South Sudan, Republic of

Reaching children in South Sudan

The situation of children in the world's youngest country

UNICEF Image: Children lie on the floor, covering themselves with sheets
© UNICEF/UN0120049/Makundi
Sebit Mabiel, 13, holds UNICEF educational supplies provided to him and other children at Kaikuiny primary school during a Rapid Response Mechanism mission in Jonglei State, South Sudan.

The scale of the crisis in the world’s youngest country is staggering.

Renewed conflict since July 2016 has deepened a humanitarian crisis that, since the violence erupted in December 2013, has displaced over 3 million people, including 1.1 million who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Almost 70 per cent of the refugees are children.

Meanwhile, a deteriorating economic situation, with skyrocketing inflation, has triggered a food security crisis. An estimated 31 per cent of the population is experiencing severe food insecurity as of December 2016, and children are among the most vulnerable. The situation is expected to deteriorate further, with 276,343 children likely to be affected by severe acute malnutrition in 2017.

Over half the country's children are out of school – the highest proportion of out-of-school children in the world. Children remain at risk of recruitment by armed forces and groups and, with traditional social structures damaged, they are also increasingly vulnerable to violence, sexual abuse and exploitation.

>> Read the report: Childhood under Attack: The staggering impact of South Sudan’s crisis on children

UNICEF's response with partners in 2016:

  • 203,335 children aged six to 59 months with severe acute malnutrition admitted for treatment
  • 609,855 children aged six months to 15 years in conflict-affected areas vaccinated against measles
  • 742,221 people provided with access to safe water as per agreed standards (7.5–15 litres per person per day)
  • 693,067 children and adolescents reached with critical child protection services
  • 313,832 children and adolescents aged three to 18 years provided with access to education in emergencies

>> Read more about South Sudan’s humanitarian needs and UNICEF's work




Watch: Videos from UNICEF South Sudan

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader

Families reunited


>> See more videos from UNICEF South Sudan




Meet: Children and families affected by the crisis



education is the way forward


a new future


"I felt so alone."


>> Read more stories and perspectives from South Sudan




Read: The latest press releases and statements

"Childhood under attack” as country enters fifth year of fighting

Harvest season provides meagre respite to hunger crisis

5,000 children reunited with family by Save the Children, UNICEF and partners


>> See the latest from the UNICEF press centre

For more about UNICEF's work, choose any of the following:

UNICEF South Sudan website
UNICEF South Sudan Twitter
UNICEF South Sudan Facebook
UNICEF Connect blog



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