South Sudan, Republic of
South Sudan, Republic of - 1.1 Humanitarian Background

Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters



Comments / Details



While accessibility throughout the country is marginally improved during the dry season, conflict over scarce resources in areas affected by drought can lead to insecurity and inter-communal conflict. Compounding this is the road and river infrastructure, which is poorly maintained without any long-term maintenance program, which is deteriorating yearly. Eastern Equatoria and parts of Jonglei are frequently affected by drought. Most conflict incidents occur during the dry season, with Jonglei, Unity, Lakes, Upper Nile, and Warrap states recording the largest number of incidents.



Earthquakes rarely occur in South Sudan.



Poor sanitation and water contamination have led to outbreaks of cholera. For information on other major infectious diseases, please see the following link:

Extreme Temperatures


South Sudan can be hot, but extreme temperatures are rare; the average annual temperature is about 28.5° C, with an average annual high of 33.7° C.



For information on flooding in South Sudan, please see the following link:

Insect Infestation


Locusts, termites, stem-borer, and Dura-bugs can have an effect on crop production; however, the prevalence of such pests has been low.



South Sudan has mainly flat terrain, characterized by rocky outcrops. Landslides are rare.

Volcanic Eruptions


South Sudan has no active volcanoes.

High Waves / Surges


South Sudan is completely land locked and there are no large bodies of water where high waves or sudden water surges could be a problem.



Large areas of grassy plains, savannah and lowland forests characterize South Sudan.  Wildfires often occur because of agricultural burning and are common in areas experiencing consistent drought.

High Winds


High winds can occur and have damaged warehouse facilities in the past; however, they are not considered a constant hazard.

Other Comments


Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife


Since December 2013, South Sudan and its armed forces have been involved in non-international armed conflicts with several armed non-state actors, notably the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army-in-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) and the National Salvation Front (NAS)

International Conflict


There are no international conflicts between South Sudan and neighbouring countries.

Internally Displaced Persons


For information on IDPs in South Sudan, please see the following link:

Refugees Present


For information on refugees in South Sudan, please see the following link:

Landmines / UXO Present


Parts of the country are still affected by landmines and UXO’s. Jonglei and Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria states have the highest number of known hazards. A few roads in Western and Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Unity, Jonglei and Lakes states are still minded (UNMAS 2023). For more information, see the following link:

Other Comments



For a more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters Country Profile.


Seasonal Effects on Logistics Capacities

Seasonal Effects on Transport

Transport Type

Time Frame

Comments / Details

Primary Road Transport

Rainy season: May to October

Dry season: January to May


The total estimated track length in South Sudan is approximately 90,200 km (about 56047.68 mi). This includes approximately 14,000 km (about 8699.2 mi) of primary and secondary roads and 6,000 km (about 3728.23 mi) of tertiary tracks. Approximately 5,000 km (about 3106.86 mi) of roads remain passable during the rainy season.

Road transport is severely affected during the rainy season, with some parts being completely inaccessible for months.  Pre-positioning of supplies by road takes place during the dry season.

Secondary Road Transport

Rainy season: May to October

Dry season: January to May

The secondary road network is severely affected during the rainy season roads. Many primary and secondary roads receive little to no maintenance and during the wet season, vehicle traffic quickly destroys submerged and waterlogged roads.

Rail Transport


South Sudan has one rail connection, connecting Babanusa (Sudan) with Wau (444 km). This line comprises 248 km of narrow gauge, single-track rail within South Sudan. Rail transport is currently not operational.

Air Transport

Rainy season: May to October

Air transport in South Sudan is weather dependent. Helicopter and small aircraft operations are grounded in bad weather. Landing strips are mostly gravel, making large numbers of airstrips unusable by fixed wing planes during the rainy season necessitating the need to revert to helicopters. At smaller airstrips, the proximity of local villages and lack of security makes incursions of people and animals onto airstrips a hazard to aircraft and crew.

Waterway Transport

All year on the river Nile.

South Sudan controls the upper reaches of the Nile, which gives the country 1,400 km of navigable inland waterways. These main waterways remain navigable throughout the year. However, the barges and pushers have had little investment over the past years and are constantly breaking down, making the barge operations unreliable.


