South Sudan continues to be plagued by humanitarian emergencies. Although the security situation has been steadily improving, ethnic clashes, cattle raiding, natural disasters and tensions in the disputed border areas between South Sudan and Sudan, as well as attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), are key factors that shape the everyday lives of women and children in the country.
Annual Needs and Livelihoods Assessments show that a number of areas in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity, Eastern Equatoria, Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states have levels of acute malnutrition well above the WHO emergency thresholds.
Maternal mortality rates are the highest in the world and 16 mothers die every day due to pregnancy-related complications. Heavy rainfall and poor drainage have caused regular flooding in as many as four states in previous years, and thousands of people have been displaced.
LRA attacks and other conflicts continue to threaten an average of 290,000 civilians, including 145,000 children, every year. A large number of returnees from Sudan has led to another humanitarian challenge, especially as most are returning to areas with already limited basic social services.
UNICEF and humanitarian partners are supporting the Government of South Sudan to provide basic services to the returnee population.
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