South Sudan: Acute Food Insecurity Situation August - September 2016 and Projection for October - December 2016
01.08.2016 > 31.12.2016


& next steps


In August-September 2016, an estimated 4.4 million (37% of the total population) people are classified as severely food insecure. Compared to August-Septmber 2015, an additional 13% of the population has slipped into Crisis, Emergency and Catastrophe food insecurity during a period that is seasonally characterized by increased availability of green harvest, wild foods, fish and livestock products. Food security gains made in many parts of the Greater Upper Nile as a result of improved physical security and increased humanitarian interventions are being countered by deteriorations in the Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Greater Equatoria regions. Factors driving the deteriorations include insecurity that affected livelihood activities such as farming, the economic crisis, low household purchasing power1 and high food prices for the urban and peri-urban populations that are highly market dependent. Out of the 4.4 million severely food insecure people, approximately 400,000 reside in the urban areas of Juba, Wau and Aweil and are facing Crisis and Emergency food insecurity. Of major concern are Aweil North and Aweil West in the Greater Northern Bahr el Ghazal region where a combined 30,000 people are facing Humanitarian Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) food insecurity because of low-resilience livelihoods, diminished household purchasing power, disrupted markets and high food prices. The food security situation in the Greater Northern Bahr el Ghazal region could be worse if it wasn’t for the scaling up of humanitarian assistance during the July-August period.

In October-December 2016, an estimated 3.4 million people are projected to face Crisis and Emergency food insecurity. During this period, approximately 1 million people are expected to move out of Crisis, Emergency and Humanitarian Catastrophe food insecurity because of increased consumption of dry harvest, wild foods, fish and livestock products, especially after a good rainfall season that is expected to continue2 till late into the year. Compared to October-December 20153, the situation is much worse because 40% more people are facing severe food insecurity this year. This worsening situation is attributed mainly to the economic crisis and resultant high food prices; local currency devaluations that have significantly reduced households’ purchasing power; disruptions to the first and second agricultural seasons particularly in the Greater Equatoria region which is the country’s food basket; insecurity along the major trade routes that has disrupted market functionality; and lately the fighting in and around Juba that has further affected transport activities out of the capital city.

Across the country the key drivers of food insecurity include the economic crisis that is driving up prices of basic commodities and forcing most households to sell off their assets at unfavourable terms of trade (ToT); hyperinflation that has significantly eroded household purchasing power; limited income earning opportunities; lack of hard currency to support the importation of goods and commodities; and insecurity that has displaced thousands, disrupted livelihoods, hampered farming activities such as harvesting, affected free flow of commodities and limited physical access to markets.

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