Our work in the region that now comprises South Sudan began in 1995. In December 2013, political and ethnic tensions erupted into violent conflict in the capital of Juba, quickly spreading throughout the states and plunging the young country into a massive humanitarian crisis. More than 2 million people are internally displaced and 1.8 million have fled to neighboring countries.
The world’s first famine in six years was declared in South Sudan in early 2017. While outright famine conditions have been reduced, more than 50 percent of the population is now being recognized as food insecure, the greatest number ever recorded in South Sudan.
An estimated 6 million people are at risk and 1.7 million people require immediate assistance. More than 1.1 million children are reported to be facing acute malnourishment, with nearly 276,000 severely malnourished and at imminent risk of death. Violent conflict has forced millions of people to flee their homes — and their crops and livestock.
These food resources, along with water access, have also been negatively impacted by violence, disease and unfavorable weather. There have been more than 13,000 reported cases of cholera this year. The price of staple foods are also up to 150% above average, making them unaffordable for many. Get the quick facts about famine ▸
Ongoing warfare continues to deepen the current humanitarian crisis. Immediate needs for clean water, health care, sanitation, food, shelter and protection are dire, and millions of people now require urgent support to survive and get their lives back on track.
- Emergency response: Providing vital assistance, including food, water, shelter supplies, hygiene and sanitation to thousands displaced by the current conflict.
- Children & Youth: Building classrooms, distributing school supplies, and providing emergency education and emotional support for children and adolescents affected by violence.
- Agriculture & Food: Helping families re-establish farms and livelihoods in areas where there is some security and safety and providing cash so people can buy the food and supplies they require.
- Economic opportunity: Increasing families' self-reliance by supporting local markets and businesses.
South Sudan: In the midst of conflict, one woman grows a new life
Nyatet lost much of her family, and all of her assets, when she fled her home in South Sudan because of conflict. Now she's rebuilding her and her family's life through gardening.
Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen: Hunger solutions: There's more in the mix than food
Three potential famines are looming in South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen. Hear what is driving an increase in hunger around the world and what Mercy Corps is doing to address these challenges.
South Sudan, Uganda: For a South Sudanese refugee, a place to put down roots
Conflict forced Grace and her family to leave everything behind. While she waits for an end to conflict so she can return to South Sudan, she's learning to grow produce that will help her support herself and her four children.
South Sudan, Uganda: In Uganda, two women form a friendship without borders
At Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in Uganda, see what happens when a South Sudanese refugee and a Ugandan woman unite to build better lives, together.
Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen: From the field: An update on the threat of famine in Africa and Yemen
People in four countries—South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria—have been threatened by famine this year. Our team members from each location provide an update on the local crisis.
South Sudan: In South Sudan, famine threat still looms
While South Sudan is no longer technically experiencing famine, the reality on the ground remains dire. An estimated 6 million people — more than half the population — are at risk, and 1.7 million people require immediate assistance.
South Sudan: For families in famine, a better life starts with water
With disease running rampant and food scarce, Mercy Corps is on the ground in the Koch region of South Sudan setting up water access to help fight famine.
South Sudan: 'This is the last chance we have': A report from the front lines of famine
A Q&A with Deepmala Mahla, Mercy Corps' country director for South Sudan, on the realities of famine in one of the world's poorest countries.
Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen: Famine and food insecurity: What's at stake
Our Q&A with Food Security Advisor Kate McMahon discusses what famine means, how it's impacting areas of Africa and the Middle East, and why it's critical that we meet urgent needs to prevent even greater suffering.
South Sudan: South Sudan violence leaves many homeless, without food or water
While the South Sudan cease-fire holds for now, many were left homeless and without food after violence earlier in July. Mercy Corps is responding.