Food Assistance Fact Sheet - South Sudan

Country map of South Sudan
UN Cartographic Section

September 26, 2016

Food Security Situation

  • Nearly three years since fighting broke out, civil conflict in South Sudan has eliminated livelihoods, decimated the economy, and destroyed families’ ability to cope. Consequently, South Sudan is now one of the most food insecure countries in the world. Approximately 4.8 million people—or 40 percent of the population—are facing extreme life-threatening hunger.

  • As of September 26, 2016, more than 1 million refugees have fled South Sudan for neighboring countries, joining Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia as the fourth country to surpass this threshold. July and August 2016 marked a swift increase in the number of South Sudanese arriving in nearby countries, especially Uganda. A renewal of violence in the Equatoria region and in the capital city of Juba in July has sent over 170,000 refugees fleeing into Uganda since July 1, 2016.

  • Dramatic increases in the average of nationwide food prices as a result of the economic crisis, combined with disrupted markets and trade, is also spurring a spike in food insecurity. In market-dependent Northern Bahr el Ghazal, food prices are ten times above the five-year average leaving some vulnerable households facing an extreme lack of food and experiencing Catastrophe (IPC 5)[1] levels of acute food insecurity. In addition, relief actors report that nutrition surveys in recent months have found concerning global acute malnutrition levels, as high as 30 percent, in the state.  In 2016, over 90,000 South Sudanese sought refuge in Sudan, many of whom left Northern Bahr el Ghazal in search of food.  

  • In Unity State, where conflict has perpetuated the risk of famine for three consecutive lean seasons, ongoing insecurity continues to disrupt markets, trade, and planting.  Emergency food insecurity persists and populations have exhausted their coping mechanisms over the course of the three year conflict.   The worst food insecurity is located in the most conflict-affected areas of Greater Upper Nile but a 150 percent increase above the average of nationwide food prices as a result of the economic crisis, combined with disrupted markets and trade, is also spurring a spike in food insecurity in the greater Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria regions. 

Food Assistance Programs

  • The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) is the largest supporter of WFP in South Sudan, reaching an estimated 1.3 million people each month with lifesaving emergency food and nutrition assistance. In fiscal year 2016, FFP provided nearly $293 million to WFP for 165,591 metric tons of life saving emergency food assistance, delivered via road, river, and air to an estimated 3.2 million individuals. 

  • FFP also contributed $5.9 million to UNICEF in fiscal year 2016 for 810 metric tons of ready-to-use therapeutic foods to treat severe acute malnutrition in children under the age of five.  

  • FFP also supports Catholic Relief Services for food security and livelihoods interventions in Jonglei state. 

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2016 $307.0 million 173,451 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $320.9 million 130,770 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $295.7 million 119,040 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $166.0 million 95,274 MT
Fiscal Year 2012 $205.5 million 110,499 MT

Fiscal Year 2016 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $234 million 132,995 MT
Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT)    
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) $64 million 40,456 MT
Food Security Situation information provided by FEWS NET, WFP, UNHCR, and the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification as of September 2016.
[1] The Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal—IPC I—to Famine—IPC 5

Country Specific Guidance

Last updated: September 26, 2016

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