Humanitarian Costs of South Sudan Conflict Continue to Escalate

Now in its fifth year, South Sudan’s current conflict has displaced 4.5 million people—the same number of southern Sudanese displaced during the entire three-decade Sudan civil war.

October 2013 vs Feb-May 2018
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South Sudan has now been at war for five of its seven years of existence, and there is no end in sight. This internal conflict, which has been raging since 2013, has already driven 4.5 million people from their homes—the same number of southern Sudanese displaced during the entire three-decade Sudan civil war. The humanitarian crisis is entirely manmade, with displacement escalating in tandem with increases in violence.

  • Seven million people—nearly 60 percent of the population—require humanitarian assistance. The 4.5 million people displaced by the conflict is up from 4 million in October.
  • A cessation of hostilities agreement signed on December 21, 2017, has not interrupted violent clashes between government and opposition forces in Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and Unity states. Unity state has also seen an increase in cattle raids due to the resurgence of some armed groups. Meanwhile, inter-communal tensions remain high in Jonglei, Lakes, and Warrap states.
  • This crisis reflects a steady deterioration since 2013 when the conflict began.
    • In previous years, only a scattering of counties faced famine and only for certain months of the year.
    • Today, all regions of South Sudan are currently experiencing either crisis or emergency levels of hunger.
    • Two-thirds of the counties have suffered famine and acute levels of food insecurity are persisting throughout the year.
  • During 2017, 28 aid workers were killed, and there were 1,159 incidents that impeded humanitarian access.
  • The humanitarian situation in 2018 is expected to be worse than 2017 as conflict persists, farming is disrupted, humanitarian access is restricted, the economy is further destabilized, and household coping capacity dwindles.

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