Current issues and what the World Food Programme is doing
The World Food Programme’s (WFP) South Sudan response helps people affected by the conflict, by delivering life-saving food assistance and food-for-assets activities. More information can be found on the South Sudan emergency page.
South Sudan spreads over 644,000 km2 at the meeting point between the Horn of Africa and the centre of the continent. Independent since 2011, the world’s newest country is also one of its least developed. There are no precise population figures: the latest census, conducted in 2008, is not considered an accurate reflection of current demographics. In 2014, The World Bank estimated there were 11.91 million South Sudanese, four in ten of them aged 14 or younger.
South Sudan is overwhelmingly rural, with petroleum the only export industry. Nine in 10 households depend on crop farming, livestock, fishing or forestry. But productivity across these sectors is minimal; food insecurity is persistent, and exacerbated by conflict and economic crisis. The country remains one WFP's toughest working environments. Shrinking humanitarian access and a lack of funding are challenging efforts to meet escalating needs.
Current issues in South Sudan
Fighting erupted in December 2013 and spread rapidly from the capital city of Juba. A peace deal signed in August 2015 has yet to be implemented in full. The conflict has uprooted more than 2.3 million people; nearly 1.7 million have been displaced internally, with neighbouring countries hosting some 650,000 refugees.
Plunging oil prices and revenues have increased poverty and vulnerability, particularly in South Sudan’s towns. Pockets of low rainfall have reduced agricultural yields and caused crops to fail in places. This, coupled with a strained economic situation overall, has kept food prices high and further weakened food security.
It is estimated that 2.8 million people – nearly a quarter of the population – remain in urgent need of food assistance as the “lean season” approaches. This is 84 percent higher than at the same time last year.
What the World Food Programme is doing in South Sudan
In 2016, WFP aims to assist more than 3 million people in South Sudan. This includes lifesaving emergency assistance for 1.6 million people directly affected by conflict, and non-emergency food assistance for a further 1.6 million people through our recovery operation.
In conflict zones, WFP is using all means at its disposal – airdrops, river boats and distribution of food, cash or vouchers. Elsewhere in South Sudan, WFP is supporting vulnerable families with programmes to improve food security, including school meals and asset-creation initiatives. In relatively stable areas, with safe access and existing food stocks, the emphasis is on resilience-building activities: food for assets, cash for assets, Purchase for Progress, and food for education (school meals and girls’ take-home rations).
WFP’s aviation team manages three complementary air operations, serving the entire humanitarian community:
- the UNHAS common passenger service;
- cargo aircraft to move WFP food and nutrition supplies, with a daily carrying capacity of 300 to 400 metric tons; and
- more cargo aircraft to move humanitarian supplies for all agencies through the coordination mechanism known as the Logistics Cluster.
Simultaneously, WFP is working with the Government of South Sudan to construct feeder roads to link remote, agriculturally productive areas to main roads and markets. The Feeder Roads operation also links communities to basic services
World Food Programme partners in South Sudan
WFP cannot fight global hunger and poverty alone. These are our partners in South Sudan:
- Abyei Community Action for Development (ACAD)
- Action Against Hunger (ACF)
- Action Against Hunger (ACF-USA)
- Action for Development (AFOD)
- Action for Rural Development (ARD)
- Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
- Africa Humanitarian action (AHA)
- Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED)
- Akot Christian Ministries
- Ark of Humanity
- Arkangelo Ali Association (AAA)
- Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS (APLWHA)
- Association of Volunteers in International Service (AVSI)
- Aweil Project for Agriculture Development (APAD)
- Care International
- Caritas Archdiocese of Juba
- Carter Center
- Catholic Church Diocese of Wau
- Catholic Diocese of Rumbek
- Catholic Diocese of Tombura and Yambio
- Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
- Christian Agenda for Development (CAD)
- Community Agriculture Skills Initiative (CASI)
- Community Support Services (CDSS)
- Concern World Wide (CWW)
- Diar for Rehabilitation & Development Association (DRDA)
- Doctors with Africa (CUAMM)
- Don Bosco
- Dorcas Aid International
- Episcopal Church of Sudan
- Farmers Union
- Farmers Life Development Agency (FLDA)
- Food for the Hungry (FH)
- German Agro-Action (GAA)
- GOAL South Sudan
- Hold the Child
- Hope Agency for Relief and Development (HARD)
- International Medical Corps (IMC)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC)
- Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)
- Johanniter International Assistance
- MADA Women Development South Sudan
- Malaria Consortium
- Medair South Sudan Programme
- Médecins sans Frontières (MSF)
- Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) Holland
- Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) Spain
- Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) Switzerland
- Ministry of General Education and Instruction, South Sudan
- Mother and Children Development Aid (MaCDA)
- Nile Hope Development Forum (NHDF)
- Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)
- Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
- Orphanage Straight Link (OSL)
- Oxfam Great Britain
- Plan International
- Save the Children International
- Smile Again Africa Development Organization (SAADO)
- South Sudan National Bureau of Standards
- South Sudan Medical Relief
- State Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
- State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
- State Ministry of General Education and Instruction
- State Ministry of Health
- United Nations Population Fund
- Unity Cultural and Development Centre
- Universal Intervention and Development Organization (UNIDO)
- Universal Network for Knowledge and Empowerment Agency (UNKEA)
- Women for Women International
- World Relief
- World Vision South Sudan
- Wungap Agriculture Development Association
Featured South Sudan publications
A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.
A Situation Report is a concise operational document with latest updates on the World Food Programme's (WFP) response to an emergency. It gives an overview of WFP’s activities and informs the wider humanitarian community and other interested stakeholders about WFP’s response.
Looking for more publications on South Sudan? Visit the South Sudan publications archive.