It is estimated that some 9.4 million people, approximately 2/3 of South Sudan’s population, will require urgent humanitarian assistance in 2023.
Some 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.
More than 4 million people, or over 1/3 of the population, are displaced, including 2 million internally displaced and nearly 2.3 million who are refugees in neighboring countries. In addition, South Sudan is hosting more than 300,000 refugees.
The EU is a long-standing donor of humanitarian aid and remains committed to provide life-saving and needs-based humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable.
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 the most dangerous country in the world for humanitarian staff, according to the United Nations.
South Sudan is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since independence due to continued conflict, climate change and macro-economic shocks
More than 4 million people, or over 1/3 of the population, are displaced. This includes 2 million internally displaced and nearly 2.3 million who are living as refugees in the neighboring countries.
South Sudan is hosting more than 300,000 refugees. As of end of October, more than 350,000 people have been registered crossing the border from Sudan into South Sudan. Of them, 87% are South Sudanese returnees.
Around 9.4 million people (including almost 5 million children) require humanitarian assistance in 2023.
South Sudan is facing its highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition since its independence 10 years ago.
Some 8 million people (70%, the highest rate worldwide) were estimated to be severely food insecure at the peak of the lean season between April and July 2023. Μore than 1.4 million children were estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition during the same period.
The health situation is generally very worrying with 6.1 million people having limited access to essential healthcare services. Epidemic outbreaks, and water-borne and endemic diseases are reported, particularly in internally displaced persons’ sites and congested settlements.
Beyond the huge logistic challenges, South Sudan continues to be among the most dangerous countries for humanitarian workers. In 2023, 24 aid workers have already lost their lives in what seems to be a worrying downwards spiraling trend.
How are we helping?
In 2023, the EU allocated over €88.6 million for humanitarian actions covering the response to food insecurity, violence and displacement 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
- €1 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 also supports the humanitarian response in border areas. In addition, we provide assistance for the onward transportation of South Sudanese returnees and refugees fleeing the conflict in Sudan.
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.
Last updated: 31/10/2023
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:
€88.6 million in 2023
more than €882 million since 2014