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Food security situation continues to deteriorate due to conflict-driven displacement, low crop production, economic crisis, climatic shocks and humanitarian access challenges

  • In the current analysis period of January 2019, 6.17 million people (54% of the population) are estimated to have faced Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse, out of which 1.36 million people faced Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity and 30,000 faced Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). Compared with the same time last year, the January 2019 levels of food insecurity reflect a 13% increase in the population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse in the post-harvest season.
  • In the projection period of February to April 2019, a total of 6.45 million people (57% of the population) will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse, with an estimated 45,000 people in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). In the projection period of May to July 2019, a total 6.87 million people (60% of the population) will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse, with an estimated 50,000 people in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).
  • The high levels of acute food insecurity continue to be driven by the cumulative effects of the national and localized conflicts, heavy reliance on unpredictable and poor rainfall performances, associated population displacements and prolonged years of asset depletion. These contributed to insufficient crop production, with only 52% of the 2019 national cereal needs  being met by harvests. Additionally, conflict has disrupted livelihoods and impacted on households’ access to other food sources, such as wild foods, fish, and livestock products. Furthermore, the on-going economic crisis has significantly reduced households’ purchasing power and vulnerable populations who are reliant on market purchases of highly priced foods. Other significant drivers include the prolonged dry spells at critical stages of crop growth, flooding, and crop pests and diseases.
  • A total of 860, 000 children are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2019 based on the results of the SMART nutrition surveys, Food Security and Nutrition Monitoring System (FSNMS) and admission trends for 2018. The major factors contributing to acute malnutrition include insufficient availability of food, very poor quality and diversity of food , relatively high prevalence of diseases  and poor child care practices. Elevated level of food insecurity (IPC AFI phase 3 and above) in some counties also contribute to acute malnutrition. Additionally, reduced access to food, nutrition and health services linked to conflict including inter communal conflict in some counties is also aggravating the levels of acute malnutrition. 

Actions Needed

  • The cessation of all hostilities and the implementation of the peace agreement.
  • Scale-up provision of humanitarian assistance (in kind and cash transfers) to counties in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and above; to cover at a minimum the six most food insecure months of the year.
  • Provide livelihood support through improved market access (feeder roads), and provision of seeds & tools (farm inputs), to stimulate production back to former surplus levels in the more productive and stable counties.
  • In less agricultural productive locations, maintain support to small scale subsistence producers (often the pastoral/ agro-pastoral areas) and include veterinary support (animal health).
  • Scale up and improve access to basic services: WASH and health service delivery year round, plus emergency nutrition, especially during the lean season.

Population in IPC Phases

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

IPC Classification Maps

  • In January 2019, populations facing “Catastrophe” (IPC Phase 5) are located in the following four counties: Canal/Pigi and Pibor (former Jonglei); Panyikang (former Upper Nile); and Cueibet (former Lakes).
  • In February - April 2019, people will continue to face catastrophic levels of food insecurity in the following counties: Cueibet and Yirol West. 
  • In May - July 2019, catastrophic outcomes are expected to persist in Cueibet and Yirol West.
January 2019
February - April 2019 (Projection)
May - July 2019 (Projection)




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.


South Sudan Acute Food Insecurity and Malnutrition Snapshot January - July 2019

Header Photo

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