The situation in South Sudan has proven to be unpredictable and volatile. New hotspots of violent conflict and civil unrest have continued to emerge and levels of severe acute food insecurity have become progressively worse. In addition to years of fighting and political instability, the country faces natural hazards, disease and pests, such as the desert locust, and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Collectively, these risks have had and continue to have a catastrophic impact on the lives and livelihoods of South Sudanese, the majority of whom rely on agriculture, livestock, forestry and fisheries as their main source of income.
To respond to humanitarian needs, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched the latest iteration of its Emergency Livelihood Response Programme (ELRP) in South Sudan, which was first introduced in early 2014. The document presents the multiyear Programme for 2021–2023 and outlines how FAO aims to save lives, to enhance households' livelihoods and own food production, and to improve their resilience to future shocks. FAO revises its strategy each year to address the ever-emerging challenges facing food security and agriculture, integrate lessons learned and adapt modalities to the prevailing situation.