• 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

  • 3,698,000 People displaced [?]
  • 523 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. Over 3.6 million people are estimated to be displaced, including 1.4 million IDPs and 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees. In addition, South Sudan host nearly 300,000 refugees from Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia and CAR.?

More than 4.45 million Sudanese are expected to be facing acute food insecurity until December 2019, with 3,670,000 in Crisis phase (IPC 3) and 875,000 in Emergency phase (IPC 4). Critical malnutrition levels are reported in 58 counties.? The conflict and displacement have led to disruptions of food production, livelihoods, and humanitarian assistance, as well as deterioration of the economy. ?The main rainy season from June-September has a significant impact on road access. Attacks and ambushes on humanitarian convoys severely hamper the delivery of assistance and access to populations in need. ?

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


Violence in Pieri in Jonglei State in South Sudan and an attack on a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Rokero in Central Darfur, Sudan, have caused a reduction of health activities in both areas. On 14 May, fighting erupted between factions of the Sudanese security forces and soldiers forced their way into a MSF facility in Rokero, Sudan, injuring one staff member. The health facility has been reduced in capacity to provide life-saving care only.

On 16 May, intercommunal violence erupted in Jonglei state in South Sudan, forcing civilians and MSF staff to flee. One MSF employee was killed and more than 50 people wounded. Médecins Sans Frontières has suspended all activities at their Pieri health centre. It is not known just how many were killed or wounded in the incident and displacement is likely given that many homes were burned. Pieri experiences high levels of intercommunal violence and access to healthcare is a challenge. With the closure of the Pieri facility, the nearest MSF clinic is 50km away in Lankien.?

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

Humanitarian Access


Very high constraints

Although hostilities have decreased overall since last year’s signing of the Peace Agreement, access constraints persist, including widespread insecurity and bureaucratic impediments. Violence prevents access for relief workers and civilians alike. Harassment and looting of relief material and cash are common. Civilian authorities and security forces continue to interfere with and impose bureaucratic restrictions on NGOs. NGOs have reported incidents of intimidation and harassment perpetrated by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition (SPLA-IO), who have demanded NGOs seek permission before undertaking work in opposition held areas. Humanitarian imports have been disrupted since last December, following a presidential decree on custom exemptions. Recent seasonal flooding has damaged roads and caused displacement, further hindering access.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Food Security


An estimated 6 million people are likely to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes through September 2020. This is an increase from December 2019 projections, which anticipated 5.5 million in IPC Phases 3 and 4. More areas across the country are likely to move into Emergency as the lean season progresses, exhausting household stocks and pushing up food prices. Over May-July 2020, 33 counties will likely be in Emergency, an increase from 22 in the previous reporting period (February-April). Communities with high numbers of returnees and IDPs are particularly vulnerable, given that food sources and market supplies are already scarce. Additionally, 20,000 people in Akobo and Duk counties, Jonglei state, are at risk of Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). These areas were affected by flooding in 2019, resulting in extreme crop and livestock loss and destruction of assets.?

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. Since July 2019, eight countries have been most affected: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. 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.?

Widespread rainfall in late March allowed new swarms to mature and lay eggs and a second wave of locusts is expected in June and July, coinciding with the start of harvest season. Projections put this second wave up to 20 times larger than previous bands. In Kenya, experts are warning that 100% of summer crops could be destroyed, and large swarms continue to move from Uganda into South Sudan. In Somalia, the infestation is the worst in 25 years as locust continue to breed in the northeast. In Ethiopia, the locust infestation has led to the loss of majorly consumed cereal, including sorghum and maize, reduced pastureland for cattle, and increased animal deaths due to unavailable fodder.?

The ability of desert locusts to form large swarms and consume vast quantities of crops pose severe risks to food security and livelihoods in the affected countries, where more than 20.2 million people already face IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or higher levels of food insecurity.?