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South Sudan IPC Technical Release - Jul/Aug 2014

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • South Sudan
  • August 2014
South Sudan IPC Technical Release - Jul/Aug 2014

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface
  • Situation

  • Preface

    In May 2014, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan through the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Cooperatives and Rural Development (MAFCRD) endorsed the national IPC analysis. It projected that nearly 3.9 million people would face Emergency (Phase 4) and Crisis (Phase 3) acute food insecurity, particularly in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity state where households would be most affected. 

    Because of the severity of the food security crisis in South Sudan, the National IPC Technical Working Group convened in late July 2014 to review new information collected between May and July to update changes in food security outcomes. In addition, due to information gaps for southern counties of Unity State, a special rapid food security assessment was conducted by the IPC Technical Working Group, and the results have been incorporated in this updated analysis. The next comprehensive national IPC analysis will be released in mid-September 2014.

    Key Messages
    • Eight months since the outbreak of fighting, food security remains at Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in most areas of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states. In areas that have received little or no humanitarian assistance, some households continue to employ distress coping strategies like asset stripping, begging, and borrowing. Even with these distress strategies, poor host community and displaced households across Central Unity State, Central and North East Jonglei, and some South Eastern counties of Upper Nile, continue to face significant food consumption deficits. Increased time spent searching for food has compromised livelihood activities, particularly planting.

    • The updated July/August classification has concluded that food assistance and nutrition treatment programs have mitigated the Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in Rubkona, Leer, Panyijiar, and southern Mayendit. These counties are now classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Food assistance has also improved outcomes in major IDP concentrations (e.g. Minkaman and UN PoC areas). In Mayom, Abiemnon, Pariang, and Ayod, recent conflict has been less severe than anticipated and as a result market access has stabilized and food security has not deteriorated to Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
    • Market functioning and trade flows remain significantly disrupted in Greater Upper Nile due to conflict and limitations on transport due to the rainy season. As a result, many markets have no cereals available. In markets with cereal stocks, prices are two to three times more expensive than last year.
    • In most areas unaffected by conflict, food security is Stressed (IPC Phase 2) as is typical during the peak of the lean season. Inter-clan fighting has been less severe than anticipated, preventing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in some areas of Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and Western Bahr el Ghazal States.
    • Food assistance has reached many of the most affected areas of the country but deliveries remain inconsistent due to logistical constraints during the rainy season, limits on humanitarian access, and funding gaps. Livelihoods support, including seeds and fishing kits has also been less widespread than planned. It should be noted that Protection of Civilians (POCs) and other Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps are heavily dependent on food assistance from humanitarian organizations and this needs to be consistently sustained to prevent further deterioration. There is an urgent need to scale up the humanitarian interventions in areas currently facing Emergency (Phase 4) and Crisis (Phase 3) food insecurity.
    • Levels of acute malnutrition remain critical in most conflict-affected areas. Nutrition surveys conducted between April and July indicate a prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) above 30 percent in Panyijar, Leer and Akobo (East) counties. These surveys also revealed that the prevalence of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) was above 5 percent in Panyijar and Akobo (East), and above 10 percent in Leer. In addition, screenings of Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) showed the prevalence of SAM was above 5 percent in Koch county in Unity state and Fashoda county in Upper Nile state, and above 10 percent in Rubkona county in Unity State and Uror and Nyirol counties in Jonglei State. The implementation of treatment programs in some areas (e.g. Leer county in Unity state) is likely to have reduced the prevalence of acute malnutrition. 
    • The outlook for 2015 is of great concern. In the short term, the availability of green harvests in mid-August and main harvests in October 2014 will improve access to food. However, displacement, conflict, and seed shortages have negatively affected planting. As a result, significantly reduced harvests are expected across Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile states, and localized dry spells in Eastern Jonglei and the Greater Kapoeta are likely to further reduce the crop harvest. Trade flows and market activity are likely to remain significantly disrupted with low purchasing power. In addition, given current accelerated depletion of assets among some households, coping capacity will be much reduced next year. Renewed fighting in these areas could have a major negative impact on the tenuous food security situation. Market functioning, humanitarian access, and displacement are unlikely to improve if fighting persists, making efforts to resolve the current conflict of utmost importance.
    Figures Figure 1: Updated South Sudan IPC Map for July-August 2014

    Figure 1

    Figure 1.

    Source: IPC Technical Working Group

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography over the next six months. Learn more here.

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