>  Alerts archive   >  Issue 8

Despite efforts made to contain famine, 6 million people are in need of urgent assistance - the greatest number of food insecure people ever recorded in South Sudan

  • As of May 2017, 5.5 million people were estimated in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).
  • As of June-July 2017, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance (IPC phase 3 and above) is estimated to rise to 6 million, out of which 45,000 are facing catastrophic conditions and extreme food gaps, specifically 25,000 people in Leer, Koch and Mayendit counties of Unity State and 20,000 in Ayod county of Jonglei state.
  • Armed conflict has resulted in massive population displacement, disruptions to people’s livelihoods, trade and access to humanitarian assistance, which remains people’s main source of food in conflict areas. This is compounded by below-average food production and high food prices which have eroded household purchasing power.
  • Acute malnutrition remains a major public health emergency in several parts of South Sudan. Evidence shows that the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence is above the WHO emergency threshold of 15% in Duk county of Jonglei State. The acute malnutrition is expected to deteriorate even further as the peak lean season approaches in July 2017, especially in Mayendit, Aweil North, and Ayod counties, which are projected to experience extremely critical levels of acute malnutrition.

Actions Needed

  • Continue to scale up humanitarian assistance in the most affected counties, especially in Unity State and Greater Jonglei State, where the situation will rapidly further deteriorate if humanitarian assistance doesn’t reach the intended beneficiaries;
  • Secure humanitarian access to allow data collection to provide information on the exact magnitude of this humanitarian catastrophe and to plan responses accordingly;
  • Vigilance is needed for monitoring the evolving conflict and the food security and nutrition situation and updating the IPC analysis in real time.

Population in IPC Phases

The economic crisis is hitting the whole population. However, the most affected people are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are dispersed and the host communities affected by the ongoing conflict.

IPC Classification Maps

  • The highest proportions of populations in Crisis, Emergency and Catastrophe are observed in Greater Jonglei State (63%) and Unity State (61%). In particular, people facing catastrophic conditions are located in Ayod county and Leer, Koch and Mayendit counties, respectively.
  • The greenbelt counties in Greater Equatoria, the Western Bank of Upper Nile state, Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal states are also of high concern as people are facing high levels of food insecurity.

IPC Acute Food Insecurity Classification May 2017 (Current)


IPC Acute Food Insecurity Classification June - July 2017 (Projection)


Note: The maps displayed above are only displaying the final IPC Classification for South Sudan. The detailed maps, capturing additional elements such as IDP camps, are provided in the South Sudan IPC TWG full report.

Famine Monitoring

Famine is no longer occurring in Leer and Mayendit counties, and further deterioration was prevented in Koch and Panyijiar counties of former Southern Unity State as a result of immediate and sustained multi-sector humanitarian assistance delivered to the affected population since March 2017. However, as of June-July 2017, 45,000 people in localized areas of South Sudan are still facing famine conditions (IPC Phase 5) and 1.7 million people are facing emergency levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 4) - one-step below Famine on the IPC scale. This is based on most likely assumptions of continued armed conflict, food shortages associated with seasonality, and humanitarian assistance delivery constraints.

The situation as of January 2017

January 2017

February - July 2017 (Projection 1)

May - July 2017 (Projection 2)

The IPC Process

All icons are licensed by Noun Project under CC BY 3.0

IPC Resources

South Sudan IPC Technical Working Group Analysis Report

May 2017 and June - July 2017


South Sudan Q&A

From IPC GSU Global


Previous South Sudan IPC Analysis

Report January 2017



Read and download the complete IPC Analysis Report on South Sudan.


Read Questions and Answers regarding the IPC Global Alert on South Sudan


Read and download the IPC Analysis Report on South Sudan released in January of 2017.









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. James Bwirani, Technical Officer – Food Security Analysis, FAO South Sudan,[email protected]

  • Dr. Krishna Pahari, Head of VAM, WFP South Sudan, [email protected]

  • Mr. Ismail Kassim, Nutrition Information Manager, UNICEF South Sudan, [email protected]

Header Photo
"A refugee from South Sudan bathes her child after arriving at Al-Radoom in South Darfur, Sudan June 4, 2017" REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah.

Analysis Icon by Aneeque Ahmed from Noun Project.
Group Discussion Icon by Drishya from Noun Project.
Exchange Icon by Yeasir Ahmed from Noun Project.
Enlarge Icon created by ProSymbols from Noun Project.
Press Release Icon by Creative Stall from Noun Project.
Question and Answer Icon by artworkbean from Noun Project. 

All icons are licensed by Noun Projectunder CC BY 3.0

Join our mailing list