Crisis in South Sudan

Nearly 7.5 million people remain in urgent need in South Sudan following the conflict that broke out in December 2013. Over 3 million people have fled their homes and sought refuge within South Sudan or in neighboring countries.

March 24, 2017

The declaration of famine in South Sudan reflects the collective failure to heed the countless warnings of an ever-worsening situation. Half of population is expected to be affected by extreme hunger by July. Now is not the time for half measures.

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

The situation

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

  • nearly 7.5 million people are in urgent need in South Sudan
  • 3 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 4,000 people PER DAY 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. 

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

This is a crisis we cannot ignore. Worsening hunger and the spread of famine are imminent, but not yet inevitable. We can still stop the spread of famine and prevent a catastrophic loss of life if we act now. 

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What Oxfam is doingWe're there distributing food & providing clean water, livelihoods support.

Oxfam is meeting the urgent needs of the most vulnerable people affected by disaster and conflict, as well as helping them to build for the future, and addressing the root causes of poverty. In 2016 we reached over 600,000 with emergency and longer-term support.

Oxfam has seven humanitarian bases across the country and our roving Emergency Preparedness & Response team is deployable to run life-saving activities in other locations where the need is greatest.

Your generous donation to Oxfam will help us to deliver emergency food, clean water and sanitation services.

Our activities include:

  • Providing emergency food distributions
  • Supporting the most vulnerable people to produce food for themselves and develop livelihoods to support their basic needs
  • Providing clean water, safe sanitation facilities, promoting good hygiene practices through participatory activities and providing essential hygiene items
  • Helping poor and marginalised citizens to claim their rights.
  • Helping people flee violence in search of safety
  • We're helping communities recover from one of the world’s longest and bloodiest conflicts, including over 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're helping communities recover from one of the world’s longest and bloodiest conflicts, including over 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's history 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. We are committed to sustained assistance during this crisis.

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Updated February 2017