• According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released in December 2020, approximately 104,000 people will likely face catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity between December 2020 to March 2021 in six at risk counties.
• During the period January to February 2021, a total of 32,684 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 95.9 per cent, a death rate of 0.3 per cent and a defaulter rate of 2.0 per cent.
• According to the Ministry of Health, a total of 8,010 COVID-19 cases were reported as of the end of February 2021 (100 per cent increase from the cumulative cases that were reported during the period April 2020 to January 2021). Cumulatively, a total of 94 deaths have been recorded since the beginning of the outbreak. As a key member of the national vaccine technical working group (TWG), UNICEF continued to provide technical support in the preparation and implementation of the national deployment and vaccination plan for COVID-19.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Two years after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement, women and children in South Sudan continue to be 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 28 February 2021, a cumulative total of 8,010 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 94 deaths had been recorded in South Sudan with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.2 percent. The country had conducted over 110,226 COVID-19 tests since the beginning of the outbreak.
Overall the food and nutrition situation has worsened, and some communities are facing catastrophic needs. 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 per cent 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. More children are expected to be acutely malnourished than in the past three years. 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.
Several attacks against personnel in the humanitarian community were reported during the reporting period. An attack against a vehicle carrying a polio vaccination team in Lakes state on 14 February, resulted in three deaths and 4 injuries of humanitarian personnel. Earlier in the month, an International NGO staff member was killed in Unity State, after he was force marched from a vehicle and shot as the team were returning from a distribution site. Dry-season intercommunal violence continued to be the most significant country-wide threat to humanitarian operations. There has been an increase in violence in Warrap and Lakes States as well as sub-national conflict in Upper Nile. The appointment of State Level Governments in seven of the ten States may ease some political tension but it is too early to make definitive conclusions