South Sudan is simultaneously drowning and drying as the climate crisis tightens its grip. An unprecedented flooding crisis has swallowed large swathes of the country while other parts are grappling with devastating drought.
More than 7 million people are food insecure, and 1.65 million children are malnourished.
At the same time, more than 500,000 people fleeing the Sudan conflict crossed into South Sudan in 2023. Of these, 83 percent were South Sudanese returning to a country hosting over 360,000 refugees and 2 million internally displaced persons, with limited livelihood opportunities.
The multiplying shocks have made it impossible for smallholder farmers in many areas to grow enough food. Additionally, with a heavy reliance on imports, many people across South Sudan are unable to afford basic food items and must rely on humanitarian assistance.
While much of WFP's activities are focused on keeping people alive, we are also working with conflict and climate-affected communities to implement long-term solutions to reduce hunger.
Funding levels for both humanitarian responses and resilience-building are failing to keep pace with rising needs. This means WFP can only provide half rations and must prioritize life-saving assistance for those closest to famine.
What the World Food Programme is doing to respond to the South Sudan emergency
WFP and its partners have continued to deploy rapid response teams, exploiting windows of opportunity to reach people in need. Since the Integrated Rapid Response Mechanism (IRRM) launched, teams have deployed for more than 400 missions in deep field locations in South Sudan. Through these joint emergency teams, WFP reaches 500,000 people per month in areas that are only accessible by air.
WFP has been supporting the rehabilitation of infrastructure including dykes and roads, in areas affected by widespread flooding. We have further supported families in growing flood-resistant crops like rice and increasing the production of vital cereals.
In South Sudan, WFP is scaling up the use of cash transfers across its programmes and activities, navigating the challenges of a fragile political context, with related security issues, as well as inflation. Cash assistance empowers beneficiaries letting them choose what to buy, and increases cost-efficiency and effectiveness, reducing the need to transport and preposition food commodities. In 2021, WFP transferred US$57,677,173 in cash annually.
Schools meals support a healthy and productive learning environment for children. Where WFP has provided school meals, enrolment and attendance rates have increased by up to 80 percent. WFP seeks to assist more than 400,000 children through school meals and a special take-home ration to encourage girls to attend classes through 2023.
WFP and UNICEF have continued their succesful partnership to intensify the nutrition response in South Sudan. WFP has provided treatment to malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, in addition to training community nutrition volunteers. We continue to support outreach efforts through more than 12,000 community nutrition volunteers throughout South Sudan.
How you can help
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