The Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation Humanitarian Response Plan for South Sudan 2017-2018

Project location: SOUTH SUDAN
Project start date: July 2017 - Project end date: December 2018


"[...] more than 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and north-east Nigeria are going hungry, and facing devastating levels of food insecurity.

Famine is already a reality in parts of South Sudan. Unless we act now, it is only a matter of time until it affects other areas and other countries. We are facing a tragedy; we must avoid it becoming a catastrophe. This is preventable if the international community takes decisive action.

The situation is dire. Millions of people are barely surviving in the space between malnutrition and death, vulnerable to diseases and outbreaks, forced to kill their animals for food and eat the grain they saved for next year's seeds.

These four crises are very different, but they have one thing in common. They are all preventable. They all stem from conflict, which we must do much more to prevent and resolve. But even now, we can prevent the worst effects, if we act urgently and strongly. I urge all members of the international community to step up and to do whatever is in their power, whether that is mobilizing support, exerting political pressure on parties to conflict, or funding humanitarian operations.

The lives of millions of people depend on our collective ability to act. In our world of plenty, there is no excuse for inaction or indifference. We have heard the alerts. Now there is no time to lose." 

(UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Joint Press Conference on Humanitarian Crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, 22 February 2017)

July 2017

With an unprecedented decision, the Board of the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation has answered a request from the NaEPF President and founder Elsa Peretti and committed 2 million euro to support a humanitarian response plan for South Sudan. The Foundation intends to contribute to efforts to help alleviate massive suffering in the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world.

With the conflict in South Sudan now entering its fourth year, its people are facing dire humanitarian challenges. By the end of October 2016, more than 1.2 million South Sudanese had fled as refugees to CAR, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, while within the country almost 1.8 million people had become internally displaced and 6.1 million were estimated to be in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Disease, protracted instability, the escalation of violence, and wide-spread destruction have triggered unprecedented levels of food insecurity.

In 2017, food security in South Sudan is likely to deteriorate to unprecedented levels, with thousands of people at risk of famine. More than one million children under age 5 and over 339,000 pregnant and lactating women are estimated to be acutely malnourished and in need of life-saving nutrition services.

More than five million people in South Sudan are in need of primary and emergency healthcare services. After three years of conflict, the population is highly susceptible to disease. Most health facilities are not functioning and those that are provide minimal services due to drug and staff shortages.

Some 1.17 million children aged 3 to 18 years have lost access to education. The Primary Net Enrolment rate is now 43.5 per cent, due to conflict, displacement, lack of trained teachers, inadequate supplies, and disruption of education services fuelled by the economic crisis. In addition, some 124,100 refugee children in South Sudan will be in need of education assistance in 2017.

The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is predominantly a security crisis. Cases of attacks on civilians are reported on daily basis. But both the general lack of security and arbitrary restrictions of movements have meant that officials, health workers and members of aid groups have been unable to reach victims. 

In light of the complexity and scale of South Sudan's humanitarian crisis, the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation has conceived a comprehensive 2-million-Euro funding plan that include 8 recipient organizations and supports refugees/IDPs protection, food security, healthcare and education efforts across the country. NaEPF funding, which foresees both a short-term and a mid- to long-term time range, is estimated to reach about 920,000 people.

Source:  South Sudan Situation Supplementary Appeal (UNHCR, January 2017) – Available online at:

Source:  2017 South Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview – Report by  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Available at:

The partners selected for the implementation of the plan are:

The Foundation shares the urgency to focus attention on an area of the world rarely at the center of the public debate, and where in 2017 unthinkable atrocities continue to be committed against a population decimated by hunger and epidemics.

While committed to do its part to respond and raise public attention on this humanitarian crisis, the Foundation strongly believes that current humanitarian crises worldwide pose a crucial test for philanthropy, and calls on other leading private foundations across the world to join the Foundation's endeavor in saving the lives of millions of people.

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