More than three million people have been forced to flee their homes since the conflict began in December 2013, including nearly 1.9 million people who have been internally displaced (with 50 per cent estimated to be children2) and more than 1.2 million who have fled as refugees to neighboring countries, bringing the total number of South Sudanese refugees in the region to more than 1.3 million.
In 2017, food security in South Sudan is likely to deteriorate to unprecedented levels, with thousands of people at risk of famine. At the height of the lean season in July 2016, some 4.8 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure. In the last quarter of 2016 and following the harvest, partners estimated that some 3.7 million people were food insecure representing an increase of one million people compared to the same period in 2015 and food security experts warned that the benefits of the harvest would be short-lived.
It is projected that some 5 million people will be in urgent need of food security and livelihoods support during the lean season in 2017. This includes some 302,800 refugees who will require food assistance in 2017.
After three years of conflict, the population is highly susceptible to disease, and more than 5 million people are in need of humanitarian healthcare services. Most health facilities are not functioning and those that are provide minimal services due to drug and staff shortages.
The nutrition crisis in South Sudan continue to escalate. More than one million children under age 5 and over 339,000 pregnant and lactating women are estimated to be acutely malnourished and in need of life-saving nutrition services. In 2016, 32 out of 44 of the SMART surveys conducted reported global acute malnutrition (GAM) levels above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent. Of these, 13 found a GAM prevalence by Weight-for Height of more than 25 per cent.
Nearly 4.8 million of the most vulnerable people across South Sudan are in need of support to access safe water and basic sanitation facilities. It is estimated that only 41 per cent of the population have access to safe water whereas about 74 per cent of the total population defecate in open.
Before December 2013 that has persisted to date, South Sudan had experienced decades of civil war until the 2005 peace agreement. The war has destroyed social and physical infrastructure, promoted gender inequality, absolute poverty, human rights abuse and high disease burden.
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