South Sudan: Food Insecurity - 2015-2019Ongoing
3.9 million people – nearly one in every three people in South Sudan – were severely food insecure and 3.6 million were considered to be ‘stressed’, in September 2015. An estimated 30,000 people were facing catastrophic food insecurity (IPC Level 5) in Unity State, leading to starvation, death, and destitution. (OCHA, 5 Jan 2016)
At the height of the lean season in July 2016, some 4.8 million people – more than one in every three people in South Sudan – were estimated to be severely food insecure. This number is expected to rise as high as five million in 2017. The food security situation is at the most compromised level since the crisis commenced in 2013 - the combination of conflict, economic crisis and lack of adequate levels of agricultural production have eroded vulnerable households ability to cope. More than one million children under age 5 are estimated to be acutely malnourished, including more than 273,600 who are severely malnourished. (OCHA, 13 Feb 2017)
As of January 2017, 3.8 million were estimated in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). As of February-April 2017, the number of people estimated in need of humanitarian assistance (IPC phase 3 and above) has increased to almost 5 million, out of which 100,000 are facing famine conditions...Famine is declared in Leer and Mayendit counties of Greater Unity State. Famine is likely to happen in Koch County and can be avoided in Panyijiar County only if the humanitarian assistance is delivered as planned. (IPC, 20 Feb 2017)
An estimated 6.01 million (50% of the population) people are expected to be severely food insecure in June-July 2017, compared to 5.5 million (45% of the population) people in May 2017. This is the greatest number of people ever to experience severe food insecurity (IPC Phases 3, 4 and 5) in South Sudan. Famine is no longer occurring in Leer and Mayendit counties, and further deterioration was prevented in Koch and Panyijiar counties of former Southern Unity State as a result of immediate and sustained multi-sector humanitarian assistance delivered to the affected population since March 2017...However, in June-July 2017, approximately 45,000 people will still be facing Humanitarian Catastrophe in Leer, Koch, Mayendit in former Unity State and Ayod County in former Jonglei state based on most likely assumptions of continued armed conflict, food shortages associated with seasonality, and humanitarian assistance delivery constraints...Of great concern is former Greater Jonglei State, where food security is rapidly deteriorating, predominantly in the counties of Ayod, Canal/Pigi, Duk, Nyirol and Uror, which are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, with Ayod having an estimated 20,000 people experiencing Humanitarian Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) at least through July 2017. (IPC, 31 May 2017)
In September 2017, 6 million people were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), which corresponded to 56% of the total population. As for October to December 2017, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance (IPC phase 3 and above) are expected to drop to 4.8 million (45% of the total population. However, this figure includes a doubled number of people classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) compared to the same time last year, and 25,000 people still experiencing catastrophic conditions and extreme food gaps. (IPC, 6 Nov 2017)
WFP resumed the integrated rapid response mechanism (IRRM) and currently has seven teams deployed in Bilkey, Nyandit, Kurwai, Jaibor, Chuil, Buot and Ulang, providing life-saving food and nutrition assistance to around 96,633 people, including 17,370 children under the age of five. WFP plans to deploy an additional 26 missions in the coming six weeks, targeting close to 400,000. (WFP, 8 Jan 2018)
An estimated 5.3 million people, 48 percent of the population, are currently facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, despite the harvest and continued large-scale assistance. (FEWSNET, 22 Mar 2018)
In September 2018, 6.1 million people (59% of the total population) are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3), Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). During the post-harvest period October-December 2018, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance (IPC Phase 3 and above) is expected to reduce to 4.4 million (43% of the total population), out of which 26,000 will be experiencing catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5) and extreme food gaps. By January-March 2019, 5.2 million people (49% of the total population) are estimated to continue to face acute food insecurity, with 36,000 people in catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5). (IPC, 5 Dec 2018)
In the current analysis period of January 2019, 6.17 million people (54% of the population) are estimated to have faced Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse, out of which 1.36 million people faced Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity and 30,000 faced Catastrophe (IPC phase 5). In the projection period of February to April 2019, and in the presence of Humanitarian Food Assistance (HFA), a total of 6.45 million people (57% of the population) will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse, with an estimated 45,000 people in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). (IPC, 31 Jan 2019)
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persist throughout South Sudan, and some households are likely in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). According to the May IPC analysis, an estimated 6.96 million people are estimated to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes through the July/August peak of the lean season in the presence of already planned humanitarian assistance. Food security will improve somewhat in late 2019 with the harvest, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes will remain widespread. A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) will also persist.(FEWS NET, 27 Jun 2019)
Maps & Infographics
Most read reports
- WHO: WHO South Sudan Annual Report 2018. 18 Oct 2019
- OCHA: South Sudan: Humanitarian Snapshot (September 2019). 17 Oct 2019
- OCHA: Greater Horn of Africa Region: Humanitarian Snapshot (October 2019). 16 Oct 2019
- ECHO: European Union provides €9.5 million in vital humanitarian support as hunger persists in South Sudan. 8 Oct 2019
- WHO: Saving children from severe acute malnutrition in South Sudan’s Greater Lakes region. 18 Oct 2019
In the past year, several episodes of intercommunal violence and unreliable rains have sustained large-scale humanitarian needs in Awerial, Yirol East and Yirol West Counties in the eastern Lakes region. Underscoring the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the region, the January 2019 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) projected that populations in these three counties would face emergency levels of food insecurity between February and April 2019 (IPC phase 4).1
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) monitored arrivals from Khartoum to Rubkona Bus Station between 15 April and 30 June 2019. In total, 13,820 individuals arrived in Rubkona Town, 54 per cent of whom were female. The individuals followed the main route of Khartoum-Karsana-Rubkona.
For several weeks, thousands of Mundari people – mostly women and children – have been surviving at Awerial Centre, located in the Eastern Lakes area, on nothing but wild leaves for food.
Having borne a seven-year drought, the Mundari people who hail from Tali and Tindolo areas say the situation has become unbearable for them.
“For seven years, we have been abandoned to die. We lost so many of our dear ones to ruthless hunger,” narrates Achok Nyeki, a 23-year-old lady from one of the remote parts of the area.
6.9 million people facing acute food insecurity from May to July 2019 (IPC)
2.1 million acutely malnourished women and children (HRP)
3.22 million people assisted by WFP in May 2019
1.9 million internally displaced people (OCHA)
2.3 million South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR)
202,776 seeking shelter with the UN (UNMISS)
Refugees in Khartoum attacked and newly displaced to ‘Open Areas’ and White Nile State.
Refugees working on farms outside of camps during current planting season.
Security situation slowed refugee operations in June.
- Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes remain widespread in South Sudan. According to the May IPC analysis, an estimated 6.96 million people will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes through the July/August peak of the lean season in the presence of planned humanitarian food assistance. Among those in need, an estimated 21,000 people are likely in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in Canal/Pigi of Jonglei, Cueibet of Lakes, and Panyikang of Upper Nile.
▪ The March-May season performed sub-optimally in many areas given the delayed start of the rains though the situation started improving from late April and May when the rains intensified. This continued into the month of June in parts of the region, while in eastern and southern Kenya, Somalia and southeast Ethiopia the rains declined/ ceased by end of May/early June.
Traditional healing methods are found everywhere: from sipping chicken soup for a cold to spreading butter for a burn. Some traditions can effectively help relieve symptoms, but others can do more harm than good.
This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 74 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including: