Conflict in South Sudan


Emergency Update

Renewed fighting erupted in the capital Juba in mid-July that forced thousands to flee their homes, seeking protection on UN bases and other locations throughout the city. Despite immense challenges in providing care, International Medical Corps’ team in the Protection of Civilian (PoC) site in Juba treated the injured and provided medical care services throughout the violence, even when a shell struck the maternity wing of our hospital.

While a ceasefire holds in Juba, enormous humanitarian needs remain. An outbreak of cholera sickened hundreds and spread to the PoC in Juba. International Medical Corps immediately set up a cholera treatment center in the PoC, where all suspected and confirmed cases in the camp were sent to and cared for. While cholera cases continue to decline, there are confirmed measles cases in Abyei and malaria cases are spiking across the country – making our efforts that much more critical.

The war has also had a tremendous impact on people’s ability to feed themselves. The fighting has prevented many families from planting their crops, while rising food prices and economic downturn have left many struggling to afford even the most basic needs.

South Sudan Overview

South Sudan erupted into civil war in December 2013 that has forced some 2.6 million people from their homes and left an estimated 4.8 million people to face severe food insecurity this summer. The mid-July violence in Juba came after a peace agreement was signed and left thousands more in need of humanitarian assistance. While a ceasefire holds in Juba, instability continues sporadically throughout the country. International Medical Corps has been in South Sudan since 1994 and is currently working to ensure people have access to clean drinking water, health care, psychological support, protection services, and nutrition.


  • The civil war that began in December of 2013 has forced an estimated 2.6 million South Sudanese from their homes. More than 1.6 million of them are displaced inside South Sudan. Another 1 million have fled to neighboring countries.
  • An estimated 4.8 million people - approximately 40% of the population of South Sudan - are experiencing emergency or crisis level food insecurity
  • International Medical Corps supports 77 health facilities across seven states in South Sudan. More than 365,000 people, more than 60 percent children under the age of five, have been seen so far in 2016.

Humanitarian Team Delivers Three Babies as Fighting Raged Around Them



Our programs include a broad range of services delivered across seven states:

These services include:

Primary and Secondary Health Care

Access to health care in South Sudan is among the most difficult in the world due to the ongoing conflict and underdevelopment. Poor health care affects the most vulnerable populations, such as children, women, and the elderly. International Medical Corps provides basic health care and integrated service provision, from preventative care to emergency surgery. This also includes case management for HIV/AIDS, bed net distribution, and malaria treatment. Our primary and secondary health care services are provided in Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Upper Nile, Lakes, and Western Bahr el Ghazal States.

Maternal and Child Health

South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. International Medical Corps focuses on improving the health of women and their children through the high impact services we implement in primary health clinics. We also provide emergency obstetric care and support several midwifery training programs. Our maternal and child health services are implemented in Central Equatoria State, Upper Nile, Western Bahr El Ghazal, and Lakes State.


High staple food prices, disruptions to livestock and crop production, currency devaluation, limited humanitarian access, and conflict-related displacement are responsible for the high levels of food-insecurity throughout South Sudan. In response, International Medical Corps has expanded nutrition programs to treat hard-to-reach areas. These programs include provisions of emergency food supplies and outpatient and inpatient treatment for acute malnutrition. Our nutrition programs are currently implemented in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Central Equatoria, and Lakes State.

Capacity Building and Training

To increase access to care, International Medical Corps works to build the capacity of South Sudan’s health system through training programs that target health professionals and key community members. International Medical Corps supports the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery as well as county and state hospitals in Western Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei, Western Equatoria and Lakes State.

Mental Health

Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and substance abuse are growing issues among conflict-affected populations in South Sudan. International Medical Corps is providing pharmacological and psychosocial support services to those in need in three conflict affected states, Upper Nile, Jonglei, Lakes and Central Equatoria. International Medical Corps is participating in national mental health networks and working groups to build capacity and respond to the growing demand for mental health services.

Gender-based Violence

Violence against women endangers the health, well-being, and future success of women and girls. It is an endemic problem in South Sudan, exacerbated by ongoing conflict and chronic displacement. In response, International Medical Corps began implementing gender-based violence prevention and response in Upper Nile State in April 2014. In 2015, the program expanded to Lakes State, Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei to address the needs of displaced women as well as those in host communities. We are providing clinical management of rape services and are part of the referral pathway to ensure survivors have access to services.


Where We Are Responding: