South Sudan emergency

Since December 2013, brutal conflict in South Sudan has claimed thousands of lives and driven nearly four million people from their homes.

While many remain displaced inside the country, more than two million have fled to neighbouring countries in a desperate bid to reach safety.


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2.6 million

refugees from South Sudan in the region

More statistics

Updated 31 May 2018

The situation in South Sudan and neighbouring countries has quickly escalated into a full-blown humanitarian emergency. Although we are doing all we can to provide relief and life-saving shelter with limited resources, displacement in the region is expected to rise until a political solution is found.

“The journey was so hard. The sun was very hot and we had trouble finding food and water. Our uncle decided to turn back but we continued on because we wanted to go to school.”

Kenyi, 17, is among more than 5,000 unaccompanied South Sudanese refugee children who have arrived in Uganda

The majority of the refugees are women and children, many of whom flee across the border alone. Often, they arrive weak and malnourished. When the rainy season comes, their needs are compounded by flooding, food shortages and disease.

Inside South Sudan, nearly two million people are displaced while outside the country there are now over two million South Sudanese refugees, mainly in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda. Many fear imminent attack or struggle with food insecurity. Uganda currently hosts the most South Sudanese refugees, having taken in more than one million.

“This conflict must end, and the world must rally to support the millions forced to flee their homes in South Sudan.”

Arnauld Akodjenou, Regional Refugee Coordinator and Special Advisor on the South Sudan Situation

As instability and violence in South Sudan continue, those who have fled urgently need protection, shelter and medical care. UNHCR is striving to restore hope to thousands who have been uprooted. However, without further funding and support, we will struggle to provide even the most basic assistance. UNHCR is calling on donors to provide US$841.5 million for the South Sudan situation in 2018, of which 12 per cent has been funded as of 19 June 2018.

“The scale of displacement in and from the country is simply unbelievable," said Arnauld Akodjenou, Regional Refugee Coordinator and Special Advisor on the South Sudan Situation. "I am astounded at the resilience of the millions of South Sudanese refugees and those who are internally displaced. But after so many years, the people of South Sudan are crying enough is enough. The conflict must end, the humanitarian response must be ramped up, and we all have a responsibility to do everything we can to support the South Sudanese children, women and men who have been forced to flee from their homes.”