South Sudan confirmed its first COVID-19 case on 5 April. At the end of the month, 35 cases were confirmed. The COVID-19 related measures and travel restrictions affected the movement of people and their access to services, and impacted humanitarian operations with a temporary suspension of activities and some delays in supply movement.
Simultaneously, due to the in-country and cross-border restrictions, basic commodity prices began to rise, placing markets under stress. The urban population, who relied heavily on the markets, were adversely affected. The spread of COVID-19 in the country will coincide with the lean season, when food insecurity is projected to worsen. A mature swarm of locusts was seen in several locations in Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria, posing further threats to food security and livelihoods. Several factors are expected to worsen humanitarian needs in the country over the coming months, including COVID-19, the desert locust invasion and continued inter-communal clashes. Fighting between the National Salvation Front, South Sudan People’s Defense Forces and Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in-Opposition forces in Lainya County, Central Equatoria, affected 30,000 people and displaced 5,700. An additional 7,000 people were displaced by inter-communal fighting in Terekeka County, Central Equatoria. Inter-communal violence and cattle raids in parts of Central and Western Equatoria, Jonglei, Unity and Warrap also resulted in civilian displacement and casualties. Some 5,000 spontaneous refugee returns were verified.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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