South Sudan became a country in July 2011. Even before gaining independence from Sudan, residents struggled with rampant poverty and inadequate civil services. In the years since, the young country has struggled with instability, and political conflict broke out more seriously in December 2013. Despite a 2015 agreement, violence continues across the country. From December 2013 to November 2014, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people were killed, and that number has risen since then.
According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as of early 2016, more than 2.3 million people — 1 in 5 — have been forced to leave their homes since the conflict began. Most are displaced inside the country’s borders, and half of those are children. Almost 1 in 3 people were severely food insecure in late 2015.
Almost 1 in 3 schools has been damaged, destroyed or occupied. More than 15,000 children have been recruited to fight. A teenage girl in South Sudan is three times more likely to die in childbirth than complete primary school. About 1 million children are believed to be in psychosocial distress.
Severe weather early this year has worsened the suffering: Learn about how the 2016 El Niño climate crisis affected South Sudan and other countries throughout eastern Africa.
Islamic Relief is working to help alleviate suffering in South Sudan.