

United Nations Mission in South Sudan


The State of Human Rights in the Protracted Conflict in South Sudan

Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in South Sudan


We Can Die Too