Food Assistance Fact Sheet - South Sudan

Map of South Sudan

November 15, 2019

After more than five years of conflict, South Sudan remains one of the most food-insecure countries in the world. Ongoing violence, resultant population displacement, and disrupted trade, markets, and cultivation activities have exacerbated food insecurity and humanitarian needs. 


  • An estimated 4.5 million people were projected to face Crisis (IPC 3) or worse levels of acute food insecurity from October through January, according to the August IPC analysis.*  Large-scale humanitarian food assistance continues to mitigate more severe food insecurity outcomes in several areas of concern, according to FEWS NET.  In September, more than two million South Sudanese were reached with food assistance; however, this remains well below the estimated total population in need.
  • Heavy flooding has affected an estimated 908,000 people across Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, and Upper Nile states, as well as parts of Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, and Warrap states where households already faced Crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity, according to OCHA.  As a result, the number of severely food insecure is higher than originally projected, with Emergency (IPC 4) outcomes in Ulang, Maiut, and Maban counties of Upper Nile, as well as in Duk county of Jonglei, according to FEWS NET.  Previously anticipated food security gains will be largely negated in areas where floods are affecting crop production, market functioning, and delivery of food assistance.
  • Despite expectations that conflict events will continue to decline in South Sudan, high levels of acute food insecurity are likely to persist in 2020 with areas projected to experience food gaps indicative of Crisis or worse outcomes.  Additionally, FEWS NET projects that in the event of a resurgence of conflict preventing people from moving in search of food sources or restricting humanitarian access for a prolonged period, some counties—already experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity—will be left at risk of Famine (IPC 5) in 2020.
  • The prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) has worsened from 13.3 percent in the 2018 lean season—the period when food is typically most scarce—to 16.2 percent in the 2019 lean season, according to the August IPC analysis.  Food and non-food factors, including poor access to health, nutrition, and WASH services, are contributing to the increased GAM rate.

* The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of acute food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5). 


Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2020 $92.5 million ----
Fiscal Year 2019 $374.8 million 168,384 MT
Fiscal Year 2018 $398.2 million 154,341 MT
* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers. 

Related Resources

Last updated: November 18, 2019

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