South Sudan IDP Figures Analysis

IDMC estimates that there were at least 1,690,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) as of 31 December 2015.*


*These are preliminary estimates that will be subject to review in the context of the finalisation of IDMC's 2016 yearly report on internal displacement, to be published in May 2016.

This figure is based on data provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The conflict and violence which erupted in South Sudan after December 2013 increased the number of IDPs significantly, from 189,000 to 1.69 million people as of December 2015. Despite the signed Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) peace agreement, insecurity and lack of access to many areas is still of great concern in areas affected.

OCHA publishes monthly figures on IDPs. It compiles data it receives on an ad hoc basis from the government’s South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC), UN agencies, international organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), NGOs, local authorities and community leaders.

Given that the displacement situation is highly fluid, populations are widely dispersed, onward movement and repeated displacement are poorly tracked, and a significant number of IDPs still live in areas that are difficult to access, OCHA’s figures are only an estimate of the actual situation. 

Data on displacement related to flooding and other natural hazards are rarely collected, rather the number of people affected by such events is only estimated. Moreover, there is a general lack of data on the extent of voluntary returns from Sudan, and on voluntary returns of IDPs within South Sudan itself.

IDMC uses only the most credible accurate information available. Notwithstanding the caveats and limitations of the source information described above, IDMC believes this to be the best data and is grateful to the partners for sharing it.