Nyajepe, a South Sudanese refugee, is happy to see the improvement in her child after they received support from Action Against Hunger.

South Sudan

With millions fleeing from conflict, many people in the world’s newest country are at risk of malnutrition.

Life in South Sudan is tough. Nearly four million people have been displaced due to conflict, and half the population faces food shortages.

There is only one doctor for every 65,000 people, and the people they treat are among the most vulnerable in the world.

There is a rising number of cases of coronavirus in the country, but with only a handful of ventilators for 11 million people – fear is mounting. With a crumbling health system, the country’s best hope is prevention.

In July 2011, South Sudan achieved independence from the Republic of Sudan to became the world’s newest country. It has vast oil reserves, and makes up one of the richest agricultural areas in Africa despite struggling with war and extreme poverty for more than two decades.

Although the world celebrated its independence with great hope, South Sudan remains underdeveloped. It has very little basic infrastructure for education, health systems, safe water, functioning markets, or paved roads. About 80 percent of the population live in rural areas and many rely on livestock and subsistence farming to survive.

Country facts

  • 11m

    South Sudan has a population of 11 million people.

  • 31.3%

    Almost a third of South Sudanese children under five suffer from malnutrition.

  • 186

    South Sudan ranks 186th out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index.

Doctors are like soldiersDr David Gai Zakayo treats a patient at Action Against Hunger health centre in South Sudan.

Doctors are like soldiers

Dr David Gai Zakayo is an Action Against Hunger roving medical doctor in South Sudan. Every day, he and his team see more than 150 children and pregnant women to help prevent deaths from malnutrition and other diseases, including coronavirus.

Read his story

Action Against Hunger’s work in South Sudan

Our staff deliver community-based programmes for the treatment and prevention of malnutrition. We also run water, sanitation and hygiene projects as well as food security and livelihoods programmes to help address the underlying causes of malnutrition.

The team in South Sudan’s main goals are to deliver sustainable reductions in the levels of undernutrition throughout the country and to respond to emergencies through the deployment of crises teams.

The programme office also joined three other countries to launch a new research project to assess the risk of children relapsing after recovering from severe acute malnutrition, the deadliest form of hunger.

In Aweil East State, we have built dykes to help prevent flooding and have constructed 45 miles of road to help communities access schools, health centres and markets. To help increase food production, we’ve provided agricultural and agronomic training to households at risk of hunger. To improve access to clean water, we’ve restored 68 waterpoints and constructed four new ones in the region. We’ve also built 22 latrines at nutrition centres and safe toilets in 4,079 homes.

Our reach

  • 510,000

    We reached more than 500,000 people through our programmes in South Sudan in 2019.

  • 303

    We have 303 staff based in Aweil East, Gogrial West and East and Fangak Counties.

  • 1985

    We've been working in South Sudan since 1985.

Save lives todayNyalat, a South Sudanese refugee, with her baby after receiving mental health support from Action Against Hunger.

Save lives today

Help more communities in South Sudan beat hunger.

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