South Sudan

South Sudan Food Security Outlook Update, June 2019 to January 2020

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Situation Report
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Risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists, though slight improvements expected with reduced conflict

KEY MESSAGES

• Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persist throughout South Sudan, and some households are likely in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). 1 According to the May IPC analysis, an estimated 6.96 million people are estimated to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes through the July/August peak of the lean season in the presence of already planned humanitarian assistance. Food security will improve somewhat in late 2019 with the harvest, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes will remain widespread. A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) will also persist.

• Conflict has remained relatively low over the past year when compared with the level of conflict between 2014 and early 2018. This has supported greater household movement, higher engagement in planting, lower levels of new displacement, and some stabilization in the currency. It is anticipated that 2019/2020 production, starting in September, will be better than production in 2018/2019, though still below pre-crisis levels. These improvements are expected to support Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in some counties, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will persist in most, and several counties will continue to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes.

• Humanitarian food assistance is preventing more extreme outcomes in many areas of greatest concern and the likely continuation of assistance throughout the projection period is anticipated to prevent more widespread Emergency (IPC Phase 4). However, the number of beneficiaries reached with humanitarian food assistance remains far below the estimated need and slightly lower than the same time last year. A scale-up of assistance far above currently planned levels is needed throughout the projection period to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods.

• Despite the decline in conflict and expected slight improvement in the food security situation, many households have lost key livelihood assets and strategies to cope with food insecurity as a result of the persistent conflict. The loss of key assets and livelihood options will continue to drive high levels of acute food insecurity, and a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) will persist in South Sudan. Famine (IPC Phase 5) would be likely in the event that conflict shifts such that it prevents populations from moving in search of food sources and restricts humanitarian access for a prolonged period of time.