South Sudan

WFP South Sudan Country Brief, October 2020

Situation Report
Originally published
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In Numbers

19,200 mt of food and nutrition assistance distributed*

USD 3.8 m in cash-based transfers made*

USD 548.9 m six months (November ‘20 – April ‘21) net funding requirements

1.7 m people assisted* *in September 2020

Operational Updates

• In September, WFP provided food and nutrition assistance to 1.8 million people across its General Food Assistance (GFA), Nutrition and Resilience activities in South Sudan.

• An estimated 900,000 individuals have been affected by flooding since June across South Sudan. WFP is targeting flood-affected people in need of food assistance through GFA. More than 572,000 people were reached with assistance in September.

• Reduced rations are a persistent characteristic of the South Sudan food and nutrition programme because of resource constraints with over 80 percent of beneficiaries receiving 50 percent or less rations. Under normal circumstances, households supplement reduced rations with food they cultivate. However, this year’s widespread destruction, just before the annual harvest period, had washed away fields and killed livestock, worsening an already fragile situation.

• Economic shocks and high food prices make a fragile situation worse. The South Sudanese Pound (SSP) continued to lose its value against the US dollar, dropping by 20 percent between 13 and 14 October 2020. Various reports confirm that the price of locally made, white wheat bread (the staple food for most urban South Sudanese) skyrocketed overnight from SSP 30 per piece to SSP 50 per piece, an increase of 66 percent, and remained there even after inflation reduced. The pump prices increased significantly from 300 SSP per litre to 370 SSP per litre – an increase of 23 percent. Consequently, transport cost is expected to increase substantially.

• The upsurge in food prices had a two-fold impact: increased requirements for cash-based transfers (CBT) programmes; and, increased humanitarian needs across the board. WFP adjusts the monthly transfer values of CBT programmes to respond to market fluctuations. For instance, the monthly transfer values increased in Mingkaman by 46 percent in October. To optimize existing resources, cash for milling and cash for salt programmes were suspended. Furthermore, spikes in prices of basic food commodities have increased the economic vulnerability of market dependent households, especially in urban centres, increasing the need for humanitarian food assistance.