As conflict continues to escalate, malnutrition rates among children in South Sudan have increased dramatically due to lack of safe water and access to basic health care More than 400,000 children are out of school.
Here journalists can access the latest news and resources on the situation for children in South Sudan and UNICEF’s response.
Contact our media teams in South Sudan, Nairobi, Geneva and New York to speak to UNICEF experts.
Aid workers released unharmed in South Sudan
NEW YORK/JUBA, South Sudan, 30 April 2018 – Ten aid workers who had been detained by an armed group since Wednesday, 25 April, outside of South Sudan’s Yei town were released today. The group returned safely to Juba. They have undergone medical checks and are said to be in good health.
Hundreds of children released from armed groups in South Sudan - UNICEF
YAMBIO, South Sudan, 18 April 2018 – More than 200 children were released by armed groups in South Sudan on Tuesday. This was the second release of children in a series, supported by UNICEF, that will see almost 1,000 children released from the ranks of armed groups in the coming months.
Nearly two-thirds of the population in South Sudan at risk of rising hunger
JUBA, 26 February 2018 – More than 7 million people in South Sudan – almost two-thirds of the population – could become severely food insecure in the coming months without sustained humanitarian assistance and access, three United Nations agencies warned today.
Hundreds of children released by armed groups in South Sudan
YAMBIO, South Sudan, 7 February 2018– More than 300 children, 87 of them girls, were released by armed groups in South Sudan today, beginning a process that is expected to see at least 700 children freed in the coming weeks.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore following two-day visit to conflict-ravaged South Sudan
JUBA/NAIROBI/NEW YORK, 19 January 2018 – “I have just spent two days in South Sudan where I saw firsthand how four years of conflict have left children sick, hungry and on the brink of death.
In South Sudan, “childhood under attack” as country enters fifth year of fighting
JUBA/NAIROBI, 15 December 2017 - South Sudan is in the throes of a tragedy for children that affects more than half the child population - victims of malnutrition, disease, forced recruitment, violence and the loss of schooling - UNICEF said in a report released today.
Harvest season provides meagre respite to South Sudan’s hunger crisis
ROME/JUBA, 6 November 2017 – The current harvest season in South Sudan will not end the hunger crisis as conflict persists in most of the country and hyperinflation puts food out of reach for many, according to the updated Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) released today by the Government of South Sudan, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Children’s Fund, the World Food Programme, and other humanitarian partners.
South Sudan Conflict: 5,000 children reunited with family by Save the Children, UNICEF and partners
JUBA, 18 October 2017 – Since conflict broke out in South Sudan in 2013, Save the Children, UNICEF and partners have successfully reunited more than 5,000 children with their families.
More than 180 million people lack basic drinking water in countries ravaged by conflict or unrest - UNICEF
NEW YORK/STOCKHOLM, 29 August 2017 – More than 180 million people do not have access to basic drinking water in countries affected by conflict, violence and instability* around the world, UNICEF warned today, as World Water Week gets under way.
Children paying a disproportionate price as famine looms across Somalia, South Sudan, north-east Nigeria and Yemen
WASHINGTON D.C., 18 July 2017 – This is a summary of a prepared statement by Justin Forsyth, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director – to whom quoted text may be attributed – today to the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutional Economic, Energy and Environmental Policy.
Six years after independence: South Sudan’s children wait for peace and prosperity
JUBA, 8 July 2017 – Ahead of the sixth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, the hopes and dreams for the children of this fledgling nation have not materialised, UNICEF said today. Calling the situation in South Sudan a catastrophe for children, the UN Children’s Fund said children continue to bear the brunt of conflict and collapsing essential services.
Crisis ‘far from over’ as malnutrition, thirst and disease threaten lives of millions of children in north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen
NEW YORK/DAKAR/NAIROBI/AMMAN, 23 June 2017 – The welcome announcement of an end to famine conditions in South Sudan this week should not distract from the fact that severe food insecurity continues to put the lives of millions of children at risk in north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF warned today.
