South Sudan facing severe food crisis

Disaster response and preparednessHungerSouth Sudan

South Sudan is facing the prospect of another severe food crisis. As the country enters its lean season, where very little is harvested and food prices rocket, hundreds of thousands of people face starvation. Tearfund staff and partners are there bringing relief to those in most need.

Famine was last officially declared in South Sudan in February 2017, with conflict a major cause.

The latest reports say 6.96 million people (61 per cent of the population) are now in urgent need of help. This is the highest number of people in South Sudan ever to face this level of crisis. Among these people, an estimated 21,000 will be facing famine conditions by the end of July.

‘South Sudan is once again facing a very critical situation,’ says Martin Ruppenthal, Tearfund’s Country Director for South Sudan. ‘That’s why it’s so important that we’re working with our partner organisations to tackle malnutrition.

‘Without food and nutritional support for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, children, and people with disabilities, starvation becomes a deadly reality.’

An estimated 21,000 will be facing famine conditions by the end of July.

In numbers
• 597,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women are acutely malnourished and in need of treatment.

• 860,000 children (6-59 months) are acutely malnourished and in need of treatment, and 30 per cent of those are classed as severely malnourished (the most critical level of malnutrition).

Ongoing conflict within South Sudan has forced millions of people from their homes, and made daily living much harder for people. 

Our staff and partners are providing food and nutritional support for the most vulnerable; helping conflict-affected communities get access to safe water; and helping communities through peacebuilding and development work.


• Pray for the people of South Sudan, particularly in areas facing the worst shortages of food.
• Pray for the efforts of our staff, partners and other humanitarian groups to get food and essential supplies to those in most need.
• Pray for lasting peace to come to South Sudan.

Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.