South Sudan Situation Report No. 20, 1 – 15 July 2012
I. SITUATION OVERVIEW
A year after the birth of South Sudan—the world’s newest independent country—a series of emergencies are unfolding that require urgent humanitarian response.
The Crop Food Security Assessment (CFSAM), released by the Food Security and Livelihood Cluster in South Sudan, projects a cereal deficit of 470,000 mt, half of the national cereal requirement and 60 percent more than last year’s deficit. Delayed and erratic rains, as well as political instability and conflict, were cited as the major factors leading to the current cereal deficit. It is estimated that as many as 4.7 million people could suffer from food insecurity in 2012, with an estimated 1 million people severely food-insecure. According to the recent Food Security and Monitoring System assessment, malnutrition rates for children under 5 have reached levels above the global emergency threshold in four states.
Potential macroeconomic shocks resulting from the continuing political stalemate between the Republic of South Sudan and Sudan may further contribute to the deteriorating economic conditions in the country. The Republic of South Sudan, which previously derived 98 per cent of its budgetary revenue from oil exports, lost this source of foreign exchange following shutdown of oil production in February. The expected pressure on the South Sudanese pound and related price inflation for essential commodities is expected to have additional negative impacts on the food security status of the population.
In addition to these structural socio-economic concerns, conflict and displacement continue to have a heavy toll on the new nation. Numbers of refugees have rapidly increased as the humanitarian situation in the Republic of Sudan’s Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states continues to deteriorate. South Sudan currently hosts over 170,000 refugees from the Republic of Sudan and thousands more are expected to cross the border in the coming weeks. Recent border clashes between South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan have also led to the internal displacement of large numbers of people. Renewed inter-communal conflict in flash point areas, such as northern parts of Jonglei state cannot be ruled out either. In addition, the country’s already over-stretched services have come under additional pressure as more than 405,000 people have returned from the Republic of Sudan since October 2010. The possible return of a further 500,000 South Sudanese still residing in the Republic of Sudan though the moratorium period for their stay has expired also remains of concern.