South Sudan has an equatorial climate with high humidity and lots of rainfall. The temperature varies between an average low of 21° C and an average high of 34° C. The country experiences only two seasons. The rainy season varies between May and October, and the dry season varies between January and May. On average, the hottest month is March, and the coolest month is July, with the driest average month being January and the wettest month being August.

During the rainy season, road transport is severely affected as roads become flooded and waterlogged, with large parts of the country becoming inaccessible. The planting and harvest season coincides with the start of the rainy season and the beginning of the dry season. In general, agricultural production during this period does not impact the availability of trucks; however, in smaller locations where there is a general lack of services and service providers, seasonal agricultural practices can affect availability. Pre-positioning of supplies and cargo takes place during the dry season.

Seasonal Effects on Storage and Handling

Activity Type

Time Frame

Comments / Details


Rainy season: May to October

Dry season: January to May

Seasonal flooding and insecurity remain the biggest factors affecting storage facilities. Storage facilities in certain areas are at elevated risk of flooding or of being cut-off because of roads being inaccessible. Storage facilities are at risk of being abandoned and/or looted due to insecurity in some areas, especially in those areas experiencing conflict.


June to February

January to August

Agricultural practices (food production and livestock) are the main livelihood activities and sources of income for most households in non-urban areas. Seasonal planting, harvesting and migratory patterns can result in a reduction of available labour. 

Insecurity due to historical inter-tribal conflict, armed insurgencies and cattle raiding in areas such as Jonglei and Unity states can result in the large displacement of people and the unavailability of permanent labour.


Rainy season: May to October

In some instances, transporters may refuse to go into areas affected by conflict. During the rainy season, road transporters may refuse to go into certain areas due to an increased risk of accidents or of getting stuck. Local transporters operate without support, and trucks can get stuck for weeks in areas affected by heavy rains.


Physical access constraints because of perennial flooding, poor road conditions and insecurity remain the biggest factors influencing logistics operations in South Sudan. During the rainy season, 60% of the road network becomes inaccessible. 50% of all counties in 2012 experienced flooding, making moving heavy vehicles difficult. Historically, during the dry season, there is an increase in inter-communal violence and a decrease in the general security situation in certain parts, such as Jonglei. As a result, pre-positioning of stock must be a top priority for any organization during the dry season when the roads remain dry, river levels stable and counties are unaffected by perennial flooding.

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response



The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management is mandated to oversee all humanitarian work in South Sudan. In general, the use of military/defense assets in relief operations occurs rarely and, in most occurrences, such assets are utilised on a one time only basis and usually without humanitarian involvement. Close cooperation with military establishments involves the facilitation of access to affected areas in restricted areas.

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List.



The current humanitarian structure in South Sudan involves several key agencies and organizations that are actively engaged in addressing the humanitarian needs of the population. These agencies work in collaboration to aid and support across various sectors.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) plays a vital role in coordinating humanitarian efforts in South Sudan. OCHA works closely with other UN agencies, NGOs, and government entities to ensure effective coordination, information sharing, and resource allocation. They provide regular updates and reports on the humanitarian situation in the country, guiding the overall response efforts.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is one of the major agencies operating in South Sudan. WFP focuses on addressing food insecurity and malnutrition by providing food assistance to vulnerable populations. Their ongoing programs include general food distribution, nutrition support, and school feeding programs, which aim to improve the nutritional status of communities across the country.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is actively involved in South Sudan, working to protect and promote the rights of children. UNICEF's programs in the country focus on providing access to safe water, sanitation facilities, health services, and education. They also prioritize child protection initiatives, including family tracing and reunification for separated children, and psychosocial support interventions.

Other key agencies and organizations operating in South Sudan include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and the South Sudan Red Cross Society (SSRCS). ICRC provides healthcare services, supports medical facilities, and promotes respect for international humanitarian law. MSF delivers medical assistance, emergency response, and long-term healthcare interventions. The SSRCS plays a vital role in responding to emergencies, providing relief items, and promoting community resilience.

These ongoing programs and initiatives are crucial in addressing the urgent needs of the population in South Sudan, particularly in the areas of food security, healthcare, water and sanitation, education, and protection. The collaborative efforts of these key agencies and organizations are instrumental in mitigating the impact of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country.


- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

- United Nations World Food Programme (WFP):

- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF):

- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC):

- Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF):

- South Sudan Red Cross Society (SSRCS):

For more information on humanitarian agency contact details, please see the following link: 4.2 Humanitarian Agency Contact List.



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