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South Sudan: South Sudan Food Security Outlook, February to September 2019

Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: South Sudan

Widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes and risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) to persist in 2019


  • Extreme levels of acute food insecurity persist across South Sudan during the 2018/19 post-harvest period. Based on the January 2019 IPC analysis, 6.17 million people were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse in January. This estimate was in the presence of humanitarian food assistance and included roughly 30,000 people in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).

  • Conflict has declined somewhat since mid-2018, and staple food prices have declined slightly in several areas. Despite these improvements, conflict and very poor macroeconomic conditions still exist and are expected to persist throughout the projection period. Furthermore, many households still face extreme difficulty meeting their basic food needs as the protracted conflict has significantly disrupted livelihoods and eroded households’ coping capacity.

  • Food security is expected to deteriorate through the July/August peak of the lean season. Although humanitarian food assistance is anticipated to scale up during the lean season and will likely prevent more catastrophic outcomes, past trends indicate that the severity of food insecurity still increases during the lean season relative to the harvest period despite the increase in humanitarian food assistance. Widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are anticipated, and some households are likely to be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). Jonglei, Lakes, and Upper Nile States are of greatest concern, though concern still remains high for Unity, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Greater Kapoeta. The total population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse is expected to increase to an estimated 7.7 million people between May and July/August, in the absence of humanitarian food assistance.

  • A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) will persist in South Sudan. Past trends indicate that food security can deteriorate sharply when conflict shifts and severely limits household movement and humanitarian access. Should this worst-case scenario occur, Famine (IPC Phase 5) would be likely. In order to sustain long-term food security improvements and end the persistent risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in South Sudan, full implementation of the September 2018 peace deal and an end to the conflict by all parties is needed.

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