Crisis in South Sudan

Kuir Mayem Atem, déplacée dans un camp au Soudan du Sud
Kuir Mayem Atem now lives in Mingkaman camp, after fleeing her home with her family. "I could only think about taking my children to safety.” Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

The conflict that broke out in South Sudan on 15th December 2013 has left thousands dead and displaced hundreds of thousands more.


We are currently supporting people affected by the conflict with clean water, sanitation and emergency food security. Over 7 million people are at risk of food insecurity and 4.9 million of them are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

The situation

Since fighting between government troops and rebel forces erupted last year:

  • Over one million people have fled their homes and are now displaced within South Sudan.
  • More than 80,000 people have sought refuge at various UN compounds across the country. In Juba, 80 percent of displaced people are women and children.
  • More than 350,000 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.  
  • A cholera outbreak was confirmed mid May, bringing the imminent threat of a health emergency alongside an escalating food crisis.
  • Only 15% of people have access to adequate sanitary latrines and 30% do not have access to safe water supply.

With the end of the “month of tranquillity”, which allowed some people to get back to their fields to plant and harvest the coming crops, there is a real danger that a resumption or intensification of hostilities could make all efforts so far count for nothing. It is estimated nearly 4 million people face emergency and crisis levels of hunger as a result of the situation in South Sudan. As many as 2.4 million people could be displaced by the end of the year.

What Oxfam is doing

We've reached nearly 200,000 people in South Sudan with water, health and sanitation equipment. We are working in seven conflict affected areas; Juba, Bor, Malakal, Melut, Mingkaman, Waat and Lankien. We are also working with partners in Uganda to provide emergency support to 36,000 South Sudanese refugees.

Providing Safe, Clean Water and Sanitation

  • A cholera response team has been formed to respond to the cholera outbreak in Juba. So far 53 volunteers have been trained in hygiene promotion and are contributing to latrine and hand washing stations construction.
  • We are reaching 69,900 people with clean water;
  • Inside the Juba UN compound, we are supplying 10,000 people with clean water; approximately 192,000 liters of water a day;
  • In Awerial (also known as the Lakes County), we have set up depots allowing us to reach 40,000 people with purified water;
  • We have constructed over 500 latrines in Juba and Awerial supporting over 27,400 people;
  • And we have reached over 65,000 people in the camps with training on safe hygiene practices like hand washing, the use of water purification tablets and environmental cleanliness.

Providing Emergency Food Security

  • In Juba, our charcoal distribution project has so far reached over 13,000 people addressing one of the greatest needs in the camps - lack of fuel to cook.
  • We are also distributing fuel efficient stoves and grinding mills.

Oxfam in the region

We have 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.

Updated 13 June 2014.

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