Responding to the current crisis in South Sudan is one of the world’s most challenging humanitarian operations. The country has been unstable since its independence from Sudan in 2011, with conflict— primarily between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLA-IO)—driving insecurity. The conflict escalated in December 2013 and spiked again in July 2016. These increases led directly to displacement and a rapid deterioration in the food security, health, and nutritional status of the affected populations. In February 2017, theGovernment of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) declared a famine in two counties in Unity State, based on an analysis conducted by the Integrated Phase Classification Technical Working Group (IPCTWG).
The “2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview: South Sudan” estimates that almost 1.1 million children under five and 672,500 pregnant women suffer from acute malnutrition, with a July 2017 report showing eight out of nine states assessed with global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates above 15 percent, the emergency threshold (UNOCHA 2017)