Crisis in South Sudan

On 24 March, a child displaced by recent fighting stands in the town of Mingkaman, where humanitarian assistance is being provided.
A South Sudanese child displaced by recent fighting in Mingkaman, where UNICEF is providing humanitarian assistance.
UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0336/KATE HOLT

Conflict leaves 3.75 million children in need of help; famine is the newest threat they face.

Six months of conflict in the young country of South Sudan has placed 6 million South Sudanese in need of humanitarian assistance—half of them children. These children and their families were already struggling with basic needs following decades of civil war.

The fighting has forced more than 1.3 million people to flee their homes in search of safety—including 550,000 children. More than half are internally displaced, living out in the open—in increasingly worsening conditions as the rainy season begins. Cholera outbreaks have been confirmed in Juba and two South Sudanese states.

The conflict has torn apart South Sudan's agriculture-based economy. With farmers unable to plant crops, food is growing exceedingly scarce. The U.N. warns of a situation that could turn "more grave than anything the continent has seen since the mid-1980s." 4 million people may be pushed close to starvation by year's end. Unless malnutrition treatment is scaled up immediately, 50,000 children are likely to die.

South Sudan Crisis

How UNICEF is Responding

UNICEF is on the ground working hard to provide the children of South Sudan with the care and resources they need to survive. UNICEF and partners have screened more than 60,000 children against malnutrition and immunized more than 260,000 children against measles, which can be deadly in an emergency.

Access to clean water is challenging in a crisis like this one. UNICEF aims to reach 450,000 displaced people with hygiene kits and safe water for cooking and drinking. UNICEF is also providing safe places for children to learn and play, and reuniting children separated from their families. There is still a long way to go, and UNICEF can’t do its work without your help.

Video: The lifeblood of survival