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Food insecurity and malnutrition situation remains at dire levels across South Sudan

  • In September 2018, 6.1 million people (59% of the total population) are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3), Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).
  • During the post –harvest period October-December 2018, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance (IPC Phase 3 and above) are expected to reduce to 4.4 million (43% of the total population), out of which 26,000 will be experiencing catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5) and extreme food gaps.   
  • By January-March 2018, 5.2 million people (49% of the total population) are estimated to continue to face acute food insecurity, with 36,000 people in catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5). 
  • Persistent insecurity and armed conflict have disrupted livelihood activities, affected market functionality and limited physical access to markets. In addition, an anticipated earlier-than-normal start of the lean season in many areas will further hamper people’s food security, impairing the very survival of the most vulnerable.
  • Acute malnutrition has slightly improved compared to the same period in 2017. Acute malnutrition is still at Critical levels in 31 counties in the former states of Warrap, Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei, while 20 counties in Lakes, Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile reported ‘Serious’ (GAM (WHZ) 10.0-14.9%) levels of acute malnutrition. The main contributing factors are poor access to health and nutrition services, high morbidity, extremely poor diets and poor sanitation and hygiene. Levels of acute malnutrition are expected to improve marginally by December 2018 due to seasonal availability of local production, increased availability of fish and milk at the household level, and improved access to markets and service.

Actions Needed

  • Scale-up humanitarian food assistance to avert a deteriorating situation especially in areas with continued access constraints and areas likely to receive returnees. 
  • Advocate and lobby for humanitarian access and support to inaccessible and most critical counties. 
  • Implement activities to rebuild livelihoods and improve access to basic services.  

Population in IPC Phases

Severe food insecurity is affecting the population as a whole, with internally displaced persons (IDPs) being the most vulnerable.

IPC Classification Maps

  • In September 2018, populations facing “Catastrophe” (IPC Phase 5) are located in the following counties: Leer, Mayendit, Yirol East, Yirol West, Canal/ Pigi, Panyikang, Greater Baggari. 
  • In October - December 2018, people will continue to face catastrophic levels of food insecurity in the following counties: Leer, Mayendit, Panyikang, Greater Baggari and Pibor.  
  • In January - March 2019, catastrophic outcomes are expected to persist especially in Pibor, Canal/ Pigi, Leer and Mayendit counties.

September 2018 (Current)

October-December 2018 (Projection)


January-March 2019 (Second Projection)


Previous IPC Analysis Maps for January 2018 and Projection for February-April 2018 and May-July 2018

January 2018 February-April 2018 May-July 2018




The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is an innovative tool for improving food security analysis and decision-making. By providing a set of analytical tools and procedures, IPC allows governments and partners to work together to classify the severity and magnitude of acute and chronic food insecurity, and acute malnutrition according to scientific international standards.

For more information about this report, please contact the following: 

  • ​Mr. John Pangech, IPC TWG Chair and Director General Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, [email protected] 
  • Mr. Phillip Dau Thiong, Deputy IPC TWG Chair and Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, National Bureau of Statistics, [email protected]
  • Mr. Nicholas Kerandi, Food Security Analyst, FAO South Sudan, [email protected]

Header Photo
"Women carry sacks of food in Nimini village, Unity State, northern South Sudan, February 8, 2017." 
REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

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