South Sudan

UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report: March 2020

Situation Report
Originally published



  • With the increasing risk of COVID-19, key preventive messages were integrated in multi-sectoral activities. The key interventions implemented during the reporting period includes training of social mobilisers, community influencers and cluster partners.

  • Following the Government of South Sudan’s closure of schools and educational institutions, approximately 2 million children, currently enrolled in primary and secondary levels, will be deprived of attending schools. The Education Cluster partners have taken steps to explore strategies to help manage and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

  • UNICEF conducted orientation for 52 implementing partners and health care workers on risk communication, infection prevention and control and integration of health services in the context of the COVID-19 response.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

UNICEF appeals for US$ 180 million to sustain the provision of life-saving services for women and children in South Sudan. UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private donors for the contributions received, however, the 2020 HAC still has a funding gap of 61%. Without adequate funding, UNICEF and partners will be unable to scale up integrated programming and provide critical and protective services for women, children and men displaced by conflict, affected by gender-based violence, facing the risk of disease outbreaks (including COVID-19), and impacted by extreme food insecurity.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

The already complex operating environment in South Sudan will only become more challenging with an outbreak of COVID-19. Despite the suspension of entry via airports and border crossings, at least 12,000 people entered the country through informal crossings from known outbreak areas in neighbouring countries, making an outbreak highly likely. Given existing vulnerabilities – including high malnutrition, a weak health system and dense population displacement sites like the (Protection of Civilian Sites (PoCs) – the impact of COVID-19 could be severe. This would also likely hamper the peace process , as it has already led to a suspension of some security arrangements and caused further delays in appointing sub-national authorities. Additional restrictions to prevent and contain an outbreak will also hinder UNICEF and partner’s ability to respond. Suspension of domestic flights and inter-state movements would largely prevent the movement of staff and assistance to women and children in need. Such measures would compound existing access challenges, including insecurity, inter-communal violence, criminality, attacks against humanitarians, and bureaucratic impediments.