South Sudan famine ebbs, but situation still desperate as hunger spreads
ROME/JUBA, South Sudan, 21 June 2017 - Famine has eased in South Sudan after a significant scale up in the humanitarian response, according to new analysis released today. However, the situation remains dire across the country as the number of people struggling to find enough food each day has grown to six million – up from 4.9 million in February – and is the highest level of food insecurity ever experienced in South Sudan.
South Sudan refugee crisis: Over 1,000 children fleeing violence and instability every day
KAMPALA/NAIROBI/NEW YORK, 20 June 2017 – As more than 1,000 children continue to flee South Sudan, on average every day in search of safety, the region’s refugee crisis has become a children’s crisis, UNICEF said today, on World Refugee Day.
More than one million children have fled escalating violence in South Sudan
JUBA/GENEVA/NAIROBI/NEW YORK, 8 May 2017 – More than one million children have now fled South Sudan where escalating conflict is ravaging the country, UNICEF and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced today.
27 million people lack safe water in countries facing or at risk of famine
NEW YORK/DAKAR/NAIROBI/AMMAN, 29 March 2017 – Water shortages, inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene practices and disease outbreaks are posing an additional threat to severely malnourished children in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF said today.
UNICEF and partners assist more than 145,000 people in famine-hit areas of South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 28 March 2017 – More than one month since famine was declared in parts of South Sudan, UNICEF - together with the World Food Programme and other partners - has delivered life-saving assistance to 145,000 thousand people, including 33,000 children under the age of five.
Time is running out for children as famine, drought and war threaten millions
NEW YORK/DAKAR/NAIROBI/AMMAN, 28 March 2017 – More than a month after famine was declared in South Sudan, time is running out for more than a million children as drought and armed conflict devastate lives in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF said today.
Life-saving support urgently needed in Greater Unity region
ROME, 21 February 2017 - The latest food security analysis in South Sudan has led to a declaration of famine in Leer and Mayendit counties in Greater Unity region. Two other counties are at risk of famine. The lives of some 100,000 people are threatened.
Nearly 1.4 million children at imminent risk of death as famine looms in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen – UNICEF
NEW YORK/DAKAR/NAIROBI/AMMAN, 21 February 2017 – Almost 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death from severe acute malnutrition this year, as famine looms in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF said today.
Famine hits parts of South Sudan
20 February 2017, Juba – War and a collapsing economy have left some 100,000 people facing starvation in parts of South Sudan where famine was declared today, three UN agencies warned. A further 1 million people are classified as being on the brink of famine.
UNICEF seeks $3.3 billion in emergency assistance for 48 million children caught up in conflict and other crises
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 31 January 2017 – 48 million children living through some of the world’s worst conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies will benefit from UNICEF’s 2017 appeal, which was launched today.
Rise in child recruitment as conflict in South Sudan enters fourth year
JUBA, 15 December 2016 – Three years after fighting first erupted in South Sudan, children continue to be recruited by armed forces and armed groups, with 1,300 children recruited in 2016, UNICEF said today. This brings to more than 17,000 the total number of children used in the conflict since 2013.
UNICEF Ambassador Tom Hiddleston returns to South Sudan as the brutal conflict enters its fourth year
JUBA/LONDON, 30 NOVEMBER 2016 – UNICEF Ambassador Tom Hiddleston travelled to South Sudan last week to see how the brutal civil war continues to destroy the lives of vast numbers of children across the country.
145 children released armed groups in South Sudan – UNICEF
PIBOR, South Sudan, 26 October 2016 – A total of 145 children were today released by armed groups in South Sudan, UNICEF has announced. This is the largest number of children freed since 2015, when 1,775 children were released in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
Hundreds of children recruited by armed groups in South Sudan, as violations against women and children increase - UNICEF
JUBA/NAIROBI/NEW YORK, 19 August 2016 –More than 650 children have been recruited into armed groups in South Sudan since the beginning of this year, UNICEF said today.
Sharp rise in suspected cholera cases in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 20 July 2016 – Amid a rise in the number of suspected cases of cholera in South Sudan, UNICEF is rapidly increasing its response activities.
