Crisis in South Sudan

Women collect water in Mingkaman, South Sudan
Women collect water in Mingkaman, South Sudan. Photo by Kieran Doherty.

Millions of people in South Sudan have been displaced by conflict and left with no access to food, livelihoods or clean water. We are working across South Sudan and in neighboring countries to help conflict-affected people with vital assistance.

The situation

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.

Unfortunately, a conflict erupted in Juba in mid-December 2013 that quickly became a national, political and ethnic crisis.

Since then, about 1.5 million people have been internally displaced and  760,000 people have fled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. After the crisis broke out, many families were displaced from their homes and left without food, income, or any means to acquire them.

  • 2.4 million people are currently severely hungry in the conflict-affected states, a 60% increase compared to the same period last year (Dec. 2014)
  • An estimated 235,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
  • More than 55 per cent of the people in South Sudan do not have access to safe water. The country recently faced a cholera outbreak and the crisis is still not over.
  • Food prices are rocketing and local markets are being disrupted by the ongoing conflict.

What Oxfam is doing

We have a dedicated team working across the country to rebuild livelihoods and provide humanitarian assistance. We focus on providing clean water, public health and livelihoods support, and work with partners on peace building and governance issues. However, delivering life-saving assistance without putting people at risk is a challenge.

We are supporting nearly 700,000 people with humanitarian assistance including clean water, hygiene facilities, food, fuel and income support. Of these, 350,000 have been provided with clean water, and education on good hygiene and sanitation practices to prevent the spread of cholera and other harmful diseases, and 340,000 have received either direct food aid or livelihood support.

  • We coordinate monthly food drops and distributions to people displaced by the conflict as well as those hosting them.
  • We are preventing the spread of disease by constructing latrines in camps and settlements to provide safe and sanitary spaces.
  • We are distributing seeds and farming tools to displaced communities to cultivate vegetable gardens.
  • We have also reached over 350,000 people so far with longer-term programs on food security and livelihoods such as support to agriculture, peace building, governance and civil society.
  • We have helped over 100,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia and 145,000 in Uganda.

Oxfam has 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 10 December 2015.