Food Assistance Fact Sheet - South Sudan

Map of South Sudan
Map of South Sudan

April 9, 2019


  • From February–April, approximately 6.5 million people will experience Crisis (IPC 3) or worse levels of acute food insecurity in South Sudan, according to a January–July 2019 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis. Conflict remains the main driver of food insecurity, due in part to the decreased number of farming households and land area under cultivation caused by ongoing insecurity and displacement. Below-average rainfall further reduces harvests and negatively affects the availability of wild foods and fish.
  • Since the start of the conflict, the proportion of the population requiring emergency food assistance has increased from 20 percent to 55 percent. Needs are expected to remain high from May–July, when 6.9 million people are expected to face Crisis or worse acute food insecurity. In the absence of sustained humanitarian assistance, the number of people in need would be expected to increase.
  • While a modest number of South Sudanese returns are expected in 2019, following the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan in September 2018, violence continues to result in displacement. Fighting between Government of the Republic of South Sudan forces and an armed group in Central Equatoria State’s Yei County has resulted in the displacement of nearly 15,000 people since the start of 2019, according to the UN International Organization on Migration, bringing the total internally displaced population to more than 1.8 million people.

* 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). A Famine classification applies to a wider geographical location, while the term Catastrophe (IPC 5) refers to an extreme lack of food at the household level even with full employment of coping strategies. Famine is determined when more than 20 percent of households in an area are classified as experiencing Catastrophe, when the global acute malnutrition level exceeds 30 percent and when the crude mortality rate exceeds two people per 10,000 persons per day.  


  • A sustained and unimpeded humanitarian response is critical to saving lives. Since the start of the conflict, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) and its partners—including the UN World Food Program (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)—have responded to the needs of South Sudan’s most vulnerable and conflict-affected populations through emergency food and nutrition interventions across the country. FFP-supported programs provide life-saving food assistance to more than 1 million people per month, on average.
  • FFP also partners with Catholic Relief Services to provide families in Jonglei State with emergency food assistance, expanded access to safe drinking water, and livelihoods interventions, including providing agricultural training for farming households.
  • Additionally, with FFP support, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) helps food-insecure South Sudanese countrywide increase household food production with seeds, tools for planting, and fishing kits. FAO also provides vulnerable families with food vouchers, which can be exchanged at local markets, improving access to nutrition foods and supporting local economies.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $398.2 million 154,341 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $522.3 million 255,422 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $306.3 million 174,714 MT
* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers. 

Related Resources

Last updated: April 10, 2019

Share This Page