UNICEF providing urgent aid for families displaced by South Sudan fighting
JUBA, South Sudan, 13 July 2016 – UNICEF and partners are providing urgent life-saving assistance to thousands of people displaced by last weekend’s heavy fighting in Juba.
UNICEF statement on violence in South Sudan
NAIROBI, 9 July 2016 – UNICEF is deeply alarmed by the renewed violence in South Sudan and calls on all parties to respect humanitarian principles and provide unrestricted access to civilians in need.
In South Sudan, children uprooted by recent violence receive measles vaccination
WAU, South Sudan, 2 July 2016 – UNICEF is launching today an urgent measles immunization campaign to protect 13,000 children displaced by fighting in the city of Wau, South Sudan.
Unprecedented level of food insecurity in South Sudan, UN agencies warn
JUBA, 29 June 2016 – Up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan – well over one-third of the population – will be facing severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country, three UN agencies warned today.
Four schools or hospitals attacked or occupied every day – UNICEF
NEW YORK, 19 May 2016 – An average of four schools or hospitals are attacked or occupied by armed forces and groups every day – according to UNICEF analysis released ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit.
Race for survival as South Sudan’s children struggle in forgotten crisis
JUBA, South Sudan, 11 March 2016 - Humanitarian funding for the world’s youngest country has collapsed, UNICEF said today, putting the lives of tens of thousands of children at risk.
Children left injured and homeless after violence in Malakal, South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 22 February 2016 - UNICEF is responding to the needs of children in the aftermath of the violence that occurred inside the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal this week. At least 18 people were killed, with children injured, distressed and separated from their parents.
UN agencies warn of escalating food crisis in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 8 February 2016 – South Sudan is facing unprecedented levels of food insecurity, as 2.8 million people – nearly 25 percent of the country’s population – remain in urgent need of food assistance, and at least 40,000 people are on the brink of catastrophe, three UN agencies warned today.
UNICEF launches US$2.8 billion humanitarian appeal for children
GENEVA, 26 January 2016 – UNICEF is launching a US$2.8 billion appeal to reach 43 million children in humanitarian emergencies worldwide.
UNHCR and UNICEF highlight unrelenting children’s crisis
NAIROBI, Kenya, 15 December 2015 – The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today that the children of South Sudan remain some of the most vulnerable in the world. Noting the second anniversary since violence erupted in South Sudan, the two UN agencies called for all parties to uphold their commitments to the Peace Agreement, so as to allow the almost 1.5 million South Sudanese children to return home and receive an education, and child soldiers to be released and reintegrated.
UNICEF Advocate Ishmael Beah witnesses impact of conflict on children in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan/NAIROBI, Kenya/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 27 November 2015 – Continued violence and the impact of brutal fighting has taken an increasingly heavy toll on the lives of children in South Sudan, Ishmael Beah said today, as the UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War wrapped up a one week visit to the country.
UNICEF and WFP launch mass nutrition screening as hunger threatens lives of children in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 29 October 2015 — UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) launched a mass mobilization campaign today that will screen more than a quarter of a million children for acute malnutrition in Warrap state.
UN calls for immediate access to conflict-affected areas to prevent catastrophe in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 22 October 2015 – Three UN agencies today warned that extreme hunger is pushing people to the brink of a catastrophe in parts of South Sudan, as a new analysis found that 3.9 million people nationwide now face severe food insecurity.
Conflicts, instability uproot over 4.5 million children in 5 countries: UNICEF
NEW YORK, 29 September 2015 – Conflicts and instability in five countries alone have uprooted at least 4.5 million children, UNICEF said on the eve of a United Nations high-level meeting on the global migrant and refugee crisis.
UNICEF and WFP intensify efforts to defeat malnutrition in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 9 September 2015 - The World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF are intensifying their efforts to reverse the dire malnutrition situation in South Sudan, where a brutal conflict has displaced millions of people, destroyed basic services, increased disease and exacerbated hunger.
