With the lean season beginning, an estimated 5.5 million people across South Sudan were facing severe food insecurity in May, including some 1.46 million on the brink of famine (IPC Phase 4). The month saw the number of people displaced continuing to rise, albeit at a slower rate compared to April. At least 60,000 South Sudanese fled as refugees in May. Clashes in and around Yei, Central Equatoria forced an average of 2,000 refugees to cross daily into Uganda from 15 to 21 May. In Upper Nile, nearly 20,000 South Sudanese fled insecurity on the West Bank, crossing into Sudan between 29 April and 6 May. Internal displacement also increased. Clashes in Terekeka, Central Equatoria, displaced thousands of people to Gemeiza, Mangalla North Islands, Muni and Malek. In Jonglei, new arrivals from Uror and Nyirol counties were reported in Akobo and Bor, and separately in Pibor town, Gumuruk, Likuangole, and Kongor. In the midst of continued displacement, the cholera outbreak spread further, with new cases confirmed in Kapoeta South in May.
In May, 89 humanitarian access incidents were reported in South Sudan. Insecurity and conflict in multiple locations negatively impacted humanitarian operations. Some 36 aid workers were forced to relocate as a result of active hostilities in Leer and Mayendit counties and Longochuk County, while at least six humanitarian missions were postponed to areas outside of Yei due to conflict. The relocations of aid workers hampered the delivery of assistance in famine-affected and at risk areas in Unity. Violence against humanitarian personnel and assets was reported in one-third of the recorded incidents. This included an ambush of a vehicle transporting vaccines in Wulu which left a driver and health worker wounded. Operational interference – including attempted interference in human resources, introduction of new bureaucratic impediments, and requests for exactions - also hampered humanitarian activities in a number of locations. Restrictions on movement due to access denials and active hostilities impacted deployment of personnel and supplies by land and air in at least 10 locations.
By the end of May, 3.5 million people had received assistance, out of the 5.8 million targeted in 2017. The Humanitarian Response Plan had received US$829 million, amounting to 51 percent of the total requested.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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