Food Assistance Fact Sheet - South Sudan

Map of South Sudan
Map of South Sudan

April 10, 2018


  • After more than four years of civil conflict, South Sudan remains one of the most food-insecure countries in the world. The ongoing 2018 lean season began in January, three months earlier than usual and with 5.3 million people facing life-threatening hunger, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). 
  • Food security is expected to deteriorate through at least July 2018, as widespread insecurity continues to displace communities, disrupt livelihood activities, and impede humanitarian access to vulnerable populations. Even with planned levels of humanitarian assistance, communities in 71 out of South Sudan’s 86 counties are projected to face either Crisis (IPC 3) or Emergency (IPC 4) levels of severe food insecurity—including critical levels of malnutrition—between May and July 2018, according to the IPC.*
  • In the absence of unfettered and robust humanitarian assistance, the IPC estimates 155,000 people could face Catastrophe (IPC 5) levels of food insecurity—the most severe household level where starvation, destitution and death are evident— by July 2018.
  • The 2017 crop harvest was 14 percent lower compared to the previous five-year average, due to fall armyworm infestations and disruptions to seasonal planting as farmers fled ongoing conflict, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports. Decreased crop production, insecurity restricting market access and extreme economic instability have contributed to high food prices, making it harder for households in areas where markets are still functioning to purchase enough to eat. 

*  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 1) to Famine (IPC 5). 


  • A sustained and unimpeded humanitarian response is critical to saving lives. Since the start of the conflict, the 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. In 2017, FFP-supported programs provided life-saving food assistance to 1.4 million people per month, on average.
  • FFP also partners with Catholic Relief Services to provide families in Jonglei State with emergency food assistance, expand access to safe drinking water, and implement livelihoods interventions, including providing agricultural training for farming households.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $107.3 million 37,210 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $523.1 million 255,523 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $306.3 million 173,087 MT
* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers. 

Related Resources

Last updated: April 11, 2018

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