UN OCHA Response Plan: South Sudan

Source: ReliefWeb

South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan 2023 (December 2022)


Crisis Context and Impact

The humanitarian situation in South Sudan is worsening. People’s humanitarian needs continue to rise, driven by cumulative and compounding effects of years of conflict, sub-national violence, food insecurity, climate crisis and public health challenges. An estimated 9.4 million people in South Sudan, including 2.2 million women, 4.9 million children and 337,000 refugees, are projected to need humanitarian assistance and protection services in 2023 – reflecting a 76 per cent of the country’s population and a 5 per cent increase from 2022. An additional 212,000 people are estimated to have humanitarian and/or protection needs in the Abyei Administrative Area, a disputed territory between Sudan and South Sudan.

Conflict and insecurity, fuelled by sub-national and intercommunal violence, crime and wide-scale impunity, continue to be among the main drivers of humanitarian needs in South Sudan. Throughout 2022, sub-national and intercommunal violence recurred in seven out of ten states and the Abyei Administrative Area, displacing people across the country, limiting their access to critical humanitarian services and disrupting humanitarian operations. This has destroyed people’s lives and livelihoods and increased existing vulnerabilities. During the first half of 2022, intercommunal violence was the primary source of violence affecting civilians, accounting for more than 60 per cent of civilian casualties. Persistent attacks on civilians by armed cattle keepers, cattle raids and revenge attacks resulted in several killings, displacement of at least 257,000 people and increased incidents of sexual violence, abductions and looting/destruction of property.

With high levels of conflict-related sexual violence and gender-based violence, South Sudan remains one of the most severe protection crises in the world. South Sudan is also home to the world's fourth most neglected displacement crisis, with an estimated 2.2 million people displaced in the country, including over 36,000 people in the Malakal Protection of Civilians (PoC) site and the largest refugee crisis in Africa. Over 1.9 million people returned to their homes, 67 per cent of whom returned from within South Sudan after the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). More than 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees are hosted in the neighbouring countries.

Two-thirds of South Sudan’s population are affected by the precarious food security situation, making the country one of the worst food insecurity emergencies in the world. An estimated 8 million people or 64 per cent of the population in South Sudan will experience severe food insecurity by the peak of the 2023 lean season between April and July. With elevated food insecurity, about 1.4 million children are expected to suffer from life-threatening acute malnutrition. Many of the highly food-insecure people reside in locations with chronic vulnerabilities worsened by frequent climate- related shocks, the macro-economic crisis, conflict and insecurity and low agricultural production. Communicable diseases, including measles and malaria, maternal mortality and neonatal health continue to be the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in South Sudan.

South Sudan ranks among the five countries in the world that is most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as evidenced by communities devastated, destroyed and displaced by large-scale flooding across the country.4 Above normal rainfall for the fourth consecutive year in 2022 led to erratic rainfall patterns and prolonged flooding, with water levels in some areas exceeding the unprecedented levels reached in 2021 and affecting areas that had not been flooded in 2021. As of 10 December 2022, more than 1 million people have been verified as affected by severe flooding in 39 counties across South Sudan and in the southern part of the Abyei Administrative Area.

Humanitarian access to affected people remains a challenge in an already fragile context in South Sudan. South Sudan continues to be the most violent and dangerous context for aid workers.5 Between January and December 2022, an estimated 450 humanitarian access incidents were reported and nine humanitarian workers were killed in the line of duty. Physical access constraints, bureaucratic impediments, interference in recruitment and youth employment, illegal fees and taxations, conflict and intercommunal violence affect people’s access to services and the ability of humanitarian partners to reach the vulnerable people with much needed life-saving assistance.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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