Following the conflict that erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, nearly a million people have been internally displaced as of 15 May, according to UNHCR. More than 345,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Compared to February and October 2013, an increase in food insecurity has been noted in conflict affected areas. As of May, 3.5 million people are facing Crisis (2.4 m) or Emergency (1.1 m) conditions and are in need of urgent action to protect their livelihoods, save lives and prevent famine.
Most households in the Greater Upper Nile have exhausted their food stocks through sharing with
IDPs. Looting during the conflict and poor harvest in conflict affected zones is also impacting the population. Malnutrition among children has sharply risen in most states, except in Western Equatorial and Western Bahr el Ghazal. In Greater Upper Nile, screening shows GAM rates ranging from 11% to 24%. Among South Sudanese children in refugee settlements in Uganda, GAM and SAM prevalence rate of 19.6% and 4.1% respectively, have been recorded. Insecurity is impeding the delivery of relief supplies by road.
Cross-border trade with neighbouring countries, especially Uganda is critical to food security in the capital Juba. Following initial disruption, trade with Uganda has resumed and prices of some commodities have started to improve in Juba, Wau and Aweil compared to January/February. However, markets in conflict affected areas remain non-functional and prices are very high, with significant negative impact on food access.
The prevailing conflict, lack of adequate seeds and tools and seasonal flooding will hinder optimal agricultural activities thereby prolonging the period of food insecurity. The rains are of concern, since 40% of the IDPs are residing in flood prone areas. Rains might also impact the delivery of assistance by road.