South Sudan
Image depicting Saving South Sudan
civil war and extreme weather cause crisis levels of hunger

Record-high levels of hunger across South Sudan are caused by a deadly combination of man-made conflict and changing weather. 2018’s poor harvest and a longer-than-normal dry season have left 54% of the population in acute levels of food insecurity or worse. WFP is doing everything it can to save lives and build communities’ resilience so they can sustain themselves.

Fleeing Hunger: Decades of Fighting

September 2019

Three UN agencies warn that 54% of the population is facing crisis levels of food insecurity, including 10,000 people in the "catastrophic" level. The ongoing lean season started early due to record low stocks from the poor 2018 harvest and the delay of seasonal rains. The number of children suffering from acute malnutrition will hit 1.3 million – the highest number recorded since the country gained independence - a 51 percent increase from the projection at the beginning of the year.

Source: Press release Photo: WFP/George Fominyen

October 2018

Fears rise again of another famine in South Sudan, with more than 4 million people severely hungry.

Photo: WFP/George Fominyen

August 2018

South Sudan is declared the most dangerous country for aid workers.

Photo: WFP/Giulio d'Adamo

August 2017

The United Nations announces that 1 million South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Uganda.

Photo: WFP/James Akena

June 2017

Famine declaration is rolled back, thanks to a massive humanitarian response.

February 2017

Famine is declared in two areas of South Sudan, the first since the Horn of Africa crisis in 2011.

August 2015

A peace deal is signed, only to fall apart early the next year.

December 2013

Civil war breaks out in South Sudan, pitting the government against rebels.

Because of the severe situation in South Sudan, the World Food Programme is working to reach 5.1 million people with food assistance.

Square photograph of Nyagiech Detailed photograph of Nyagiech
Photo: WFP/Gabriela Vivacqua


After her home was ransacked, Nyagiech is now able to feed her children.

Detailed photograph of Diko
Photo: WFP


Diko works for WFP everyday to make sure the people of her homeland have what they need to survive.

Detailed photograph of Peter
Photo: WFP/George Fominyen


Seven-year-old Peter Mabor makes toy WFP planes out of mud. The planes deliver vital supplies to hard-to-reach communities.

Meeting the challenge

WFP uses smart, innovative solutions to feed South Sudanese families across the region. These innovations include airdrops, all-terrain vehicles, river barges, and SCOPE registration.

Photo: WFP/Sabine Starke

Airdrops are a critical last resort for families trapped in dangerous and inaccessible areas of South Sudan. These places are cut off from the world by conditions that makes roads impassable. Airdrops allow WFP to reach these areas with emergency food supplies.

Photo: WFP/Hugh Rutherford
All-terrain vehicles

All-terrain vehicles, known as SHERPs, deliver lifesaving food to communities in the hardest-to-reach places and most challenging of circumstances. They can cope with the toughest road conditions, overcome obstacles in their way, and even float across water.

River barges

The Nile river gives WFP access to hungry families that can’t be reached by road. That’s why the humanitarian agency uses river barges to deliver food to towns like Malakal, where hunger has reached emergency levels and people desperately need food assistance.


Blockchain technology enhances WFP’s ability to register and document people who receive food assistance. The SCOPE system helps workers in South Sudan track an individual’s nutrition and health status and identify when a person has recovered and treatment is successful.

But there is more to be done.
6.3 million people
don't know where their next meal is coming from, and
$447 million
is needed to fund relief efforts through February 2020.

Help us realize a future beyond emergency assistance where our help is no longer needed.

Let’s build people’s knowledge, skills and resilience. Let’s invest in economic opportunities and sustainable food systems so that all South Sudanese families can get the nutrition they need to reach their full potential.