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South Sudan: Floods exacerbate acute food insecurity in South Sudan


  • In the analysis period of January 2020, 5.29 million people (45.2% of the population) are estimated to have faced Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, of which 1.11 million people faced Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity. About 40,000 people were classified in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in the counties of Akobo , Duk  and Ayod  in Jonglei State. Compared with the same time last year, the January 2020 levels of food insecurity reflect a 9% reduction  in the proportion of population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity.
  • In the projection period of February to April 2020, 6.01 million people (51.4% of the population) will likely face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, with 20,000 people in the counties of Akobo and Duk estimated to be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). In the projection period of May to July 2020, 6.48 million people (55.4% of the population) will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, which is 5% lower than was projected for the 2019 lean season .
  • Immediate scale-up of humanitarian food assistance is needed to save lives and avert total collapse of livelihoods in the affected counties particularly those with populations in Catastrophe (Phase 5) and Emergency (Phase 4).


  • Flooding: Considerable flooding in 2019 triggered population movement and displacement in three (3) counties. The floods destroyed of houses, road networks and disrupted the livelihoods.
  • Low production: Low crop production is also contributing to food insecurity, with the 2019 cropping season only able to meet 63% of the 2020 national cereal needs.
  • Insecurity: Isolated insecurity incidents displace populations, disrupt livelihoods and impede households’ access to other food sources, such as wild foods, fish, and livestock products.

Actions Needed

  • For populations in Phase 3 (Crisis) and Phase 4 (Emergency), emergency food and humanitarian assistance should be continued to support populations during the lean season. Protective measures in areas of high concentration of displaced persons should be put in place, to enable households to access rural areas for the preparation of the harvest season and to access hunting and gathering products.
  • Support interventions for returnees should be continued in areas where there is a continuation of the Khartoum agreements that would reduce insecurity in the various areas that is causing displacement. This will encourage the return of displaced people to their areas of origin but especially the access of the people to the fields in the areas where this is not currently possible.
  • Humanitarian and livelihood measures for the host population should be implemented, with displaced people having access to the fields as well as returning them to their areas of origin to facilitate their recapitalization (agricultural kits, small livestock, cash transfers, income-generating activities).
  • Production should be improved by strengthening the agricultural techniques of the populations. Crop diseases (market gardening and food crops) should be prevented and quality seeds provided  in a timely manner respecting the schedule for all populations.
  • The sanitary conditions of households should be improved through the development of drinking water sources, and the rehabilitation and construction of boreholes in areas where access is very limited. In terms of hygiene and sanitation, households should be educated on the construction and use of improved latrines.
  • For areas with high global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates, actions to prevent acute malnutrition in all its forms for children from 0-59 months should be strengthened. An integrated approach to the management of acute malnutrition, health, water, hygiene, sanitation in areas with a very high prevalence, especially in areas of high concentration of displaced persons, should be adopted. The use of mobile clinics should be strengthened to expand coverage of access to health services.
  • Socio-economic infrastructure such as roads should be improved, to facilitate transactions between areas and therefore access to markets by the people.
  • Processing and conservation of products (market garden products, non-timber forest products, livestock and fisheries products) should be promoted, to increase availability during the lean season.

Population in IPC Phases



IPC Classification Maps

January 2020 (Current)
February - April 2020 (Projection)
May - July 2020 (Second Projection)

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