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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.
All stories about South Sudan
South Sudan: What does flooding mean for displacement camps?
Heavy rainfall and flooding has inundated the U.N. compound in Bentiu, making conditions even more difficult. Our team is working to provide vital sanitation facilities and prevent the spread of disease.
South Sudan: What we must do to prevent tragedy: 5 urgent needs
Just 3 years since South Sudan gained independence, conflict has driven the young country to the brink of devastating famine. Five things can save lives right now.
South Sudan: New nation on the brink
Six months of conflict have left millions at risk of famine and disease in South Sudan. Our Director of Global Emergency Response explains our response to the young country's spiraling crisis.
South Sudan: "People are suffering everywhere": Millions now at risk of famine and disease
Our South Sudan Country Director describes worsening conditions and the massive tragedy unfolding in the young country.
Central African Republic, South Sudan: Remembering photojournalist Camille Lepage
Mercy Corps' Country Director in South Sudan reflects on the life of his friend and our colleague, who was killed in the Central African Republic this week.
South Sudan: 9 signs of humanitarian catastrophe we can't ignore
Brutal violence and increasing displacement have created massive needs. Our Country Director reports on why this crisis needs action now.
South Sudan: Critical need for clean water and sanitation as violence continues
More than 900,000 have been displaced by conflict in South Sudan. As humanitarian conditions worsen, we're working tirelessly to meet emergency needs of vulnerable families in Unity State.
South Sudan: Mercy Corps welcomes ceasefire, calls for increased access to those in need
With this agreement, we and our colleagues hope there will be a quick improvement in the security conditions that help us reach more people with food, water and supplies.
South Sudan: Emergency response expands outside Juba
Fighting continues to spread throughout South Sudan, where Mercy Corps is now working to deliver clean water and reach displaced families outside camps.
South Sudan: Responding to unraveling crisis as violence threatens thousands
Terrified families have sought refuge in Juba's U.N. compounds, where Mercy Corps is distributing critical supplies.