A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Following decades of fighting, South Sudan formally became an independent state in July 2011. There was high expectation for growth and many believed they would not see another conflict in the country they fought so hard and so long for. Sadly, war erupted in Juba in mid-December 2013 and quickly transformed into a national, political and ethnic crisis.
Since then, more than 2.5 million people have been displaced. Of these 830,000 have fled to neighboring countries, mainly Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. The crisis has made it hard for people to plant crops, disrupted livelihoods and markets and forced host and displaced communities to share the little they do have, leaving one in three people severely food insecure.
Oxfam in South Sudan
We have been working in South Sudan for over 30 years. In 2015, we consolidated our efforts to meet the needs of the most vulnerable reaching over 1.2 million people across South Sudan with lifesaving assistance as well as development projects.
Saving lives, now and in the future
Oxfam is working in South Sudan to deliver timely, effective, safe, adequate, and equitable humanitarian assistance to help people affected by the conflict address their needs and priorities. Oxfam is currently supporting over 860,000 people with humanitarian assistance including clean water, hygiene facilities, food, fuel and income support.
The complex interaction between, food, land, water and trade and competition over scarce resources, combined with price volatility and the ongoing conflict means that food systems in South Sudan are constantly under pressure. Oxfam is working with communities to find innovative ways to address shrinking livelihoods to allow people to meet their basic needs and improve their quality of life in a sustainable way.
Advancing gender justice
In South Sudan, women have the primary responsibility for managing the household but are often excluded from meaningful decision-making roles and holding influential positions. We help vulnerable women and girls improve their quality of life and live in security and dignity as a result of being empowered economically and socially.
Oxfam is currently implementing a gender justice programme that advocates for the elimination of all violence against women. We have set up protection committees at village and payam levels that are safe spaces for women to address issues that they face. With support from national partners, we provide free medial support, legal advice, and referrals so that survivors are able to access justice at county and national level.
Good governance and active citizenship
In South Sudan, there is limited opportunity for people to exercise their rights as active citizens because of limited access to information and leadership, and the ongoing conflict. Overcoming the legacy of decades of conflict requires balancing multiple priorities: meeting pressing humanitarian needs; building core state functions and capacities; and addressing the causes of insecurity.
Oxfam works with over 10 civil society organizations (CSOs), communities and power-holders to promote good and transparent governance. At national and local levels, Oxfam brought together key stakeholders to promote civil society engagement in legislation and government accountability for allocation of resources.