Independent from Sudan since 2011, South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war for much of its history. Nearly 400,000 South Sudanese died as a result of the conflict that began in December 2013. Atrocities and widespread attacks on civilians, including rampant sexual violence, have defined the conflict. An initial peace agreement signed in 2015 failed. After many delays, a revitalized agreement signed in 2018 led to the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity in February 2020. In 2022, Transparency International listed South Sudan last of 180 countries in its Corruption Perceptions Index. South Sudan is the world’s third-most fragile state on the 2022 Fragile States Index.
At the height of the conflict, 4.5 million of South Sudan’s approximately 12 million people were displaced; 4.4 million remain displaced (2.4 million as refugees in neighboring countries and 2 million displaced internally). In 2022, an estimated 8.9 million South Sudanese need some type of humanitarian assistance, with up to 8 million facing crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity (about 60 percent of the population).