Bringing education to the children of Pibor, South Sudan
PIBOR, South Sudan, 25 August 2015 – A national campaign to increase school attendance and participation was launched today in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
Children make up one fifth of cholera deaths in South Sudan: UNICEF
JUBA, South Sudan/NAIROBI, Kenya, 7 July 2015 – More than 700 cholera cases have been reported in Juba and Bor so far, resulting in 32 deaths – one in five of which are children under five, UNICEF said today. Stressing the role of education in stemming the cholera outbreak in South Sudan, the UN children’s agency is working with children and teachers throughout the country to raise awareness on how to prevent the disease from spreading further.
Children at risk from cholera outbreak in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan/NAIROBI, Kenya, 23 June 2015 – Eighteen people, including two children under 5 years of age, have died from cholera in the most recent outbreak to hit South Sudan. The first cholera case was reported on 27 May in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Juba. Since then, 170 suspected cases have been reported inside the site and in villages across Central Equatoria State.
Unspeakable violence against children in South Sudan – UNICEF chief
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake: NEW YORK, 17 June 2015 – “The violence against children in South Sudan has reached a new level of brutality.
Children face worsening nutrition crisis as South Sudan fighting intensifies
JUBA, South Sudan, 27 May 2015 – The lives of nearly a quarter of a million children are at significant risk as food and nutrition security rapidly deteriorate in parts of South Sudan, UNICEF said today. The crisis comes as a result of ongoing conflict, diminished household food stocks and a shrinking economy.
Children killed, abducted and raped in South Sudan attacks – UNICEF
JUBA, South Sudan/NAIROBI, Kenya, 18 May 2015 - Dozens of children have been killed, at least 12 raped and others abducted and recruited in a series of attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State over a two-week period, according to eyewitness accounts received by UNICEF.
South Sudan: Put child rights first, UNICEF says
JUBA, South Sudan, May 5, 2015 – UNICEF today welcomed South Sudan’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and urged the Government to make child rights the cornerstone of the world’s youngest nation.
282 boys and 1 girl freed in final release of children from Cobra Faction in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan/NAIROBI, Kenya/NEW YORK, 24 April 2015 – 282 boys and 1 girl have been freed in the final release of children associated with the Cobra Faction armed group, in South Sudan.
Nine year old girl soldier freed in large release of child soldiers in South Sudan
JUBA/NAIROBI/NEW YORK, 21 March, 2015 – Up to 250 child soldiers including four girls, one as young as nine, were released today in South Sudan from an armed group, the Cobra Faction. Another 400 are being released over the next two days.
Children seized from South Sudan school not released yet
JUBA, South Sudan/NAIROBI, Kenya, 28 February 2015 – Scores of children seized by armed men from a village in northern South Sudan two weeks ago remain forcibly recruited as child soldiers, despite intensive efforts to locate and free them.
UNICEF condemns new child abductions by armed group in South Sudan
JUBA/NAIROBI/NEW YORK, 21 February, 2015 – UNICEF condemns in the strongest terms the abduction of scores of boys, some as young 13, by an armed group near Malakal in the north of South Sudan.
Amid conflict in South Sudan, 400,000 children will go back to school
JUBA/NAIROBI/NEW YORK, 19 February 2015 – Approximately 400,000 children whose schooling has been interrupted by the conflict in South Sudan will have the chance to return to their studies over the next 12 months.
More children released from armed group in South Sudan
JUBA/NAIROBI/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 10 February 2015 – UNICEF and partners are overseeing the release of another 300 children from an armed group in South Sudan.
UNICEF: South Sudan on the edge of nutrition catastrophe if hostilities don’t end now
JUBA, South Sudan, 4 February 2015 – UNICEF urged warring groups in South Sudan to follow up fast on the ceasefire deal reached Monday or face potentially catastrophic food shortages in the conflict areas of the country.
Thousands of children to be gradually released from armed group in South Sudan
JUBA/NAIROBI/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 27 January, 2015 – UNICEF and partners have secured the release of approximately 3,000 children from an armed group in South Sudan - one of the largest ever demobilizations of children. The first group of 280 children were released today, at the village of Gumuruk in Jonglei State, eastern South Sudan. Further phased releases of the other children will occur over the coming month.
