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IPC Global Partners' Call for Immediate Humanitarian Action to Assess Famine Risk in Unity State of South Sudan



Based on the final conclusions of the IPC Global Emergency Review Commitee (ERC) and IPC SS TWG updated IPC analysis December 2015, the IPC Global Partners acknowledge the concerns on the severity of the situation and the lack of evidence and knowledge on the highly affected areas. Specifically

  • The deepest concern about the severity of the food insecurity situation particularly in the highly affected areas of south-central Unity state of South Sudan as confirmed by the IPC Emergency Review Committee (ERC) review and further depicted by the updated IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis released in February 8, 2016.
  • The consensus among technical partners that the situation in south-central Unity is severe and likely to deteriorate even further during the January to March 2016 period as most significant and flood related food sources become unavailable with the onset of the dry season. However, despite the best efforts by local partners to gather reliable information in south-central Unity state, the available data used to update the IPC projections made in September 2015 remain insufficient to assess famine risk in Unity State.
  • There is an urgent need for a full-scale IPC analysis of south-central Unity state, which incorporates additional evidence related to food consumption, livelihoods change, malnutrition, and mortality to assess the current and future risk of famine in the most affected areas.
  • The importance of supporting a risk of famine statement or a declaration of famine (IPC Phase 5) with reliable evidence and adherence to IPC protocols. Furthermore, findings should be communicated with the clarity and action orientation required to prevent escalation of mortality and livelihood collapse.
  • The humanitarian implications of the present scenario are grave. Should the situation remain unaddressed, the effects on food insecurity are likely to be exacerbated.


As humanitarian partners, IPC Global Partners remain committed to supporting the Government of South Sudan in its efforts to support vulnerable populations in the country and, to this end, emphasize the need to upscale on-going efforts to:

  • Highlight the continued potential risk of famine in the counties of Unity State, its humanitarian implications, and the need to ensure adequate humanitarian assistance.
  • Allow and facilitate full humanitarian access to all areas of central and southern Unity for collecting reliable and timely evidence required to carry out a high quality IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis.
  • Ensure an enhanced response mechanism to mitigate any risk of famine.
  • Adopt a strategic and broad assessment design that, in addition to the reconnaissance mission, should include three components: (i) comprehensive screening of arrivals in Protection of Civilians sites (POCs), (ii) an emergency food security and nutrition assessment and (iii) continuous monitoring. 


IPC Global Partners'Statement is made on the occasion of the presentation of the final conclusions of the IPC Emergency Review Committee (ERC) on the likelihood of famine in south-central Unity state of South Sudan, and the release of the updated IPC acute food insecurity situation in the country (December 2015 Update). The IPC ERC was activated by the IPC Global Steering Committee at the request of the South Sudan IPC Technical Working Group (SSTWG) to provide external technical support to the IPC SS TWG in their assessment the risk of famine in counties of Unity State. 


For more information: Cindy.Holleman@ fao.org, IPC Global Programme Manager

Publication date
Feb 2016

Related Resources

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