South Sudan

2021 South Sudan Humanitarian Response in Review


Strategic Objectives

  1. Reduce morbidity and mortality, protection threats and incidents for the most vulnerable populations in severity levels 4 and 5

  2. Ensure safe, equitable and dignified access to critical cross-sectoral basic services to enable populations meet their basic needs in locations of severity level 4 and 5

  3. Enable vulnerable people to recover from crisis, seek solutions to displacement in the respect of their rights, and build resilience to shocks and stresses

Key figures

People in need

People targeted

People reached

Requirements (US$)

Funded (US$)

In 2021, South Sudanese people were confronted by a series of interconnected shocks, such as conflict, persistent and unprecedented flooding, inflation, and COVID-19, which severely impacted the most vulnerable, particularly women, children, the elderly and people with special needs. Insecurity due to conflict and flooding led to increasing internal and cross-border population movements requiring humanitarian support, further straining already limited resources, livelihoods and services, and exacerbating protection risks. Sub-national violence and conflicts flared, resulting in population displacement, looting and destruction of property, and disruption of services. More than 8.3 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection services. Humanitarian organizations worked tirelessly to meet people’s priority needs, guided by three strategic objectives set in the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan. Almost 5.3 million women, girls, boys, and men were reached with humanitarian assistance and services between January and December 2021. Response achievements include some 4.2 million people who received food assistance and livelihoods support; about 2 million people reached with healthcare; approximately 1.6 million people assisted with protection services; and some 1.3 million people supported with access to safe water and sanitation. Nearly 1.3 million children and pregnant and lactating women were provided with nutritional assistance, and about 1 million people received household items and emergency shelter. Some 875,000 people were reached through camp coordination and camp management services, and over 298,000 children were supported with access to education in emergencies. More than 26,000 metric tons of humanitarian cargo were transported. An estimated 56 per cent of humanitarian partners working to achieve the HRP objectives were South Sudanese non-governmental organisations. The humanitarian response was impacted by sub-national violence, bureaucratic impediments, operational interference, violence against humanitarian personnel and assets. Remote communities were cut off from assistance during the rainy season. There were 591 access incidents reported in 2021, compared to 580 in 2020, significantly impacting the response operations in the country according to the 2021.

Humanitarian Access Overview: Generous donor contributions enabled the humanitarian response. The response plan was 68 per cent funded, with US$1.15 billion received toward the $1.68 billion appeal. This includes the $35 million allocated through the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and $69 million disbursed through the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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