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.
South Sudan ceasefire agreement signed, now parties must honor the commitments
Reacting to news of this afternoon's ceasefire agreement between The Government of South Sudan and Riek Machar's opposition forces, José Barahona, Oxfam's County Director for South Sudan, said:
"The world's newest nation, plagued by conflict for the past month, has today been given a second chance. With the cessation of hostilities, the focus must now be on rapid reconciliation to aide a fast recovery and set South Sudan on a clear path to development.
"The demand in the agreement for humanitarian access is a clear acknowledgement that the dire living conditions for the near half a million people displaced by recent violence are unacceptable and must be reversed.
"In order for the ceasefire agreement to have a real impact, both parties must honor the commitments outlined in the document. Progress must be closely and regularly monitored, as agreed, by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
"Oxfam now hopes this agreement will hold fast and will allow us to rapidly scale up our work to reach the poorest and most vulnerable."
To arrange an interview with José Barahona or for more information on Oxfam's work, please contact Grace Cahill on +211 956 708 278, or @grace_cahill
In response to the recent fighting, Oxfam has so far reached more than 110,000 people with water, health and sanitation equipment.