South Sudan

Residents of Juba arrive at the UN compound on December 20, 2013 where they sought shelter
Civilians fleeing the fighting in South Sudan have taken refuge at U.N. peacekeeping bases, including the one in the capital, Juba.

Latest South Sudan Fact Sheet

Key Developments

On November 20, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released its 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) for South Sudan, which estimates that 7.5 million people will require humanitarian assistance in 2020. The HNO identified the ongoing conflict, extreme weather, and poor macroeconomic conditions as key drivers of the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

Relief actors continue to respond to multi-sector humanitarian needs generated by flooding. Additionally, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network projects that flood-induced crop losses in 2019 are likely to drive increased food assistance needs in the coming months.

Unknown armed actors broke into a humanitarian compound in Upper Nile State’s Maban County on December 1, assaulting five staff members and robbing others of their valuables. Violence against humanitarian staff, such as the deaths of International Organization for Migration workers in October, continues to pose a significant risk to humanitarian operations in South Sudan.


Since gaining independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011, South Sudan has confronted a number of humanitarian challenges, including population movements and returnee integration. Ongoing conflict in Sudan’s Two Areas of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan continues to result in refugee flows into South Sudan, straining scarce resources. In addition, many of the people displaced by violence in 2011 from areas north of the River Kiir in the disputed Abyei Area continue to reside in South Sudan. In the two and a half years since people of South Sudanese origin began returning from Sudan on a large scale directly before and after independence, vulnerable communities in South Sudan have struggled to accommodate more than 700,000 new arrivals, many of whom are rebuilding lives and livelihoods with few resources from which to draw. Inter-communal violence and general insecurity also persist in several parts of the country, particularly in Jonglei State, where fighting has led to significant displacement and deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

Lingering effects from more than 20 years of north-south conflict, poverty, and continued tension with Sudan, which led to a cessation of oil exports in 2012 that damaged South Sudan’s economy, compound the humanitarian situation. Confronting deteriorating economic conditions, populations are less able to cope with shocks and increasingly rely on the humanitarian community for basic food and non-food assistance. However, insecurity, bureaucratic harassment of relief organizations, logistical challenges, and Government of the Republic of South Sudan-imposed restrictions constrain humanitarian activities across the country, hindering the delivery of critical assistance to populations in need.

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Last updated: December 09, 2019

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