South Sudan 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview

ONU / Isaac Gideon
Displaced Chilidren in South Sudan (file photo).
press release

Juba, South Sudan — Summary of humanitarian needs

Context, shocks and impact of the crisis

Two years after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement, its implementation has not reduced the humanitarian needs of the South Sudanese people. South Sudan remained a protection crisis in 2020. Lack of durable peace and limited investment in basic services are holding people back from stability and sustainable development. In 2020, communities were hit hard by the triple shock of intensified conflict and sub-national violence, a second consecutive year of major flooding, and the impacts of COVID-19. Some 1.6 million people remained internally displaced and another 2.2 million as refugees in the region. Insecurity, lack of basic services, and unresolved housing, land and property issues prevented people from returning home in large numbers.

Overall food security worsened and some communities were facing catastrophic needs. More children were acutely malnourished than in the past three years. Women and girls continued to face extreme levels of gender-based violence and psychosocial distress. People's coping mechanisms weakened as a consequence of the cumulative shocks, leading families to adopt negative practices such as forced labor and child marriage. The economy continued to spiral downwards, pushing people to the brink, especially in urban areas.

Access to essential services, including health care, education, water and sanitation, as well as protection and legal services, was already limited and much of the service infrastructure was damaged, destroyed or closed in 2020. Humanitarian assistance delivered to more than 6 million people kept many communities from falling into deeper need, however increased violence against aid workers and assets and operational interference prevented hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people from predictably accessing the support they needed.

Humanitarian conditions, severity and people in need

People's physical and mental wellbeing, living standards and coping mechanisms are expected to further deteriorate in 2021. Some 8.3 million people in South Sudan are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2021. These include 8,000,000 South Sudanese women, men, girls and boys and 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers. This is an 800,000 increase in absolute numbers from the 7.5 million people in need in 2020. According to the intersectoral severity of needs analysis, humanitarian needs are most concerning in Pibor County in Jonglei which was classified as the only county in catastrophic need. A total of 72 counties face extreme needs while five are in severe need.

SOURCE Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in South Sudan

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