Over 20 million people in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and Nigeria are on the brink of famine. Your help is urgently needed to respond to these crises and others around the world.Donate now
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. About 7,000 people in South Sudan have died from 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: Feeding families from the ground up
Thousands displaced by conflict are trying to start new lives in the Abyei area. But access to food is limited in the contested border region.
South Sudan: A classroom for Asholl
Asholl loves school so much that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. The second grader would stay in class all day if she could: "I like learning to read and write. I am bored when I have to stay home and it is raining. There is nothing to do."
South Sudan: Helping Kids Heal: A school for Marsa
Marsa and her family have resettled in South Sudan after years as refugees, but the basics of learning are still missing.
South Sudan: Fighting for an education
Ten-year-old Zenaib is excited to begin attending class in one of the temporary learning spaces that Mercy Corps is currently constructing.
South Sudan: Creating safe spaces for learning
After decades of war, residents of Unity state dreamed of brighter futures last July when they became citizens of the new nation of South Sudan.
South Sudan: A new nation's first birthday
Currently working with the Mercy Corps team in South Sudan, I had the honor of being present yesterday as residents celebrated the first year anniversary of their nation's independence.
South Sudan: Building on hope one year after independence
South Sudan Country Director Mathieu Rouquette met these two little girls in the market in Bentiu, Unity State, when they peeked their heads into a camera shop that recently received a Mercy Corps business grant.
South Sudan: From the field: Local market perseveres after attacks
Mercy Corps staff visit the local market in Bentiu that was damaged in recent aerial attacks, part of the ongoing conflict with Sudan to the north.
South Sudan: Back to work after bombings
Much of our work is about giving people the resources they need to build healthy, safe and productive lives for the longterm. To do so in areas where conflict threatens not just livelihoods, but lives, can be especially challenging.
South Sudan: Fighting prompts staff to evacuate border town
All but two Mercy Corps staff members have been evacuated from Bentiu, the beleaguered border town that has been in the news recently as the target of Sudanese air strikes.