South Sudan

South Sudan Food Security Outlook, October 2018 to May 2019

Situation Report
Originally published
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Famine (IPC Phase 5) risk persists and substantial scale-up of assistance needed

Key Messages

  • During the peak of the 2018 lean season, over 6 million people were estimated to have been in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse, including over 1.7 million people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and 47,000 in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). This was the need in the presence of humanitarian assistance.
  • Food security is expected to improve through the end of 2018, though some households did not harvest and will not share in improvements. Extreme levels of acute food insecurity will continue throughout the projection period, and some households will likely be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in Leer, Mayendit, Greater Baggari, Yirol West, Yirol East, Pigi/Canal, and Panyikang.
  • Humanitarian food assistance continues to play a key role in reducing the occurrence of extreme food insecurity. However, planned assistance is estimated to reach only 2-3 million people a month throughout the outlook period, far below the need. Emergency (IPC Phase 4), and associated excess mortality, is likely in several areas in the absence of higher levels of food assistance and unhindered access to deliver assistance.
  • In Greater Baggari, a September MUAC screening indicated outcomes had deteriorated sharply since mid-2018, from which time humanitarians have faced significant access constraints and minimal assistance has been delivered. Should conflict continue to restrict household movement and humanitarian access, Famine (IPC Phase 5) would be possible. In central Unity, data indicated that many households were in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) during the lean season. With the recent return of humanitarians to the area, consumption has improved slightly, though given the expectation of little to no harvests among households of concern, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is likely should conflict restrict the delivery of assistance throughout the projection period.
  • Although Greater Baggari and central Unity are of greatest concern currently, new areas of concern can arise quickly when an uptick in violence restricts household movement and humanitarian access, which can in turn result in significant food security deterioration. An end to the conflict, and full implementation of the peace deal is ultimately needed to end the persistent risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in South Sudan.