• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 3,853,000 People displaced [?]
  • 1,470 Fatalities reported [?]
  • 7,200,000 People in Need [?]



South Sudan has witnessed intermittent civil war since December 2013 and widespread communal and localised violence. As a result, there is widespread insecurity, large-scale internal displacement, and refugee outflow to Sudan and Uganda, as well as largely deteriorated food security. As of Januyary 2020, 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.?

The latest peace agreement in South Sudan signed in 2018, also known as the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), has brought a fragile truce and led to the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in February 2020. While there has been a reduction in conflict between the government and main opposition, and localised violence has surged as a result of conflict over land and resources, cattle raiding, and reprisal attacks.

The surge in intercommunal violence throughout South Sudan resulted in significant civilian casualties during the first quarter of 2020. In 2020, people living in Jonglei state and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area have experienced recurring violence, displacing more than 60,000 and crippling the food security and livelihoods of growing numbers of people.?These displaced people urgently require food assistance, healthcare and WASH services?Overall nearly 4 million people are  displaced, including 1.6 million IDPs and 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees. In addition, South Sudan hosts nearly 300,000 refugees from Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Central African Republic.?

INFORM measures South Sudan's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster for 2019 to be very high, at 8.9/10, down from 9/10 in 2018. South Sudan's vulnerability is measured at 9.2/10.?

Latest Developments


15/09/2020: Heavy rainfall over July-August resulted in overflow of the White Nile and its tributaries, affecting some 700,000 people across 26 counties in South Sudan. The number is likely to increase as further heavy rainfall is expected in the coming weeks. Jonglei (particularly Pibor), Upper Nile, Eastern Equatoria, and Warrap are the worst affected states. 980,000 people affected by flooding in 2019 also remain in need of aid. Restrictions related to COVID-19, together with increased insecurity in states like Jonglei, have been impeding affected populations' access to resources and relief. The Government of South Sudan has declared a state of emergency in Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative Area. Food security is a major concern in the country.?

18/08/2020: On 11 August, an NGO convoy was ambushed by an armed group in Yei county, Central Equatoria state. An ambulance was looted of medical and nutritional supplies while on its way to Lasu settlement, which hosts refugees from DRC and Sudan. This is the first ambush on an aid convoy on the Yei-Lasu road since 2018.?

13/08/2020: Clashes between the South Sudanese army and armed civilians in Tonj East county, Warrap state, have left 127 people dead. Fighting erupted during a disarmament campaign. A market was looted and shops burnt. Many civilians were displaced, the majority being women and children. Information on number and locations of the newly displaced is lacking.?

For information on the impact of COVID-19 in South Sudan, see the paragraph below. 

Humanitarian Access


Very high constraints

Access constraints persist in South Sudan, largely due to widespread insecurity and bureaucratic impediments. Violence and conflict often displace people to areas where there are no services, while insecurity leaves some areas inaccessible to humanitarian personnel. New requirements and unexpected changes regarding registration of local and international organisations, in addition to harassment of the humanitarian staff, led to temporary or permanent suspensions of humanitarian operations. Looting of relief material and cash is frequent. Civilian authorities and security forces continue to interfere with operations and impose bureaucratic restrictions on NGOs. The poor road network and infrastructure make physical access challenging during the rainy season. During the 2019 floods some areas of the country became inaccessible, temporarily disrupting humanitarian assistance.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Food Security


6.48 million people in South Sudan (55.4% of the population) are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse during the lean season (May to August). This is an improvement compared to the same period last year, when the people projected to be in IPC 3 and above was 5% higher. The food security situation, however, continues to be dire across the country. Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap, and Upper Nile continue to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) as continued communal violence and 2019 flooding caused an erosion of the productive assets and coping capacities of communities living in these areas.?

Impact of COVID-19


South Sudan has registered 2,477 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 47 deaths between 4 April and 12 August.?

Both national and international movement restrictions to mitigate the spread of COIVD-19, in addition to insecurity, have slowed down the import of humanitarian food supplies during May and June, and caused a general increase in food prices. Projections indicate that COVID-19 could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger, pushing it more than a quarter of a billion by the end of 2020.?

Although most COVID-19 related restrictions were lifted in May, the consequences are still felt across the country. The overall demand for labour and services remains below normal levels, despite a gradual increase in business activities in urban areas. Additionally, the population’s vulnerability to the health and food security impacts of COVID-19 is very high.?

ACAPS' team is monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information related to the outbreak, see the ACAPS COVID-19 Project.

Yellow Fever Outbreak (Uganda/South Sudan)


The WHO has declared a yellow fever outbreak in South Sudan. On 3 March, the Ministry of Health of South Sudan reported two presumptive cases of yellow fever in Kajo Keni county, later confirmed on 28 March.

The disease was first reported in Uganda, with eight confirmed cases between November 2019 and February 2020. Kajo Keni county, an area along the border with Uganda, has nearly 0% immunity to the disease and is a high-risk area given the high rate of spontaneous return of displaced people from Uganda. The March onset of rainy season has been an additional challenge, providing favourable breeding conditions for mosquitoes, the primary mode of transmission for yellow fever.

The Ministry of Health and WHO  launched a targeted vaccination campaign in the affected area in South Sudan. The mass vaccination campaign scheduled to begin by 17 April in affected districts in Uganda has been postponed due to COVID-19 social-distancing restrictions.?

Desert Locust Outbreak


The Horn of Africa is suffering from the worst desert locust infestation in decades, threatening food security and livelihoods. Since July 2019, eight countries have been most affected: Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Sudan. As of February 2020, an estimated 140,000 hectares of crops have been infested in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, and the situation continues to worsen.?

As of June 2020, South Sudan remains in a vulnerable position. As local breeding is currently taking place, some swarms are expected to invade South Sudan and Uganda and move north.?

The ability of desert locusts to form large swarms and consume vast quantities of crops poses severe risks to food security and livelihoods in the affected countries, where more than 20 million people already face IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or higher levels of food insecurity .?