Map of South Sudan
UNICEF photo: Eight year old refugee from Sudan's Blue Nile state Layla Saleh plays with a toy train © UNICEF/South Sudan/2012/Brian Sokol Eight year old refugee from Sudan's Blue Nile state Layla Saleh plays with a toy train at a Child Friendly Space operated by UNICEF partner organization Intersos in Gendrassa refugee camp, Maban County, South Sudan.

South Sudan

UNICEF is appealing for US$151.8 million to meet the growing humanitarian needs of children in South Sudan

In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children aged 6 to 59 months receive severe acute malnutrition (SAM) treatment


people provided with access to water as per agreed standards


households reached with messages on cholera prevention and control practices

2014 Requirements: US$151,785,070

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Total affected population: 7 million
Total affected children: 3.75 million

Total people to be reached in 2014: 2.6 million
Total children to be reached in 2014: 1.9 million

Humanitarian update

Since December 2013, the escalation of armed conflict in South Sudan has led to thousands of deaths and to the displacement of 1.5 million people, including 1.1 million displaced within South Sudan and 400,000 who have sought refuge in neighboring countries.1 Violence broke out in Juba on 15 December 2013 and quickly spread to other locations, including Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile, Lakes and Central Equatoria states. Some 3.9 million people are experiencing crisis levels of food insecurity, with an estimated 235,000 children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and up to 50,000 children at risk of death if they do not receive appropriate treatment. The ongoing humanitarian crisis has been further complicated by an outbreak of cholera, with the number of cases reaching 2,431, by 29 June 2014, including 59 deaths. The impact of the rainy season may further exacerbate the humanitarian situation through a likely increase in secondary displacement both inside and outside the country. The effects of the conflict on South Sudanese children have been devastating. Over the past six months, girls and boys have been killed, maimed, raped, recruited into armed forces and orphaned, and hundreds of thousands have been made homeless. In February 2014, the scale and complexity of the crisis led the UN to declare a Level 3 Corporate Emergency.

The crisis has compounded an already precarious situation in South Sudan which faces high levels of under 5 mortality,2 and the highest rate of maternal mortality in the world.3 Only 7.4 per cent of the population has access to sanitation facilities,4 and education remains a challenge with a net enrolment rate of 42.1 per cent for boys and 36.3 per cent for girls.5 Child protection concerns include the wide prevalence of child marriage, gender-based violence and children associated with armed forces.

Humanitarian strategy

2014 Revised Programme Targets


  • 176,283 children aged 6 to 59 months receive SAM treatment
  • 1,980,069 children 6-59 months receive Vitamin-A supplementation
  • 218,758 pregnant and lactating women receive micronutrient supplementation


  • 1,260,000 children aged 6m to 15 years vaccinated against measles
  • 116,667 households receive 2 ITNs
  • 6,300 pregnant women attend ANC counselled and tested


  • 875,000 target population provided with access to water as per agreed standards
  • 500,000 target population provided with access to appropriate sanitation facilities as per SPHERE standards

Child protection

  • 122,500 vulnerable boys, girls and adolescents provided with child protection services
  • 30,000 women, men, girls and boys receive GBV prevention and response services


  • 78,939 school-aged children have access to education in emergencies, including supplies
  • 1,020 teachers trained to provide education in emergencies
  • 1,545 classrooms established/rehabilitated

Cholera response

  • 300,000 households reached with messages  on cholera prevention and control practices
  • 300 schools reached with cholera awareness campaigns
  • 55 Oral Rehydration Points operational

