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South Sudan: Food Insecurity - 2015-2018

South Sudan
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3.9 million people – nearly one in every three people in South Sudan – were severely food insecure and 3.6 million were considered to be ‘stressed’, in September 2015. An estimated 30,000 people were facing catastrophic food insecurity (IPC Level 5) in Unity State, leading to starvation, death, and destitution. (OCHA, 5 Jan 2016)

At the height of the lean season in July 2016, some 4.8 million people – more than one in every three people in South Sudan – were estimated to be severely food insecure. This number is expected to rise as high as five million in 2017. The food security situation is at the most compromised level since the crisis commenced in 2013 - the combination of conflict, economic crisis and lack of adequate levels of agricultural production have eroded vulnerable households ability to cope. More than one million children under age 5 are estimated to be acutely malnourished, including more than 273,600 who are severely malnourished. (OCHA, 13 Feb 2017)

As of January 2017, 3.8 million were estimated in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). As of February-April 2017, the number of people estimated in need of humanitarian assistance (IPC phase 3 and above) has increased to almost 5 million, out of which 100,000 are facing famine conditions...**Famine is declared** in Leer and Mayendit counties of Greater Unity State. Famine is likely to happen in Koch County and can be avoided in Panyijiar County only if the humanitarian assistance is delivered as planned. (IPC, 20 Feb 2017)

An estimated 6.01 million (50% of the population) people are expected to be severely food insecure in June-July 2017, compared to 5.5 million (45% of the population) people in May 2017. This is the greatest number of people ever to experience severe food insecurity (IPC Phases 3, 4 and 5) in South Sudan. Famine is no longer occurring in Leer and Mayendit counties, and further deterioration was prevented in Koch and Panyijiar counties of former Southern Unity State as a result of immediate and sustained multi-sector humanitarian assistance delivered to the affected population since March 2017...However, in June-July 2017, approximately 45,000 people will still be facing Humanitarian Catastrophe in Leer, Koch, Mayendit in former Unity State and Ayod County in former Jonglei state based on most likely assumptions of continued armed conflict, food shortages associated with seasonality, and humanitarian assistance delivery constraints...Of great concern is former Greater Jonglei State, where food security is rapidly deteriorating, predominantly in the counties of Ayod, Canal/Pigi, Duk, Nyirol and Uror, which are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, with Ayod having an estimated 20,000 people experiencing Humanitarian Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) at least through July 2017. (IPC, 31 May 2017)

In September 2017, 6 million people were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), which corresponded to 56% of the total population. As for October to December 2017, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance (IPC phase 3 and above) are expected to drop to 4.8 million (45% of the total population. However, this figure includes a doubled number of people classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) compared to the same time last year, and 25,000 people still experiencing catastrophic conditions and extreme food gaps. (IPC, 6 Nov 2017)

WFP resumed the integrated rapid response mechanism (IRRM) and currently has seven teams deployed in Bilkey, Nyandit, Kurwai, Jaibor, Chuil, Buot and Ulang, providing life-saving food and nutrition assistance to around 96,633 people, including 17,370 children under the age of five. WFP plans to deploy an additional 26 missions in the coming six weeks, targeting close to 400,000. (WFP, 8 Jan 2018)

An estimated 5.3 million people, 48 percent of the population, are currently facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, despite the harvest and continued large-scale assistance. (FEWSNET, 22 Mar 2018)

Extreme food insecurity persists across South Sudan as the lean season progresses, conflict continues to disrupt normal livelihoods, and macroeconomic conditions remain very poor. Of greatest concern in April are Pibor of Jonglei and Kapoeta East of Eastern Equatoria. However, southern and central Unity, northern Jonglei, and Wau County also remain of high concern, and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity exists in all regions of the country despite ongoing humanitarian assistance. (FEWSNET, 30 Apr 2018)

Based on the September IPC analysis, it is expected that 6.1 million people (59% of the total population) faced Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity at the peak of the lean season (July – August), of whom 47,000 were in Catastrophe (IPC phase 5) and 1.7 million were in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Food security has improved slightly with the green harvest in September relative to July and August, and further improvements are expected in the post-harvest period between October and December 2018 when the number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse is most likely to reduce to 4.4 million (43% of the total population), with 26,000 in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). However, an anticipated earlier than normal start of the lean season will result in an estimated 5.2 million (49% of the total population) people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity between January and March 2019, with 36,000 in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). These estimates are in the presence of planned humanitarian food assistances. (FEWSNET, 28 Sep 2018)

Food security has continued to improve throughout Somalia since the 2018 Gu. Most northern and central livelihood zones are Stressed (IPC Phase 2), while southern livelihood zones are Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In October, humanitarian assistance continued to prevent worse outcomes in Guban Pastoral and northwestern Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) livelihood zones, where Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) and Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes persist, respectively. Northwest Agropastoral and most IDP settlements are also in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). FEWSNET, 31 Oct 2018)