REGIONAL SITUATION OVERVIEW
2021 marks the 1Oth anniversary of the independence of South Sudan, and the eighth year of conflict within the country. This protracted situation remains the largest refugee crisis in Africa with close to 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees living in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. It continues to be characterized as a children’s crisis with children constituting over 63 percent of the refugee population. The sheer scale of forced displacement is putting immense pressure on asylum countries and greater responsibility- sharing in a spirit of solidarity is needed. The 2021 South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) included an appeal for almost USD 1.2 billion for 93 partners to meet the critical needs of 2,284,000 South Sudanese refugees in these five countries
Despite the signature of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) by the warring parties in September 2018 and the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity in February 2020, conditions have not yet been conducive for promoting or facilitating voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity to South Sudan due to ongoing pockets of armed conflict and human rights violations.
The protracted political crisis, outbreaks of sub-national intercommunal violence and natural disasters, such as severe flooding, have left 1.7 million South Sudanese internally displaced across all 78 counties. The situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and limitations on humanitarian access. Currently, South Sudan is facing its highest levels of food insecurity since its independence in 2011, with over 8.3 million people needing assistance, including some 7 million being pushed toward famine conditions.
In recognition of the longer-term peacebuilding, resilience and early recovery needs of South Sudanese and Sudanese refugees. IDPs and returnees, South Sudan and Sudan launched a Solutions Initiative under the IGAD Support Platform with the support of UNHCR at the end of 2020. This initiative complemented the RRRP by seeking to mobilize investment in longer term development needs to make returns and other solutions sustainable.