South Sudan

UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report No. 155: 1-31 March 2021

Situation Report
Originally published



  • According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released in December 2020, about 7.24 million people (60% of the population) will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, during the period April to July 2021.

  • In response to the critical WASH situation in highly food insecure counties, WASH Cluster partners have reached 101,411 people with WASH services. Availability of WASH funding estimated at US$15 million by the WASH Cluster remains a critical gap.

  • During the period January to March 2021, a total of 50,865 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 95.8 per cent, a death rate of 0.3 per cent and a defaulter rate of 2.3 per cent.

  • As of 29 March 2021, a cumulative total of 10,119 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 108 deaths had been recorded in South Sudan with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.07 percent. South Sudan received 132,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines supported by the COVAX facility. The first shipment will target health care workers and people aged 65 years and older.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

In 2021, UNICEF is appealing for US$198 million to provide life-saving services for women, men and children in South Sudan. UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private donors who have continued to support multisectoral humanitarian programmes. Without adequate funding, UNICEF and partners will be unable to continue supporting ongoing integrated humanitarian programmes as well as the provision of critical and protective services for women, children and men displaced by conflict and flooding, affected by gender-based violence, facing life-threatening diseases (including COVID-19), and impacted by extreme food and nutrition insecurity in 2021.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

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. In response to the multiple shocks and hazards, South Sudan launched the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2021 during the reporting month. The HRP will target 6.6 million people across all the country’s 78 counties.
According to the IPC analysis released in December 2020, about 7.24 million people (60% of the population) will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity during the lean season (April to July). This number includes 2.5 million people who are projected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity and 31,000 people who are likely to face Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) acute food insecurity in Akobo county in Jonglei State, Aweil South county in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, and Tonj North county in Warrap State. The nutrition situation is critical, with 57 (72%) of the counties being projected to be IPC Acute Malnutrition (AMN) Phase 3 and above during the same period (April to July 2021). A total of 38 counties are projected to be in IPC AMN Phase 4, and 19 counties in IPC AMN Phase 3. An estimated 1.4 million children and 480,000 pregnant or lactating women will be acutely malnourished and in need of treatment. During the reporting month, nutrition SMART surveys were conducted in two priority counties of Pibor Administrative area in Jonglei state and Tonj North county of Warrap state. The findings from this survey revealed a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM ) prevalence of 21.6 in Pibor and 18.4 in Tonj North indicating a critical nutrition situation, above the WHO emergency threshold of 15%. The Crude Mortality Rate (CMR) in Pibor and Tonj North was 0.77 and 0.87 per 10,000 population per day respectively which is below the WHO threshold of <1 death per 10,000 population per day. There is a limited coverage of safe water supply in the highly food insecure counties which increases the risk of morbidity and mortality from diarrhoeal diseases. The food and nutrition insecurity response is encompassing an integrated multi-sectoral approach to achieve maximum impact of interventions. Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL), Health, Nutrition and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) clusters have developed a common integrated plan which focuses on prioritized counties.

Some parts of the country will have a very short window to conduct road transport, and humanitarian actors including UNICEF have worked to pre-position as much as possible, to avoid incurring expensive air freight costs later. This is especially the case in Pibor, and other parts of Jonglei state. Crime continues at a high level. Torching of commercial vehicles and abductions with demands for ransom and killing of foreign drivers has been reported in Greater Equatorias. This led to the suspension of logistical vehicles by Uganda and Kenya which has an impact on the availability of commodities. In Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), age set fighting triggered insecurity in the area along the Bor to Pibor road, the fighting subsided towards the end of the month. In Lakes State, armed robberies and shooting were reported, mostly in Cueibet county.