South Sudan crisis

As the world's newest nation marks five years of independence, a food crisis caused by internal conflict and a depleted harvest has left up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan facing hunger. Tens of thousands of people have already fled to neighbouring countries.


What we're doing

World Vision is working to reach children and their families affected by violence, displacement and hunger. There are more than 850,000 displaced children in South Sudan.

Our goal

World Vision will continue to deliver child-focused programs that address needs including food and nutrition, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, and shelter and protection. South Sudan is among the world's most challenging places to provide humanitarian assistance to children.

South Sudan - situation update

An outbreak of violence in July 2016 in South Sudan, including in the capital Juba, has led to the displacement of a further 60,000 people.

This current violence threatens a fragile ceasefire signed in August 2015 between government and opposition forces.

With an estimated 4.8 million people already suffering from severe food insecurity, an escalation of conflict is likely to result in more people in need and it will make it harder for aid agencies to reach them.

It’s been estimated that child malnutrition in South Sudan jumped by 40 percent in first six months of 2016.

World Vision has launched a rapid response to assist an estimated 36,000 people displaced by this latest violence.

“We are to deliver food and nutrition aid, water and sanitation services, and provide urgently needed shelter to individuals trying to stay dry during this rainy season,” said World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello.

“We will also be setting up child protection centres and activities to help children who we know will be emotionally distressed by what they have witnessed and experienced over the past few days.”


South Sudan Refugee Response: Yumbe District

South Sudan crisis explained

South Sudan became an independent country on 9 July 2011, after its population voted in a January referendum to separate from its northern neighbour, Sudan.

Violence broke out in December 2013 between the government and opposition forces and fighting has continued sporadically since then despite multiple peace agreements.

Reports suggest thousands have been killed and injured, but even more disturbing are suggestions that civilians, and particularly children, are being targeted. There have been killings, harassment and the destruction of property.

The conflict is taking a devastating toll on children, who are being killed, injured and witnessing brutal attacks on their families and communities. More than 2.5 million people have fled their homes to seek refuge from violence. More than half of them are children. If the conflict intensifies further, there will be even more displacement, increasing the risk of children becoming separated from family members and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. 


TOP: Teenage South Sudanese girls carry water back to their families living in the UN protection sites in South Sudan. Water is one of the key challenges for displaced people and refugees; MIDDLE LEFT: A displaced girl looks on as women and children leave a church compound where they sought shelter in Juba. Picture: World Vision; MIDDLE RIGHT: Displaced children outside a church compound where they sought refuge. Picture: World Vision; BOTTOM: Children queue for the breakfast porridge World Vision is handing out in Kakuma refugee camp. PIcture: World Vision/Joseph Mathenge

World Vision's response in South Sudan

Since 2015, World Vision has reached more than 1.3 million people in South Sudan with humanitarian assistance, including 630,000 children.

We are working in camps and settlements to prevent disease and sickness, providing displaced people with food rations and clean drinking water, and promoting good hygiene practices. Clean water and good sanitation are vital in preventing outbreaks of cholera and other diseases.

Our teams are also providing people affected by the violence with cooking equipment, plastic sheeting, sleeping mats, water containers and other essentials. In addition, World Vision is training staff to help reunite families who have been separated in the violence.

The scale of this humanitarian disaster is enormous and support for World Vision's response is urgently required.

How long has World Vision been in South Sudan? 

World Vision has been working in the area now known as South Sudan since 1989, implementing child-focused development programs. We’re very concerned about the escalating humanitarian crisis in the country and are working towards meeting the needs of the internally displaced who are in desperate need of food and nutrition support, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, shelter and protection. World Vision is also working to provide assistance to those who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, including Kenya and Uganda.

Other links:

Read a blog from World Vision Australia’s Erin Joyce, who has been deployed to South Sudan.

Read World Vision's report 'Sounding the Alarm', about the needs of children in South Sudan.


South Sudan appeal: Please help the children and families in urgent need.

There is a devastating crisis happening in South Sudan, leaving many children and families in dire need of help. World Vision is working hard to protect these children, to reunite separated children with their families and provide emergency food and water, to those that need it most. Please, help us make a difference by donating today. Find out more:

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Conflict leaves South Sudan's separated children alone and vulnerable

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