As part of the inter-agency Crisis Response Plan (CRP), UNICEF is targeting 2.6 million people with immediate life-saving and life-sustaining assistance and protection. In order to expand the reach of assistance, UNICEF in partnership with WFP, FAO and other actors, is implementing the multi-sectoral Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM), to reach the large numbers of displaced populations in remote locations. UNICEF is scaling up efforts to prevent and respond to severe acute malnutrition including through micronutrient supplementation and the promotion of appropriate feeding practices, and will continue to address the risk of water borne diseases through the provision of potable water, emergency latrines, sanitation supplies and hygiene promotion. UNICEF plays a pivotal role in protecting vulnerable groups from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and polio by procuring and transporting all vaccines, materials, and cold chain equipment, and will continue to provide critical life-saving integrated maternal, new-born and child health (MNCH) interventions for treatment of common childhood illness (diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria) and basic emergency obstetric and new-born care. UNICEF is addressing the needs of separated and unaccompanied children through family tracing, reunification and alternative care, and will scale up psychosocial support activities in communities and in child friendly spaces.  UNICEF will continue to monitor and advocate for the release of children associated with armed groups, and provide them with reintegration support, and expand work with community-based child protection networks, and awareness raising about landmines, prevention of gender-based violence and child recruitment. Education programmes will be scaled up through the provision of temporary protective learning spaces and peace-building programmes for children and youth will be expanded to ensure that another generation is not lost to conflict.

UNICEF and its partners are scaling up their response to the cholera outbreak through concerted efforts to improve water, sanitation and hygiene,  follow up of suspected cases and treatment at Cholera Treatment Centres (CTCs), provision of  diarrheal disease kits and essential drugs, and strengthening case management and infection control. A national behaviour change communication campaign targeting high risk practices among health staff, patients, family members, teachers and community members has been launched. UNICEF leads the WASH, Nutrition and Education clusters as well as the Child protection sub-cluster. Within the Health cluster, UNICEF provides leadership on vaccination, communication and social mobilization. UNICEF also supports the core supply pipelines for the Education, WASH and Nutrition clusters, providing essential humanitarian supplies to all partners.

Results 2014 (January to June)

During the first half of 2014, UNICEF together with other partners continued to expand activities in remote locations as part of the inter-agency rapid response mechanism (RRM), deploying multi-sector response teams (WASH, Health, Nutrition, Education, and Child Protection) to fifteen locations, reaching more than 67,000 children. To date, over 328,000 children have been vaccinated against measles, and 589,000 children have been screened for malnutrition, out of which 40,600 children under 5 were identified as having severe acute malnutrition and admitted for therapeutic care. Over 47,000 children have been reached with critical child protection services and 24,177 school-aged children have access to education in emergencies including school supplies. Access to water has been provided to 390,600 people and messages on cholera prevention and control have reached 88,000 persons in cholera outbreak areas. Operational challenges include on-going insecurity and limited logistics capacity which curtails humanitarian partners’ access to areas of greatest need. With 60 per cent of the country cut off from road travel during the rainy season, costly air transport is essential to maintaining humanitarian operations.


Funding requirements

UNICEF’s revised 2014 funding requirements have increased to US$151.8 million since the beginning of the year due to the deteriorating situation in South Sudan and the cholera outbreak. The figures in the table below reflect the combined needs of the South Sudan inter-agency Crisis Response Plan (CRP) (January-December 2014) and the UNICEF cholera response plan. As of 30 June, 2014, the revised appeal is only 30% funded. Additional funding is essential to enable UNICEF to continue with critical humanitarian programmes in order to meet the rapidly growing needs of crisis-affected women and children.

1 UNOCHA, South Sudan Crisis, Humanitarian Snapshot dated 07 July 2014.
2 Under 5 mortality - 121 per 1,000 live births: The United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the United Nations, Levels and Trends in Child Mortality Report 2012, estimates developed by the UN inter-agency group for child mortality estimation, UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and the UN, Geneva, New York and Washington, D.C., 2012, p. 20.
3 Rates of maternal mortality 2,054 per 100,000 live births: The United Nations Development Programme, Annual Report 2011/2012: The sustainable future we want, UNDP, p. 25.
4 Ministry of Health and National Bureau of Statistics, ‘South Sudan Household Health Survey’, 2010, pp. 33-35.
Ministry of General Education and Instruction, ‘Education Statistics’, 2012, pp. 43.