Food Assistance Fact Sheet - South Sudan

Country map of South Sudan
UN Cartographic Section

February 9, 2017

Food Security Situation

  • More than 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, where the risk of famine persists for the fourth year in a row.

  • Approximately 1.4 million refugees had fled South Sudan for neighboring countries, while 1.9 million people were internally displaced as of December 2016. In early 2017, insecurity continues to cause population displacement, exacerbate food insecurity, and impede humanitarian access to vulnerable populations.

  • The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) anticipates that the normal May-to-August lean season will likely begin in February 2017, with Famine (IPC 5)[1] conditions possible for the most vulnerable populations—particularly displaced households in Unity State—if conflict escalates and causes further humanitarian need and access impediments.  In January, FEWS NET reported widespread Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity, with populations in parts of Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Unity states experiencing Emergency (IPC 4) levels of acute food insecurity. The UN World Food Program (WFP) has reported that global acute malnutrition rates in some of the same areas are above the UN World Health Organization’s emergency threshold of 15 percent.

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 (FY) 2017, FFP has provided nearly $209 million to WFP for approximately 102,000 metric tons of life-saving emergency food assistance, delivered via road, river, and air to be pre-positioned ahead of the lean season to areas that will be cut off by rains and flooding.  The food is sufficient to feed over two million people for three months.

  • FFP has also contributed $12.4 million in FY 2017 to partner Catholic Relief Services for continued food security and livelihoods interventions—including providing agricultural training for farming households and expanding access to safe drinking water—in Jonglei State. 

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2017 $221.3 million 101,768 MT
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 2017 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Emergency $146.3 million 62,380 MT
Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT)    
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) $75.0 million 39,388 MT
Food Security Situation information provided by FEWS NET, WFP, UNHCR, and the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification as of February 2017.
[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

Related Resources

Last updated: February 09, 2017

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