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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/UN061924/Hatcher-Moore
A vaccinator marks the fingernail of Rula Michael to indicate that she has been vaccinated against polio. Vaccinators are going door-to-door during the UNICEF-supported polio National Immunization Days campaign.

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.

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

The moment South Sudanese children are reunited with family

Bringing the magic of school to South Sudan

>> See more videos from UNICEF South Sudan


Meet: Children and families affected by the crisis


going to school in a PoC site

recovering from malnutrition

fighting to save her daughter

>> Read more stories and perspectives from South Sudan


Read: The latest press releases and statements

UNICEF and partners assist more than 145,000 people in famine-hit areas of South Sudan

Life-saving support urgently needed in Greater Unity region

Famine hits parts of South Sudan

>> 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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