South Sudan + 1 more

UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report - March 2019

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) projections for February to March, indicate 57 per cent of the population will face acute food insecurity or worse. Currently, UNICEF is funding gap of 42 million in nutrition section. There is a high-risk of a ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF) pipeline break during the last quarter of 2019, if adequate funds are not mobilized before September 2019.

  • On 26 March, the EU-funded Education in Emergency programme was launched in Aweil, Northern Bahr el Ghazal. The programme will be jointly managed by UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP), the largest collaboration ever between these two agencies in the field of education in South Sudan. Lasting two years, it aims to reach 75,000 children (33,000 girls) in 150 schools, providing them with access to quality education and school feeding.

  • In the response to the measles outbreak in two Melut and Aweil South counties, reactive measles vaccination campaigns were initiated, targeting 15,502 and 22,071 children aged 6 months to 5 years in Melut and Aweil South respectively.


1.92 million
Internally displaced persons (IDPs)
(OCHA South Sudan Humanitarian Snapshot, February 2019)

2.29 million
South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries
(UNHCR Regional Portal, South Sudan Situation 28 February 2019)

5.25 million
South Sudanese who are severely food insecure
(January-March 2019 Projection, Integrated Food Security Phase Classification)

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) projections for February to March 2019, a total of 6.5 million people or 57 per cent of the population will be in crisis (IPC phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse, including 45,000 in catastrophe (IPC phase 5). Approximately 860,000 children under five estimated to be acutely malnourished including over a quarter million with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). To reach 2019 targets, UNICEF must to mobilize USD 42 million before September 2019 for the RUTF procurement and frontline cost of the programme. There is a high-risk of an RUTF pipeline break during the last quarter of 2019, if UNICEF fails to mobilize adequate resources before September 2019.

The decrease of hostilities following signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution on the conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), as well as proactive efforts by UNICEF and partners to expand access, has led to incremental but consistent gains in access in many parts of South Sudan. Key road and river routes remain open in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states, improving access to vulnerable people and the transport of supplies for both static and integrated rapid response mechanism (IRRM) programmes. In Western Bahr el Ghazal, UNICEF and partners are exploring ways to expand service provision to displaced communities in Greater Baggari. And through the joint efforts of WFP and UNICEF together with community leaders, the road from Raja to Dolo was opened, enabling the first road-based IRRM mission to the location since services began in early 2018. After several access denials to Koyoki and Birigo in southern Central Equatoria state, UNICEF contributed to successful advocacy efforts by OCHA to secure the agreement of state government officials to enable consistent humanitarian access. And with the decrease in hostilities in the Yei area, humanitarians including UNICEF are beginning to access locations outside of Yei town for the first time since December 2018.

At the same time, UNICEF and its partners continue to face a number of access challenges in reaching vulnerable women and children. UNICEF and partners faced 12 recorded access incidents in March, mostly due to operational interference and violence / intimidation of humanitarian personnel and contractors. Several IRRM missions in Jongeli and Upper Nile were suspended indefinitely due to opposition by state authorities for WFP to biometrically register the population. Several incidents of the looting of nutrition supplies took place in Jongeli following clashes near outpatient treatment centers. In southern Central Equatoria, a humanitarian assessment mission to Koyoki and Birigo was denied access for the second time by state government authorities. And several clashes between state security forces and armed youths in Unity and Upper Nile led to the temporary suspension of humanitarian activities and/or the relocation of humanitarian staff.