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South Sudan: A humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions

20 Sep 2017


Some 7.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in South Sudan. The brutal conflict continues to have a horrific human cost. A record-high 6 million people are facing acute hunger in South Sudan, including 1.7 million people on the brink of famine. More than two million South Sudanese have fled the violence to neighbouring countries since 2013, while nearly another two million people are estimated to be internally displaced. Civilians continue to be killed, sexual violence remains a prevalent threat, and children are at risk of being forcibly recruited.

A high-level meeting held in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, with participation from UN Member States, regional organizations, UN partners and members of the civil society, aimed to draw international attention to the escalating humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

While recognizing that humanitarian needs will only continue to grow until the fighting stops, participants applauded the early warning and collective efforts by humanitarian partners to ease famine conditions in South Sudan earlier this year and to prevent famine from taking hold elsewhere.

Donor support to the South Sudan crisis has been pivotal to decrease the loss of lives. This has included the US$263 million contributed through the Central Emergency Response Fund and $580 million through the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund since December 2013. However, there was a recognition that donors should provide additional flexible and needs-based funding to the response, as the highly prioritized 2017 South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan and the South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan remain underfunded, and severe humanitarian needs will persist into 2018.