Famine in South Sudan reflects international failure, Oxfam

Mary Ajak Maluk and her family fled the fighting near their home in South Sudan. Along with many others, they sought shelter around the town of Mingkaman. Photo: Mackenzie Knowles Coursin/Oxfam.
Mary Ajak Maluk and her family fled the fighting near their home in South Sudan. Along with many others, they sought shelter around the town of Mingkaman. Photo: Mackenzie Knowles Coursin/Oxfam.

As so often in a crisis, women and children being the worst affected. We need an end to the fighting so that we can get food to those that urgently need it and provide them with support to rebuild their shattered lives.

February 21, 2017

Emma Jane Drew, Humanitarian Program Manager in South Sudan says: 

“This is a man-made tragedy, and we are running out of time to avoid it getting worse. In over 30 years working in the affected areas, Oxfam has never witnessed such dire need. Vulnerable people, out of reach of life-saving assistance due to the conflict, are paying the ultimate price. People have been pushed to the brink of surviving on what they can find to eat in swamps – as so often in a crisis, women and children being the worst affected. We need an end to the fighting so that we can get food to those that urgently need it and provide them with support to rebuild their shattered lives.

“In 2011 after the famine that hit Somalia the world said never again. The declaration of famine in South Sudan reflects the collective failure to heed the countless warnings of an ever-worsening situation.

Donations to support Oxfam's emergency responses around the world can be made online via Oxfam's Emergency Response Fund (ERF).

Notes to Editors: 


Oxfam has been assisting populations in South Sudan since the 1980’s providing food security and water, sanitation and hygiene assistance. In the past year alone, Oxfam has helped over 600,000 people across the country with food and water distributions and longer-term aid, and assisted almost 40,000 of the most vulnerable in Panyijar county, Unity State.  

Contact information


For interviews or for more information, please contact:

In Canada, Melanie Gallant | (613) - 240-3047 melanie.gallant@oxfam.ca
In UK Serena Tramonti | +44 (0)7825780651 | stramonti@oxfam.org.uk
In South Sudan, Dorothy Sang | +211 955816733 | dsang1@oxfam.org.uk

For updates, please follow us on Twitter at @oxfamcanada @Oxfam