• 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

  • 11,685,000 Total population [?]
  • 4,437,000 People displaced [?]
  • 1,127 Fatalities reported [?]
  • 8,300,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports


Special Reports




Since December 2013, South Sudan has experienced intermittent civil war and intercommunal and localised violence. This environment has resulted in widespread insecurity, large-scale internal displacement, increased refugee outflow to Sudan and Uganda, and deteriorating food security. As at January 2021, 8.3 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance.?

The latest peace agreement in South Sudan – the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan – was signed in 2018. The agreement has led to a fragile truce and resulted in the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity in February 2020. While hostility between the Government and the main opposition has decreased, localised violence has surged because of conflict over land and resources, cattle raiding, and reprisal attacks.?

The surge in intercommunal violence throughout South Sudan affected more civilians in 2020 than in 2019. There were 5,800 victims of killing, injury, abduction, and conflict-related sexual violence in 2020 – an increase from the 2,631 victims reported in 2019. In 2020, Jonglei state and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area were most affected by conflict, accounting for 33% of the total civilian victims. The compounded effects of intercommunal violence and floods in these areas affected 528,000 people and displaced at least 147,000 people as at the end of 2020.?

Since 2013, nearly four million people have been displaced, including 1.6 million IDPs and 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees. South Sudan hosts about 319,000 refugees from Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic.?

INFORM estimates South Sudan's humanitarian crisis and disaster risk for 2021 to be very high, at 8.4/10. The lack of coping capacity is estimated at 9.4/10, and vulnerability is estimated at 8.7/10. ?

Latest Developments


No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

Humanitarian Access


Very high constraints

Humanitarian access in South Sudan is stable, but remains highly constrained. People’s movements are severely restricted because of the impact of heavy flooding in two consecutive years, violence, and COVID-19 measures, affecting both the access of people in need to humanitarian aid and the effective delivery of relief by humanitarian workers. Security concerns significantly inhibit humanitarian activities. South Sudan has one of the world’s highest rates of violent incidents against humanitarian workers. Since June 2020, 16 humanitarian workers have been killed, one kidnapped, and 27 injured, mostly during ambushes. Flooding is aggravating access to road infrastructure, which is among the least developed in the East Africa region.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Food Security


An estimated 7.24 million people (60% of the country’s population) will be facing Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or above) levels of food insecurity in South Sudan for the projected period of April–July 2021. This is an increase of almost one million people compared to the 6.35 million who faced Crisis or worse levels in the period October–November 2020. In the last months of 2020, an estimated 24,000 people were already facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) levels of acute food insecurity in Pibor county in the Pibor Administrative Area and in Tonj North county in Warrap state (11,000 and 13,000 people respectively). It is estimated that an additional 7,000 people will experience IPC Phase 5 levels in Northern Bahr el Ghazal for the projected period of April–July 2021.?

Elevated levels of food insecurity are contributing to high levels of malnutrition; about 1.4 million children under five years old are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021 – the highest number in three years.?

Key drivers of the high levels of acute food insecurity in the country include flooding, conflict and insecurity, and population displacements, as well as diseases and pests that negatively affect crop production, access to food, and livelihoods. In 2020, communities in nine out of South Sudan's ten states harvested, on average, 50% less cereal and vegetables compared to 2019. The beginning of the lean season (March–August) could increase food insecurity levels in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Warrap, Unity, and Lakes states. The economic crisis (linked to the fall in oil prices), compounded by the effects of COVID-19, and the overall limited access to basic services have also contributed to asset depletion and loss of livelihoods, increasing food insecurity and malnutrition across the country.?

Impact of COVID-19


As at 4 January 2021, South Sudan had registered 3,558 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 63 deaths.?

Despite efforts to contain the number of COVID-19 cases as well as sensitisation campaigns, stigmatisation against people wearing masks in public or within families is not uncommon, while some continue to deny the existence of the virus. Resistance to complying with measures is posing a serious challenge to the response’s effectiveness.?

The effects of COVID-19-related measures have disrupted livelihoods and economic activities as well as slowed down and restricted the flow and delivery of both commercial and humanitarian supplies and services. 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 low, despite a gradual increase in business activities in urban areas. The impacts of COVID-19 are also expected to persist into 2021, further affecting levels of food security across the country.?

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information related to the outbreak, see the ACAPS COVID-19 Project.