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South Sudan: Current (Sept. 2017) and Projected (Oct.-Dec.2017; Jan.-March 2018) Acute Food Insecurity and Acute Malnutrition Situation

01/09/2017 - 31/03/2018
South Sudan
  • South Sudan entered the harvest season in September 2017 with 6 million people (56% of the total population) estimated to be severely food insecure , out of which 40,000 are in Humanitarian Catastrophe and 2 million are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity. Post-harvest gains in October-December 2017 are expected to reduce the number of severely food insecure people to 4.8 million (45% of the total population), with 25,000 in Humanitarian Catastrophe. However, an anticipated earlier than normal start of the lean season will result in an estimated 5.1 million (48% of the total population) people being classified as severely food insecure in January-March 2018, with 20,000 in Humanitarian Catastrophe.
  • In September 2017, there were populations in Humanitarian Catastrophe in all the three Greater regions  of South Sudan. Specifically, populations in humanitarian catastrophe existed in Nyirol and Ayod counties of former Jonglei State; Kapoeta East of former Eastern Equatoria State; and Wau County of former Western Bahr el Ghazal State. In October-December 2017, populations will remain in Humanitarian Catastrophe in Wau and Ayod. In January-March 2018, Humanitarian Catastrophe is expected to persist only in Wau.
  • Of great concern is Greater Baggari, a sub-area of former Wau County with an estimated population of 25 000, where 10% of the population is in Humanitarian Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in September 2017 as a result of sustained insecurity, sporadic humanitarian access since 2016, lack of freedom of movement and extreme depletion of livelihoods. Should these conditions persist, the food security situation is expected to deteriorate further. This calls for immediate and unhindered provision of humanitarian assistance and close monitoring.
  • Acute malnutrition has worsened compared to the same period last year. Populations in Renk, Upper Nile, Twic, Warrap State and the Greater Baggari area in Wau former counties have Extreme Critical levels of acute malnutrition,  while 31 counties in former Lakes State, former Northern Bah el Ghazal State, former Unity state, parts of former Jonglei State, former Western Bahr el Ghazal State and former Eastern Equatoria State, show Critical levels of acute malnutrition . Increases in Acute malnutrition is attributed to severe food insecurity, widespread insecurity, displacement, poor access to services, high morbidity, extremely poor diets and poor sanitation and hygiene. Levels of acute malnutrition are expected to improve marginally in September-December 2017 due to seasonal availability of local production, increased availability of fish and milk at the household level, and seasonal improved access to markets and services.
  • Humanitarian assistance is critical in averting the situation deteriorating to catastrophic levels. Access to affected populations remains a challenge due to insecurity, with reported cases of access constraints increasing in 2017. IPC classifications already assume that a significant level of humanitarian assistance will occur according to plan, and any failure to provide this assistance would significantly increase the number of severely food insecure populations.
  • In the worst case scenario, given the severity of the food security and nutrition situation observed during the 2017 lean season, continued conflict, humanitarian access constraints, climatic shocks and macro-economic instability leading up to the 2018 lean season will likely result in Famine (IPC Phase 5) conditions in multiple locations across South Sudan.


Download the South Sudan TWG Key messages for September 2017 below >>

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