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South Sudan Humanitarian Fund Annual Report 2021

Countries
South Sudan
Sources
OCHA
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2021 in Review

HUMANITARIAN CONTEXT

Humanitarian situation in 2021
The humanitarian situation for people in South Sudan worsened due to escalating internal violence and conflict, drought, rising food insecurity, flooding, disease outbreaks, and the continued effects of COVID-19 on lives and livelihoods. People already face underlying vulnerability and limited access to basic services including health care, education, safe water, hygiene and sanitation, and limited access to justice and rule of law.

The estimated number of people in need of direct humanitarian assistance increased from 8.3 people reported at the beginning of 2021 to 8.9 million people by the end of 2021. Protection concerns remain high with people affected by violence having limited access to justice and the rule of law.

Prolonged flooding
Above normal rainfall for the third consecutive year led to major floods. A reported 835,000 people were affected by severe floods between May and December 2021, 80 per cent of those affected were from Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. By the end of the year, many flood-displaced people, including those who were displaced by the 2020 floods, still could not return to their homes.

The cumulative effects of recurrent flooding contributed to the destruction of farmland: 65,107 hectares of land planted with cereals have been damaged with an estimated loss of 37,624 tons and water facilities were destroyed.

Disease outbreaks
Life-threatening diseases such as acute watery diarrhoea, cholera, and measles continued to affect thousands due to the lack of safe water and limited access to health facilities. In 2021, the number hepatitis E virus (HEV) cases increased significantly, from 564 reported between 2018-2020, to 1143 suspected cases with five deaths.

Population movements
Continued conflict, instability and widespread flooding in the country resulted in large-scale internal dis- placement, as well as cross-border displacement. Over 550,000 people were newly displaced in 2021, leading to a total number of two million internally displaced people (IDPs). Some 55 per cent of all displaced people are women and girls across the country.

Because of the absence of adequate capacities and institutional preparedness to prevent and respond to internal displacement in the short-, medium, and longer- term, the IDPs continue to live in camps, crowded settlements, or hosted by the local communities.

Security and access constraints
The insecure operating environment further worsened the humanitarian crisis. Between January and December 2021, OCHA recorded 591 reported humanitarian access incidents. These ranged from violence against humanitarian personnel and assets to operational interference.

In 2021, five aid workers lost their lives while delivering humanitarian assistance and services. Due to insecurity, 322 aid workers were relocated. Humanitarian warehouses and facilities were targeted during the violence and humanitarian supplies were looted, significantly affecting response operations in conflict-affected and food-insecure areas.

Food Insecurity and malnutrition
Food insecurity increased in 2021. The prolonged flood eroded previous gains achieved by improved access.

The Food Security Livelihoods Sectoral Analysis estimates that 8.3 million people (including refugees) are expected to experience severe food insecurity by the peak of the lean season (May – July) in 2022, an increase of seven per cent above the 7.7 million people in need in 2021.

Acute malnutrition remained a significant problem in South Sudan. The level of malnutrition has increased by about two million people including 1.3 million children under-five and 676,000 pregnant and lactating women. The main contributing factors to high malnutrition rates included high levels of food insecurity, widespread conflict and insecurity, population displacement, poor access to services due to poor infrastructure, high morbidity and hygiene and sanitation conditions.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.