One year after conflict, children still under daily threat in South Sudan
JUBA/GENEVA, 12 December 2014 – The future for a generation of children in South Sudan is being stolen by the year-long conflict in the country, which has driven hundreds of thousands of children from their homes, schools and communities; subjecting them to violence, malnutrition and disease, the UNICEF said today.
With 15 million children caught up in major conflicts, UNICEF declares 2014 a devastating year for children
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 8 December 2014 – The year 2014 has been one of horror, fear and despair for millions of children, as worsening conflicts across the world saw them exposed to extreme violence and its consequences, forcibly recruited and deliberately targeted by warring groups, UNICEF said today. Yet many crises no longer capture the world’s attention, warned the children’s agency.
Give South Sudan’s Children a Healthy Start
JUBA, South Sudan, 14 October 2014 – The South Sudan National and State Ministry of Health, Sanitation and Environment, UNICEF and WFP kicked off a new outreach and a mass-screening campaign today to address the nutrition crisis, which UNICEF says is threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.
UNICEF and WFP: Missions reach more than 500,000 in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 30 September 2014 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF are wrapping up their 25th joint emergency mission to deliver lifesaving supplies and services in the most remote and conflict-hit regions of South Sudan.
Child malnutrition emergency in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 23 September 2014 – Tens of thousands of children under the age of five remain at risk of malnutrition-related death in South Sudan, despite temporary improvements in the food security situation that were released today by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) group of experts.
Children in South Sudan cannot wait for famine before world acts
JUBA, South Sudan, 25 July 2014 - The Executive Directors of UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) today warned that children in South Sudan cannot wait any longer before the world takes action, as they met severely malnourished children and their mothers affected by the conflict in the world's newest country.
Three humanitarian workers released in North Darfur
EL FASHER, 19 July 2014 – Three Sudanese humanitarian workers abducted in Kutum, North Darfur, on 18 June 2014, were freed today in the same locality after 32 days in captivity.
UNICEF and WFP stepping up assistance to desperate people in remote areas of South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 8 July 2014 – UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are stepping up joint missions to reach desperate people in remote areas of South Sudan where the number of children at risk of death from malnutrition-related causes has increased dramatically and a hunger catastrophe is looming.
Government of South Sudan Recommits to Action Plan to End Recruitment and Use of Children
JUBA, South Sudan, 24 June, 2014 – In a ceremony at the headquarters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in Juba this morning, the Government of South Sudan formally renewed its commitment to the Action Plan signed in 2012 with the United Nations to end the recruitment and use of children in Government armed forces and other grave violations against children.
Cholera cases rapidly multiplying in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 19 May 2014 – The caseload of cholera is rapidly increasing in South Sudan and the deadly, highly contagious disease appears to be spreading, UNICEF said today.
UNICEF: Desperate water shortages facing children in Bentiu, South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, 22 April 2014 – Tens of thousands of people who fled targeted ethnic violence in Bentiu last week are receiving just one litre of safe drinking water per day in the desperately overcrowded UN base, UNICEF said today.
Children killed in brutal South Sudan fighting
JUBA, South Sudan, 18 April 2014 – A number of children have been killed in this week’s fighting in South Sudan - some in an attack on displaced civilians while others have been caught in the crossfire or died as a result of being recruited by armed groups and forces, UNICEF said today.
Urgent Supplies Reach Remote Areas in South Sudan, with Joint Operation
JUBA, South Sudan, 28 March 2014 – An urgent operation to deliver food, vaccines, nutrition supplements and other vital relief supplies to one of the most isolated areas of conflict-affected South Sudan has begun today, as part of a joint response by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
Time running out for children in South Sudan says UNICEF
NEW YORK, 25 March 2014 - Unless the humanitarian situation inside South Sudan improves rapidly and radically for children and families, nearly a million people - mostly women and children - will face an even greater crisis both inside the South Sudan and in neighbouring countries, UNICEF said today.