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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
© FinnChurchAid/Maria de la Guardia, 2019
South Sudan



It is estimated that some 9.4 million people, approximately 2/3 of South Sudan’s population, will require urgent humanitarian assistance in 2023.

7.8 million people continue to experience high levels of acute food insecurity, with thousands living in famine-like conditions. Undernutrition is at critical levels for 1.4 million children.

There are 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. More than 2 million are internally displaced.

The EU is a long-standing donor of humanitarian aid and continues to support humanitarian projects helping South Sudanese refugees.

What are the needs?

The transitional government has implemented the 2018 Peace Agreement only partially. The transitional period was extended by 24 months, postponing in effect the new Constitution, the deployment of unified forces and the elections, now due in December 2024.

The security situation is deteriorating, with increased sub-national violence resulting in civilian casualties, new displacements and a very insecure environment for aid workers.

South Sudan is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since independence due to continued conflict and climate change. Some 4 years of unprecedented floods have led to massive displacement and crop destruction.

9.4 million people (including almost 5 million children) will require humanitarian assistance in 2023. Over 2 million people are internally displaced, and 2.3 million have sought refuge abroad.

Some 7.8 million people (2/3 of the population) are expected to face extreme levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in one of the worst food insecurity emergencies in the world.

The health situation is generally very worrying. Epidemic outbreaks, and water-borne and endemic diseases are reported, particularly in internally displaced persons’ sites and congested settlements.

The deteriorating security situation has created a very insecure environment for aid workers. In 2022, 9 aid workers were killed, and nearly 420 incidents were reported. So far in 2023, 5 aid workers have already lost their lives in what seems to be a worrying trend.

Map South Sudan

How are we helping?

In 2023, the EU allocated €82 million for humanitarian actions covering the response to food insecurity, violence and floods across South Sudan.

This also includes:

  • €5 million supporting static and mobile interventions on education in emergencies, focusing on primary education for newly displaced and out-of-school children
  • €2 million for disaster preparedness.

Food insecurity and malnutrition are at a record high across the country. The EU contributes to reducing excess mortality and morbidity through emergency food assistance and nutrition interventions, including in hard-to-reach areas.

In addition, EU humanitarian funds support addressing critical humanitarian needs through emergency lifesaving activities, particularly when facing new shocks.

EU-funded humanitarian projects also provide protection assistance to displaced people and those affected by trauma and widespread violence, including children, women and girls. The protection of children and women is a priority for the EU given the extreme levels of violence and the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

The EU continues to strongly support principled humanitarian assistance and advocate for the protection of humanitarian workers and their safe and sustained access to all parts of the country.

In addition, in 2021, the European Commission provided €100 million for COVID-19 vaccination in countries in Africa with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems. South Sudan received €2.8 million from this funding.

Last updated: 28/03/2023

Facts & figures

9.4 million people need humanitarian assistance in 2023 (OCHA)

Around 7.8 million people require emergency food aid between April and July 2023 (IPC Jan / Jul 2023)
Over 2 million people are internally displaced (OCHA)
Around 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees are in neighbouring countries (UNHCR)

EU humanitarian funding:
€82 million in 2023
more than €876 million since 2014