South Sudan

UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report: May 2020

Situation Report
Originally published


Report No. 145


  • As of 31 May 2020, South Sudan had recorded 1,317 COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths. UNICEF continues to support risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) as well as the infection prevention and control (IPC) interventions.

  • Over 3.6 million people in the target population have been reached with COVID-19 prevention and control messages through inter-personal and mass communication methods since the beginning of the response.

  • From January to May 2020, a total of 84,625 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were treated in inpatient and outpatient therapeutic programs. The performance indicators of SAM treatment were above the acceptable minimum Sphere standards, with a cure rate of 94.3 percent, a death rate of 0.3 percent and a defaulter rate of 3.5 percent.

  • Since the beginning of the year, a total of 237,024 people have been provided with access to safe drinking water through water trucking, construction of new and rehabilitation of non-functional waterpoints through the support of UNICEF.

Situation in Numbers

4.1 million children in need of humanitarian assistance (UNICEF HAC, December 2019)

7.5 million people in need (OCHA, HNO-November 2019)

1.7 million Internally displaced people (IDPs) (OCHA, HNO-November 2019)

2.24 million South Sudanese Refugees in neighboring countries

(UNHCR Regional Portal, South Sudan Situation 30 September 2019)

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 56%. 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 life-threatening diseases (including COVID-19), and impacted by extreme food insecurity.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

The complex operating environment in South Sudan continues to become increasingly challenging with the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 . Before the advent of COVID-19, South Sudan was already facing a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions, with the lives of many children at risk. As at 31 May 2020 South Sudan had recorded 1,317 COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths.The outbreak continues to have a huge impact on the already vulnerable and at-risk populations. The regional forecast shared by the World Meteorological Organization is predicting a wetter than usual season for the country thereby increasing the risk of flooding in a country where over 1 million people are still suffering from the residual impacts of the 2019 flooding season. During the reporting month over 11,000 households were affected by riverine and flash flooding in Bor (Jonglei State).

As part of measures to prevent COVID-19, schools continued to be shut down in May. This has continued to have a negative impact on education, as approximately 2 million children, currently enrolled in primary and secondary levels, are still being deprived of learning. To mitigate the impact, the education sector supported a total of 176,663 children with distance and home-based learning services during the reporting month. There has been an increase in InterCommunal Violence (ICV) mainly in Jonglei and Unity States. During the reporting month, Murle youth from the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) attacked several villages inhabited by Lou Nuer in Uror County. In Greater Equatoria, there was a significant increase in the movement of Government forces and sustained hostilities between combined forces of the South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF) and South Sudan People’s Liberation Army in opposition (SPLA-IO) against National Salvation Front (NAS) forces which has triggered another civilian displacement in Lainya County. There has been an increase in the number of NGO and UN compounds being targeted for criminal activitiesas well as an increase in reported burglaries at locally recruited personnel’s dwellings.The inter-communal violence and criminal incidents have affected programme delivery in the affected areas and have continuously exposed the safety of implementing partners on the ground. UNICEF security personnel have continued to provide technical support to implementing partners, through information sharing, advisory and training.