South Sudan

South Sudan Situation Report – 31 January 2017

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IN NUMBERS

4.9 million People severely food insecure by July 2017 (FSL Cluster projection)

>3 million People displaced by conflict

$61 million Requested under the 2017 South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan

HIGHLIGHTS

  • In 2017, the food security situation in South Sudan is expected to deteriorate to unprecedented levels – the risk of famine is real for thousands of people in conflict-affected communities and in structurally food deficit areas, against a background of widespread market failure.

  • FAO is seeking USD 61 million under the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for South Sudan. Of this, FAO is urgently seeking USD 20 million by the end of February to procure/pre-position crop kits, and a further USD 20 million by March to ensure timely distribution of the kits.

  • Livelihood support is critical for the most vulnerable populations to prevent asset depletion or reduce their adoption of negative coping mechanisms and reduce the number of people relying on food assistance for their survival in 2017.

BACKGROUND

Famine is becoming an increasingly real possibility for some of South Sudan’s most vulnerable communitiesin 2017, as signalled by the rising number of households in Stressed, Emergency and Catastrophe food security. Three years of conflict have severely undermined crop production and rural livelihoods, particularly in Greater Upper Nile. The upsurge in violence since July 2016 has further devastated food production in previously stable areas of Greater Equatoria region, which includes the country’s main cereal producing areas, and Western Bahr el Ghazal. Northern areas of the country in particular are facing an increased risk of famine during the lean season. The country’s economy is collapsing as soaring inflation – up to 800 percent year-on-year – and market failure has particularly hit areas that traditionally rely on markets to meet food needs. Urban populations are struggling to cope with massive price rises on basic food items. An estimated 400 000 severely food insecure people reside in the urban areas of Juba, Wau and Aweil. Food insecurity and malnutrition have reached deeply worrying levels, with nutrition expected to deteriorate to ‘critical’ levels (World Health Organization classification) during the lean season (February to May 2017) as food stocks are depleted and prices are likely to peak, leaving households struggling to purchase enough food. Fighting and banditry along key transport routes are disrupting essential food supplies to markets and restricting humanitarian access to some of those most in need.