2017 South Sudan Humanitarian Response in Review
PEOPLE IN NEED IN 2017: 7.6 M
PEOPLE TARGETED IN 2017: 6.2 M
PEOPLE REACHED BY THE END OF 2017: 5.4 M
In 2017, South Sudan’s conflict was in its fourth year, with civilians continuing to bear the brunt of a crisis marked by displacement, hunger and disease. Nearly 4.3 million people – one in three South Sudanese – have been displaced, including more than 1.8 million who are internally displaced and about 2.5 million who are in neighbouring countries. About 700,000 people left South Sudan in 2017.
Major offensives in Jonglei and Upper Nile forced tens of thousands of people to flee fighting in Wau Shilluk, Tonga, Maiwut and Pagak. In Unity, the crisis was driven by both intensified clashes in Koch and Mayendit and food insecurity, which reached dire conditions. The Equatorias were hardest hit by conflict, with Yei, Lainya, Wonduruba, Kajo-keji, Magwi and Torit counties most affected. Hundreds of thousands of people fled to Uganda, where the population of South Sudanese refugees peaked at over one million in August.
Food insecurity and malnutrition in South Sudan reached record levels in 2017. In February, famine was declared in parts of Unity, meaning some 100,000 people faced starvation. Even though a concerted multi-sector response was able to halt the localized famile in Leer and Mayendit, some 4.9 million people were severely food insecure in South Sudan during that period. Diseases such as cholera, malaria, measles and kala-azar continued to spread in 2017. Cholera was most severe, with over 20,000 cases reported, including 436 related deaths.
Thirty aid workers were killed in 2017, making it the deadliest year for aid workers on record. At least 1,159 humanitarian access incidents were reported, the highest number of incidents in a year, representing a significant increase, compared to 908 in 2016 and 909 in 2015. Active hostilities impacted humanitarian operations, with 612 aid workers relocated in 54 incidents from multiple locations across the country.
Despite these challenges, aid agencies assisted over 5.4 million people in 2017. This included: more than 5.1 million people who received food assistance; over 2.8 million people vaccinated against communicable diseases; 2.8 million people who were helped to access clean water; 930,000 people assisted with vital non-food items; around 950,000 children and pregnant and lactating women treated for acute malnutrition; and 420,000 children facing crisis who were supported with access to education.
The 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan was 73 per cent funded, with US$1.2 billion received. Clusters with the most significant funding gaps included Health, Protection, and Emergency Shelter and Non-food Items.