Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.40 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.4.20 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
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. 8.9 million people in South Sudan are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022.?
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 less civilians in 2021 than in 2020. There were 3,414 victims of killing, injury, abduction, and conflict-related sexual violence in 2021. In 2021, Warrap and Western Equatoria states were most affected by conflict, accounting for 43% of the total civilian victims.?
Since 2013, more than four million people have been displaced, including 2.2 million IDPs and 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees. South Sudan hosts about 341,000 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 2022 to be very high, at 8.5/10. The lack of coping capacity is estimated at 9.5/10, and vulnerability is estimated at 9/10.?
From late December 2022 to January 2023, intercommunal violence in Gumuruk and Lekuangole counties (Greater Pibor Administrative Area – GPAA) and in Akobo and Nyirol counties (Jonglei state) killed at least 85 people, injured 39, and led to the abduction of around 1,300 children and 505 women. The violence has also displaced 32,000 people in assessed areas of GPAA, but actual numbers could reach up to 50,000. Some have found refuge in Pibor town. In Jonglei state, the violence has displaced 37,600 people, some within Akobo or Nyriol county. In Nyirol, 3,300 cattle have been stolen and 39 houses burnt. In Gumuruk county, schools, health facilities, markets, and boreholes have been attacked. Many of the displaced people currently lack shelter and are sleeping out in the open. Armed attackers have also targeted humanitarian compounds and staff in Gumuruk county and Pibor town. Security and safety concerns, as well as poor road conditions, constrain humanitarian access to the people displaced. The IDPs have previously been affected by consecutive years of flooding. They have urgent needs for food, health, WASH, shelter, and core relief items.?
Very high constraints
Humanitarian operations in South Sudan remain challenging. In April, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management issued a decree requiring the international staff of NGOs to provide valid work permits and other documentation, which could only be obtained in their countries of origin. This decree has continued to affect humanitarian organisations in the second half of 2022. Humanitarian organisations unable to provide the necessary documentation for their staff on time have had to pay fines.
The number of checkpoints along White Nile River, some of which were operated by armed groups, increased between July–October. In some of these checkpoints, humanitarian organisations face extortion for money and the seizure of supplies, such as fuel, from their barges. Humanitarian organisations face arbitrary conditions from authorities and interference in humanitarian activities. In Jonglei state, some NGOs have suspended their training activities after the authorities imposed new training fees on workshops. The authorities interfere with the recruitment of humanitarian staff in Jonglei, Lakes, Upper Nile, and Western Equatoria states. Violence in different parts of the country hinders the movement of affected people to seek aid and has resulted in the suspension of humanitarian activities, such as in Tonga town in August. Between June–September, at least six humanitarian staff were killed, nine abducted, and 30 detained. Humanitarian supplies were also looted in several incidents where humanitarian convoys were ambushed or humanitarian facilities attacked.
South Sudan has experienced disruptive floods during the rainy season, particularly in August. Most roads in the country are not paved. Dirt roads become impassable during the rainy season, constraining road access to some rural communities. Humanitarian organisations use air and river transport as alternatives, but these are costlier than road transport.
For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – December 2022.
An estimated 7.74 million people (63% 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 2022. This is an increase of almost one million people compared to the 6.83 million who faced Crisis or worse levels in the period February–March 2022. It is estimated that 87,000 people will experience IPC Phase 5 levels in Fangak, Canal/Pigi and Ayod counties (Jonglei State), Pibor Administrative Area, Cueibet and Rumbek North counties (Lakes State), Leer and Mayendit counties (Unity State) for the projected period of April–July 2022.?
Elevated levels of food insecurity are contributing to high levels of malnutrition; about 1.34 million children aged under five years old are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2022, particularly in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states.?
Key drivers of the high levels of acute food insecurity in the country include climate shocks(flooding, dry spells), conflict and insecurity, and population displacements, as well as diseases and pests that negatively affect crop production, access to food, and livelihoods. The economic crisis (linked to depreciation of the local currency), 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.?
The health sector in South Sudan has been facing many challenges since the country gained independence ten years ago. Protracted conflict, the effects of climate change, high poverty levels, and inadequate infrastructure have slowed down efforts to improve the healthcare system. Insufficient government funding has resulted in inadequate and understaffed public health facilities. Many health workers choose to work in private health facilities or for NGOs. Consequently, NGOs have attempted to support the Government in offering health services, but they also face funding constraints. Only 40% of all health care facilities in South Sudan are currently operational. ?
For most South Sudanese, accessing healthcare remains a big challenge because of poor infrastructure in remote areas and lack of ambulances. For many, the only way to reach health centres is on foot, with journeys spanning several hours or even days. This causes deaths from treatable diseases, especially in remote areas, as some patients die during the journey to seek medical attention. According to UNICEF data for 2019, South Sudan had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, with 62 deaths for every 1,000 live births. With 80% of the population below the poverty line, the cost of healthcare is an additional barrier to access.?
Health workers often fall victim to violence in South Sudan, facing threats, intimidation, and frequent attacks. In 2021, at least 12 health workers were killed and 12 injured.?