According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released in December 2020, approximately 104,000 people will likely face catastrophe levels of acute food insecurity between December 2020 to March 2021 in six counties in Jonglei, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) and Warrap states.
About 1.4 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, including 313,391 children who are projected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
During the reporting month, a total of 15,170 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were treated in inpatient and outpatient therapeutic programs. The performance indicators for SAM treatment were above the acceptable minimum Sphere standards, with a cure rate of 96 percent, a death rate of 0.3 percent and a defaulter rate of 2.0 percent.
The total number of COVID-19 cases was approaching 4,000 as at the end of January. A total of 64 deaths were recorded during the same period. UNICEF is preparing for the arrival of vaccines and is working closely with WHO and the Ministry of Health on planning the vaccination campaign, which will be gradual, given the limited supplies available.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
In 2021 women and children in South Sudan are faced with multiple risks which include extreme food and nutrition insecurity, residual impact of floods, localized conflict, an ongoing economic crisis and disease outbreaks including COVID-19. As of 31 January 2021, a cumulative total of 3,929 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 64 deaths had been recorded in South Sudan with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.6 percent. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) assessment results shared in December 2020, in the first projection period of December 2020 to March 2021, an estimated 5.82 million people (48.3% of the population) will likely face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, with 11,000 people likely to be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) acute food insecurity in Pibor County in Pibor Administrative Area. During this period, an estimated 1.79 million people are likely to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity. In the second projection period of April to July 2021, an estimated 7.24 million people (60% of the population) are likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, with 31,000 people likely to be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) acute food insecurity in Akobo County (11,000) in Jonglei State, Aweil South County (7,000) in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, and Tonj North County (13,000) in Warrap State. During the same period, an estimated 2.47 million are likely to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity.
The nutrition situation is critical, with 53 counties (68%) of the total being classified as IPC Acute Malnutrition (AMN) Phase 3 and above during the period November 2020 to March 2021. Approximately 1.4 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, including 313,391 children who are projected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition. The estimation of the nutrition caseload was based on seasonal historical data from food security and nutrition monitoring systems, SMART nutrition surveys and the admission trends for 2020. Criminality remains a major concern in Juba coupled with robberies, snatching, house break-ins and other opportunistic crimes which are being widely reported. In addition, there is widespread inter-communal violence in Upper Nile State, Lakes State as well as in other states. In Greater Pibor Administrative Area (Jonglei State) revenge killings, age-set fighting, intra/inter communal clashes are being reported, these could further perpetuate insecurity in the state. The high rate of inflation, and the loss of value of the South Sudanese Pound (SSP), means the planning of many services is difficult, as prices of most goods track the U.S dollar, while many budgets are in SSP. Cost recovery for water in urban areas is for example in SSP, while supply inputs are priced in U.S. dollars. It also severely hurts the purchasing power of the urban poor, as well as households in rural areas, preventing the purchase of basic goods as well as basic health services not provided through Ministry of Health facilities.