• 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

  • 3,921,000 People displaced [?]
  • 1,322 Fatalities reported [?]
  • 7,200,000 People in Need [?]



Five years of civil war have led to widespread human rights violations large-scale internal displacement and refugee outflow to Sudan and Uganda, as well as largely deteriorated food security. Clashes continue despite a peace agreement in 2018, causing further displacements. Intercommunal violence is widespread, with cattle raids a common source of tension, particularly between agro-pastoralist communities. Nearly 4 million people are estimated to be displaced, including 1.5 million IDPs and 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees. In addition, South Sudan host nearly 300,000 refugees from Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia and CAR.?

An estimated 6 million people around 51% of the total population are expected to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The conflict and displacement have led to disruptions of food production, livelihoods, and humanitarian assistance, as well as deterioration of the economy.?Attacks and ambushes on humanitarian convoys severely hamper the delivery of assistance and access to populations in need. As of January 2020, 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.?

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


04 August 2020: On 28 July heavy floods displaced thousands of people in Bor town, Jonglei state, after a levee broke. Information on locations of the newly displaced is scarce. Several people are sheltering in schools, where physical distancing to avoid spread of COVID-19 is difficult or impossible. Shelter/NFIs, latrines, food, and mosquito nets are needed.?

03/07/2020: MSF suspended their medical activities in Pibor on 19 June after intercommunal clashes erupted in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), causing residents and MSF staff to flee into the bush. Currently, GPAA is without any functioning health facility. There are no referral options for the MSF patients as the only two hospitals in Juba are limited in resources and capacity, and are unable to receive new patients.?

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


Movement restrictions related to COVID-19 response have resulted in the closure of ports and border crossings, severely affecting trade activity between South Sudan, Uganda and Sudan. In South Sudan, reports are emerging of reduced food imports, price increases, and shortages from panic buying as people fear that goods will stop flowing into the country. Importation of staple products, including maize imports from Uganda declined nearly 30% in March and prices in the public markets have increased: maize prices increased by 50% and sorghum 15%. South Sudan relies heavily on food commodity imports. Trade is expected to continue decreasing as COVID-19 restrictions are in place, putting pressure on already high food prices and reducing the purchasing power of South Sudanese households. People in South Sudan are experiencing acute food insecurity, with approximately 20,000 at risk of IPC 5 (Catastrophe) levels, prior to the COVID-19 restrictions.?

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 .?