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Republic of South Sudan: UPDATE Acute Food Insecurity Situation - December 2015

01/01/2016 - 31/03/2016
South Sudan
Still 2.8 million people facing acute food insecurity between January and March 2016

This document updates the IPC projections made in September 2015.



  • An estimated 2.8 million people (IPC Phases 3, 4 and 5) or 23% of the population will face acute food and nutrition insecurity between January and March 2016
  • The bulk of this acutely food insecure population (57 per cent) is located in the Greater Upper Nile states of Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile.
  • Unity State remains the most affected because of continued fighting that has displaced large populations and disrupted their livelihoods. This population has lost its livestock through looting and the sustained insecurity has limited their access to humanitarian assistance, further exacerbating their food insecurity situation.
  • Based on the reconnaissance mission conducted in November 2015 by the IPC TWG, there is overwhelming evidence of a humanitarian emergency in Mayendit, Koch and Guit counties, where displaced communities are destitute and surviving on poor diets composed of water lilies, fish, wild fruits and vegetables.
  • While it was not possible to conclude the presence of famine due to lack of access to some of the locations due to ongoing fighting at that time, the situation is likely to deteriorate further during the January to March 2016 period as the food sources would become scarce as water bodies where water lilies and fish are collected from dry up.
  • As a result, the IPC TWG has estimated that 40,000 people are likely to be facing Catastrophe between January and March and are in need of urgent food and other humanitarian assistance to avoid any further deterioration and escalation.
  • An additional 200,000 people have moved from Stressed to Crisis Classification in Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Warrap and Eastern Equatoria states.
  • Analysis of humanitarian food assistance, shows that less than one fifth of the total population in the counties is receiving lifesaving food, and based on IPC cutoff criteria this is insufficient impact to upgrade the food security classification in most counties, apart from a few counties in Jonglei state.
  • In the other states where some humanitarian assistance has taken place, it has not been consistent due to insecurity limiting its impact on the livelihoods and food consumption of vulnerable households.
  • Generally the nutrition situation remains at critical level particularly in Upper Nile, Warrap, NBeG and some parts of Eastern Equatoria where the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) is above emergency thresholds (GAM >15%). 
  • Given the historical trends and seasonal factors, the nutrition situation between January and March – and into the forthcoming ‘lean season’ - is likely to remain Very Critical in Unity and Critical in most parts of Greater Upper Nile, NBeG, and Warrap
  • Although it was not possible to confidently establish when and where the Acute malnutrition had started, the possibility of Acute malnutrition to have started at the point of origin could not be ruled out. Most of the new arrivals originated from counties within Central and Southern Unity. 

According to the IPC update, there is an overall increase in the population in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. In addition to Unity State, some of the areas which have shown deterioration are Northern Bahr El Ghazal and Warrap states which are predicted to have at least one fifth of the population in need of humanitarian assistance.


The humanitarian community is called upon to provide adequate funding to allow sufficient humanitarian assistance to be rolled out in all the areas with IPC Phase 3-5, while all sides involved in the current conflict are called upon to comply with the ceasefire agreement and the Compromised Peace Agreement currently in order to allow the much needed lifesaving humanitarian assistance to reach all the worst affected locations in the country and reverse the current tide of food insecurity across the country.


For more information, download below the IPC SS TWG Communication Summary of the IPC Acute Food Insecurity Situation - December 2015 

Food Security ClustersFEWS NETFAOThe Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS)CARE InternationalACF
The World Food Programme (WFP)unicefSICASave the ChildrenOxfamThe Joint research Center (JRC) of the European CommissionIGAD