South Sudan

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification - The Republic of South Sudan, Current Period Classified: May 2017 - Communication Summary


Projection Period for Most Likely Scenarios: June-July 2017

  • Food security in South Sudan has further deteriorated due to armed conflict, economic crisis, and below average harvests that were exhausted well before the ongoing lean season. 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. The early detection of the deterioration of the food security situation into famine followed by the subsequent large-scale immediate response averted further loss of life, thus underscoring the importance of evidence based analysis and response. 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.

  • Even though no county has been classified under famine (Phase 5) in this IPC update, the situation continues to be very critical. In June-July 2017, in addition to approximately 45,000 people estimated to be facing Humanitarian Catastrophe2 , an estimated 1.7 million people are likely to be facing food security emergency (IPC Phase 4) - one-step below Famine on the IPC scale. This is based on most likely assumptions of continued armed conflict, food shortages associated with seasonality, and humanitarian assistance delivery constraints. This projected number in June-July 2017 is up from 1.0 million projected for February-April 2017 period in the last IPC report.

  • While effective response was provided in the famine affected areas, thus avoiding what would have most likely been significant loss of life due to the interaction of starvation and disease, the situation in central former Unity remains extremely vulnerable with some populations in Humanitarian Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in June-July 2017. Gains made in previously Famine-affected and Famine-risk counties must not be jeopardized through the reallocation of humanitarian assistance to ongoing and developing acute food insecurity hotspots because the affected populations’ livelihoods are effectively eroded thus leaving them heavily reliant on humanitarian assistance. Should humanitarian assistance be compromised, the areas could easily slip into Famine again.

  • 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. The conflict-related displacement of over 200,000 people from northern, central, and eastern former Jonglei has severely disrupted livelihoods and access to social services, thus severely undermining food security in the State. The situation has been further exacerbated by last year’s poor harvests as well as the economic crisis that has eroded households’ purchasing power. The classification for Nyirol and Urol is based on professional judgement of the IPC ERC and the South Sudan IPC Technical Working Group (TWG) but not in accordance with the minimal evidence requirements of the IPC Protocols.