Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.60 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.60 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.5.00 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
Humanitarian Access Overview
South Sudan Scenarios: Movement patterns and humanitarian needs
South Sudan: Access to basic needs and services
South Sudan: Analysis Ecosystem
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. ?
24/06: The Ministry of Health declared a cholera outbreak in Rubkona county (Unity State) on 7 May. The last cholera outbreak in South Sudan was in 2017. As at 19 June, there have been 212 suspected cases, with one fatality and the others treated and discharged. Limited access to clean water and inadequate WASH facilities in camps puts IDPs in Bentiu IDP camp and Rukbona town particularly at risk.?
Very high constraints
Humanitarian access in South Sudan remains highly constrained. Violence and clashes in some parts of the country, such as Tambura county in Western Equatoria state, have affected the population and hindered humanitarian efforts. Roadside ambushes and attacks by armed groups also make it dangerous for people to travel to areas where they can access humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian organisations often face fines at checkpoints located all over the country, particularly when transporting humanitarian cargo.
The rate of violent incidents against humanitarian workers remains high. From July–October 2021, ten humanitarian workers were killed, ten were injured, and five were abducted. Local aid workers are specifically targeted for various reasons, such as ethnicity. In some areas, such as Pibor county in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, youth groups have issued threats of violence against humanitarian organisations, leading to the suspension of humanitarian efforts and relocation of staff. Some agencies have also suspended their operations in Tambura town because of the conflict.
Logistical constraints, including extensive flooding during the rainy season (May 2021 to February 2022) and very poor road networks, are making operations particularly challenging in some areas and further complicate the transportation of aid cargo. These challenges have necessitated the use of air transport, which is also limited because of funding shortages.
Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.
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.?
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 2020, at least 19 health workers were killed and eight injured. ?
South Sudan is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, with severe flooding experienced annually since 2019. ? While the rainy season in South Sudan typically runs from April–November, the 2021 rainy season started in May and is expected to last until February 2022.? Between May–November 2021, 809,000 people were affected by flooding after heavy rains caused the Nile river, Sudd wetlands, and the Lol and Sobat rivers to overflow. Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile states were the worst impacted, with nearly 75% of people affected. ?
The main sources of livelihood in South Sudan are agriculture and livestock keeping. 2021 flooding has destroyed farmland and led to the death of livestock caused by loss of pasture and increased livestock diseases. This has disrupted livelihoods of communities and worsened food insecurity. Recurrent flooding also intensifies existing vulnerabilities of the affected population, which include high poverty rates, limited access to basic services, high prevalence of disease outbreaks, and widespread displacement. ?
Some sanitation facilities have been destroyed by floods, putting affected people at a higher risk of contracting waterborne diseases. ?
There is higher incidence of acute watery diarrhoea, respiratory infections, malaria, malnutrition, and snake bites among flood-affected communities. ? The surge in various infections has put a strain on the few fully functional healthcare facilities. ? Some healthcare facilities are not functional for various reasons, including submersion in flood waters, destruction of medical supplies caused by flooding, and displacement of healthcare workers. ?
- There is limited information on the cumulative number of people who have been displaced by the 2021 floods in South Sudan