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 Fact Sheet

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Key Developments

Protracted conflict and associated insecurity continue to exacerbate humanitarian needs, restrict humanitarian access, and endanger relief workers across South Sudan. Armed group clashes in Central Equatoria and Unity states and intercommunal violence in Jonglei State resulted in civilian casualties, mass displacement, the suspension of humanitarian programming, and the deaths of relief workers in recent weeks. Intercommunal violence resulted in more than 650 deaths and nearly 600 abductions throughout South Sudan between January and March, according to the UN. 

Insecurity, as well as movement restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in South Sudan, continue to slow the import of humanitarian food assistance and general food commodities, resulting in elevated food prices.


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: July 08, 2020

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