South Sudan

Echo Factsheet - South Sudan (Last updated 22 July 2020)

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7.4 million people targeted by humanitarian assistance (OCHA June 2020) Around 6.5 million people need emergency food aid between May and July (OCHA February 2020) 1.6 million people newly food insecure due to COVID-19 (WFP, June 2020) Close to 1.6 million people are internally displaced (OCHA) Around 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries (UNHCR) EU humanitarian funding:€42.5 million in 2020 more than €590 million since 2014


Around 7.4 million South Sudanese need urgent humanitarian assistance, many of whom face severe food shortages. Undernutrition is at critical levels. There are over 2 million South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. The EU is a long-standing donor of humanitarian aid in the country and continues to support humanitarian projects helping South Sudanese refugees in the region.

What are the needs?

Since 2013, conflict in South Sudan has caused mass displacement among civilians. Despite the formation of a transitional government of national unity in February 2020, progress in the implementation of the peace agreement has been slow, and there has been a spike in violence recently. This volatility continues to drive people away from their homes and disrupts livelihood activities. On top of this, floods and the desert locust swarms are destroying harvests and crops. Some 1.7 million children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are at risk of acute malnourishment. 5.5 million people lack access to safe water and hygiene. More than half of the population do not have access to primary health care services.

South Sudan registered its first cases of coronavirus in April 2020. The pandemic represents a challenge for the country’s extremely weak national health system. Moreover, South Sudan is grappling with other outbreaks, such as measles and above-normal seasonal malaria levels. The country has one of the highest proportions of out-of-school children in the world – about 2 million children before the global pandemic, and another 2 million due to closure of schools nationwide.

The conflict in South Sudan triggered a mass exodus to Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan. One third of the South Sudanese population continues to live in displacement.

120 aid workers have been killed in South Sudan since the start of the civil war in 2013. While humanitarian access to people in need improved in 2019, aid workers’ security remains a major concern.