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Publication | 2022

South Sudan: Acute Food Insecurity and Acute Malnutrition Situation for February - March 2022 and Projections for April - July 2022

Despite significant deployment of humanitarian assistance, between February and March 2022, an estimated 6.83 million people (55% of the population) faced high acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above), of which 2.37 million people faced Emergency conditions (IPC Phase 4). An estimated 55,000 people were classified in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in Fangak, Canal Pigi and Uror counties in Jonglei State; Pibor County in Greater Pibor Administration Area; Tambura County in Western Equatoria State; and Leer and Mayendit counties in Unity State. The most food insecure states between February and March 2022 where more than 50% of their populations faced IPC Phase 3 or above acute food insecurity are Jonglei (72.4%), Unity (67.6%), Warrap (62.9%), Northern Bahr el Ghazal (56.8%), Upper Nile (54.2%) and Lakes (52.0%).

In the lean season projection period of April to July 2022, an estimated 7.74 million people (62.7% of the population) will likely face high acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above), with 87,000 people likely to be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in Fangak, Canal/Pigi and Ayod counties in Jonglei State; Pibor County in Greater Pibor Administrative Area; Cueibet and Rumbek North counties in Lakes State; and Leer and Mayendit counties in Unity State. During this period, an estimated 2.9 million people are likely to face Emergency conditions (IPC Phase 4).

Given the high levels of acute food insecurity in the country, immediate scale-up of multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance is needed to save lives and prevent the total collapse of livelihoods in the affected counties, particularly those with a high share of populations in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Urgent action is also required for populations in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to protect their livelihoods and reduce household-level food consumption gaps.

Between February and March 2022, 36 counties across the country were classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and 40 counties in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with only two counties classified in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity. In the projection period of April to July 2022, 52 counties are classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), 23 counties in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and three counties in Stressed acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 2).

Food insecurity in South Sudan is driven by climatic shocks (floods, dry spells, and droughts), insecurity (caused by sub-national and localized violence), population displacements, persistent annual cereal deficits, diseases and pests, the economic crisis, the effects of COVID-19, limited access to basic services, and the cumulative effects of prolonged years of asset depletion that continue to erode households’ coping capacities, and the loss of livelihoods.