South Sudan Crisis

About the Crisis


In South Sudan, more than two million people have fled their homes since fighting broke out in December 2013, including more than 770,000 South Sudanese seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

The South Sudanese people have paid the highest price. As fighting rages on, many are stuck in overcrowded peacekeeping bases that were meant as temporary housing for those who initially fled when the conflict first erupted. Children are not able to go to school, families have been torn apart, and farmers cannot harvest crops. Up to 2.4 million people—or 20 percent of the population—face life-threatening hunger. Starving people are eating water lilies and grass to survive.

Compounding these dire circumstances is the fact that humanitarian workers have been killed or are missing, harassed, assaulted or expelled from the country. Food and other humanitarian supplies have been looted. Worse still are the deliberate attacks on the men, women, and children who receive humanitarian assistance.

Despite these challenges, USAID partners are innovating daily and working against all odds to reach those in need. Heroic aid workers are navigating difficult terrain with canoes and tractors to deliver urgently needed medicines to people cut off by the fighting. The UN is constantly exploring road routes to navigate shifting conflict lines. Other humanitarian organizations are deploying mobile teams to quickly deliver aid in hard-to-reach areas.


Details About the Ongoing Response Efforts

Additional Resources

Additional information can be found on USAID/OFDA’s South Sudan web page here.

Additional information on humanitarian relief organizations can be found on ReliefWeb, a humanitarian information portal run by the United Nations.


USAID created the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) in 1988 one month after Hurricane Gilbert made landfall as a Category 5 storm that affected 10 countries. An outpouring of unsolicited donations took up space needed to stage and deliver life-saving relief supplies, and USAID and other responders spent valuable time managing unneeded clothing, expired medicine, and other non-critical items. USAID established the Center to educate the public about the advantages of giving monetary donations to relief organizations and the downside of donating unsolicited material goods USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) leads and coordinates the U.S. government’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas, responding to an average of 65 disasters in more than 50 countries every year. Learn More About USAID/OFDA

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