South Sudan

South Sudan: Rapid needs assessment in Ayod County, Jonglei, February 2017



  • Populations covered by the assessment are facing high levels of food insecurity, and an estimated 85,000 people are in immediate need of food assistance. Of those, 60,000 are from host families and 25,000 are internally displaced people (IDP);

  • Most households consume only one meal per day, composed entirely of wild foods;

  • No market exists in any of the locations where the rapid assessment took place; the nearest market where food is available is two to three-day walk;

  • Households reported having lost almost 50 percent of their livestock in the past three months;

  • MUAC screening of 125 children indicated an average GAM rate of 26 percent in each location, far above the 15 percent WHO emergency threshold;

  • A population verification exercise is recommended, as high discrepancies exist between the population numbers provided by the local authorities and those estimated by the rapid assessment mission.


The food security and nutrition situation in South Sudan has progressively deteriorated since the outbreak of conflict in December 2013. Some remote areas in Jonglei State, including Karmoun, Wani, Buot and Normanyang, have not been receiving consistent food assistance. Moreover, there has been little or no information collected in terms of levels of vulnerability and needs for the population.
In order to collect updated information on the food security and nutrition situation in the area, the World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) conducted a rapid needs assessment (RNA) from 1-4 February 2017. This report details the RNA findings.


  • Assess the livelihoods, food security and nutrition situation of the IDPs and host communities in in four locations in Jonglei State;

  • Provide recommendations for the provision of humanitarian assistance where needs are most acute.


The RNA employed focus group discussions (FGDs) with women, men, IDPs, and youth, as well as key informant interviews and discussion with community members in the four locations. Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) screening of children under five was conducted separately – a total of 125 children were covered in four locations. Observation techniques as well as information triangulation were utilized in order to complement data generated through the use of a questionnaire guide with vulnerable people. The assessment team also visited some of the community critical facilities, such as school or water points, where available.


The report is based on a findings of the RNA, whereby the team spent a full day in each location. Thus, time was limited for gathering an in-depth understanding of the food and nutrition security situation of the population, to carry out large MUAC screening, and to carry out a mini-census to verify population figures.