May 22, 2024

Humanitarian Action for Children 2022 – South Sudan

UNICEF/2021/South Sudan A student returning to school through the Back to Learning campaign: “I am very happy classes have resumed after school activities had frozen more than 14 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”


  • South Sudan is facing multiple humanitarian crises. More than 8.3 million people, including 4.5 million children require humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs. In 2022 UNICEF and partners are targeting over 4.1 million children (1,888,437 girls and 2,212,310 boys). Over 90 per cent and the most vulnerable affected by multiple shocks, including conflict, disease outbreaks, flooding and drought, with a focus on the most disadvantaged communities.
  • The rights of every child are central to UNICEF’s strategy. Integrated programmes are designed to enable children to survive and thrive in protected environments. Health and nutrition services will reach over 2.9 million children. Critical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services will reach over 1.4 million people. Access to education will be improved by strengthening the quality of community-based learning opportunities reaching over 1.7 million children. In addition, 80,000 children will be supported with child protection services.
  • In 2022, UNICEF requires US$183.6 million to provide a humanitarian response that meets critical basic needs.


241,500 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition

2.9 million children receiving vitamin A supplementation

1.4 million people reached with critical WASH supplies

917,942 children accessing educational services


313,391 Children in need of SAM treatment

5.2 million People in need of essential health care service

5.9 million people lack access to safe water

2.7 million children/caregivers in need of services

3.4 million children in need of education support


Ten years after independence, South Sudan remains one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with 8.3 million people including 4.5 million children in need of humanitarian assistance. The country remains vulnerable to cyclical and protracted risks, including food and nutrition insecurity, flooding, sub-national violence and disease outbreaks. The effects of climate change continue to have a major impact on lives, livelihoods and access to services. Seasonal floods have been intensifying since 2018, affecting an average of 700,000 people annually. While hostility at the national level has decreased, implementation of the revitalized peace agreement remains slow and fraught with tensions, often resulting in sub-national violence across many parts of the country. With the election further postponed to 2023, the impending pre-election period is likely to further trigger political infighting and violent conflict. Localized violence has continued to intensify and destabilize local communities. The situation is further aggravated by access constraints, poor road access, limited supply and storage infrastructure, and attacks on humanitarian facilities and convoys.

South Sudan is one of the most challenging countries in the world for a child. Compounded by the climate crisis and facing some of the most violent conflicts, poor access to health services and a limited number of health personnel has produced some of the worst health indicators in the world. Around 75 per cent of all child deaths are due to preventable diseases, such as diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia. An estimated 1.4 million children under 5 years of age are acutely malnourished, including 313,391 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The number of out-of-school children has risen significantly, from 2.2 million in 2016 to 2.8 million in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 and other residual risk factors. Furthermore, over 22 per cent of children enrolled in school drop out before completion. Water supply and sanitation (WASH) is severely constrained, only 36 per cent of households report having access to an improved water source in under 30 minutes without facing protection concerns and just 17 per cent have access to improved sanitation.1Grave violations of women and children’s rights continue unabated as women and girls experience entrenched inequality and pervasive violence throughout their lives, in communities and within their own homes. Children face risk of recruitment into armed forces, abduction and abuse. People with disabilities (PWDs) are particularly vulnerable to conflict and natural hazards and risk exclusion from already limited services.

Source: UNICEF