Crisis in South Sudan

Nearly 4 million people remain in urgent need in South Sudan following the conflict that broke out in December 2013. Over 2 million people have fled their homes and sought refuge within South Sudan or in neighboring countries. We have reached more than 920,000 people with life-saving essentials, but we urgently need to reach more.

Aid in South Sudan is making a difference. But the threat of serious hunger in 2015 remains, as an end to the conflict — that has forced people to flee their homes and disrupted livelihoods — is nowhere in sight.

Oxfam is currently supporting people affected by the conflict with clean water, sanitation and emergency food security. You can help.

The situation

Since fighting between government troops and rebel forces erupted in 2013:

  • 4 million people are in urgent need in South Sudan
  • 2 million people have fled their homes and sought refuge within South Sudan or in neighboring countries. The majority of displaced people are women and children.
  • More than 500,000 people have fled to neighboring countries, many of whom had to cross the Nile River on their way to Uganda, leaving everything they had behind and risking their lives. 

2.4 million people are estimated to be severely hungry – the worst food crisis since Independence and a 60% increase compared to the same period last year.

What Oxfam is doing

We've reached more than 920,000 people in South Sudan with emergency food, clean water and sanitation services. We are also distributing commodity vouchers, fuel efficient stoves and grinding mills to provide greater food security in some of the camps and carrying out public health promotion.

We're helping communities recover from one of the world’s longest and bloodiest conflicts, including 150,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia and Uganda.

  • In the Upper Nile region, Oxfam focuses on providing clean water, sanitation, public health promotion, and livelihood support including to Returnees in Renk and Malakal.
  • In Lakes we focus on livelihoods work, supporting small-scale agriculture, microfinance and animal health, and we have a peacebuilding program to promote reconciliation and understanding between different communities.
  • In Wau and Warrap states, Oxfam is supporting returnees, displaced people and local communities in order to promote peaceful coexistence, provide water and sanitation activities, increase food security/livelihoods, and improve the local education system.

We also work through local partners and civil society organizations including women's groups in various parts of the country.

Gender-based violence

Displacement and widespread conflict and insecurity not only disrupts livelihood activities like farming and livestock marketing, it also puts women and girls in real danger. 

Gender based violence was a fact in South Sudan before the current conflict but the social structures that offer women some protection have broken down, particularly in the displaced and refugee camps.  Though there are no official statistics gender-based violence -  including rape, beating, harassment and domestic violence - are common in all of the larger camps.  

Oxfam in the region

Oxfam has a dedicated team to respond to emergencies across South Sudan.

We focus on public health, livelihoods and emergency response combined with gender, diversity and conflict-sensitive programming, policy and advocacy work. We have been present in Southern Sudan since 1983, providing humanitarian aid to victims of conflict, drought and floods, as well as long-term development assistance to some of the most vulnerable communities.

Learn More


Updated December 2015