Food Assistance Fact Sheet - South Sudan

Country map of South Sudan
UN Cartographic Section

December 21, 2016

Food Security Situation

  • 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. As of July 2016, approximately 4.8 million people—or 40 percent of the population—were facing extreme life-threatening hunger.

  • As of December 2016, more than 1.3 million refugees have fled South Sudan for neighboring countries, joining Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia as the fourth country to surpass this threshold. More than 1.8 million are internally displaced. Much of this movement is driven by a resurgence of violence beginning July 2016 in the Equatorias. Remarkably, this violence has sent 370,000 refugees fleeing into Uganda alone since July 1, 2016—the largest population movement in central Africa since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

  • Dramatic increases in the average of nationwide food prices as a result of economic crisis, combined with disrupted markets and trade, and poor food production is spurring a spike in food insecurity. 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. In market-dependent Northern Bahr el Ghazal, food prices are ten times above the five-year average. These conditions are leaving some vulnerable households to face an extreme lack of food and likely experiencing Catastrophe (IPC 5)[1] levels of acute food insecurity. Emergency food insecurity persists and populations have exhausted their coping mechanisms over the course of the three-year conflict.   

  • Extremely alarming is the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) forecast that the normal May to August lean season will begin in January 2017. This atypically early and long lean season, caused by below-average harvests and conflict, will exhaust many households’ capacity to cope and could place them in Catastrophe levels of food insecurity.


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 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 December 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: December 21, 2016

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