More than 1.4 million South Sudanese are displaced inside the country, with more seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
Right now, South Sudan faces the most challenging period since it gained independence in 2011, with a converging set of crises including its highest-ever levels of food insecurity, repeated floods, armed conflict and a renewed wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has increased 10% since last year, to 8.3 million—more than 70% of the population. Over 60% of the population is projected to face crisis or worse levels of food insecurity. The coming “lean season”—from April to July, when households typically run out of stored food while awaiting the next harvest—threatens to be catastrophic. Communities in six of South Sudan’s 79 counties could face famine-like conditions.
Meanwhile, violence between armed groups is creating new waves of internally displaced people (IDP), adding to an IDP population already estimated at more than 1.6 million—not counting an additional 2.3 million who have fled South Sudan. For women and girls who are disproportionately affected by food scarcity and already subject to widespread gender-based violence, it also means facing even greater risks of abuse, exploitation, including sexual violence and early and forced marriages.
Compounding these issues, a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping across South Sudan. While it is difficult to know the true number of cases or fatalities, there are anecdotal reports of a heavy death toll and the rate of positive COVID-19 tests jumped from 2.7% to 17.9% in the first six weeks of 2021. Displaced people, particularly in overcrowded camps, face elevated risks of contracting the virus.
Help support women, men and children from South Sudan who are in need of food, water, shelter and safety.
CARE is prepared to extend the reach of our humanitarian response significantly. Immediate needs include food security; nutrition; health; protection from threats including gender-based violence (GBV); and support for water, sanitation and hygiene.
CARE has local staff in place, established partnerships, and an emergency response team, which can be deployed where needed to support scale-up. However, supplies currently on hand are inadequate and funds are needed to support immediate procurement.
CARE is currently responding to flood displacement in a number of communities and our staff stands ready to add more services and locations as resources permit.
CARE has worked in the now independent South Sudan since the 1970s, focusing on health and nutrition, food security and livelihoods, women’s economic empowerment and gender-based violence prevention and response. We work closely with local health staff to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to deliver quality health care. We also promote peacebuilding in order to reduce poverty, by supporting conflict-affected communities to gain better access to basic services, have a say in local development initiatives, and improve livelihoods through village savings and loan groups, vocational training and lives free from violence.
“We’ve had two consecutive years of flooding, but the difference this year is that we’re at the end of the dry season now and the water has just not receded, so huge parts of the country are still flooded. Now the rainy season is just around the corner and the rains look likely to start earlier this year, with parts of the country becoming wetter than usual,” said Rosalind Crowther, CARE South Sudan Country Director.