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.
Many people in the Oxfam team have incredible life stories, and some know exactly what it's like to be a refugee. Meet James Dafallah, an Oxfam public health worker.
James was born in Maban county, South Sudan, which was badly affected by the Sudanese civil war and the scene of heavy fighting. In 2000, aged 9, he lost his parents and walked with other boys through Maban, Blue Nile and across to refugee camps in Ethiopia – one of the so-called "Lost Boys." Eight years later he returned to South Sudan, went to school, and joined Oxfam earlier this year to assist the new refugees.
What is Oxfam doing in South Sudan
Since fighting broke-out between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) in November 2011, tens of thousands of refugees from the Blue Nile State (Sudan) have fled their homes. The refugees have walked for weeks to reach the Upper Nile State in South Sudan, where the UNHCR has set up camps. There are already more than 110,000 refugees, all of whom are in need of water, sanitation and food.
Oxfam has helped more than 37,000 refugees in Jamam camp (Upper Nile State) as well as provided additional support to 30,000 refugees in transitional sites.
In the camps, we have organized water trucking, constructed and rehabilitated boreholes, installed water points, distributed buckets, soap, washing materials and cleaning kits. We have also constructed latrines and undertaken hygiene promotion activities. Hygiene remains a major concern now that the rains have flooded the camp.
More photos from our humanitarian response in South Sudan:
Photo of James Dafallah: Alun McDonald/Oxfam
Oxfam's humanitarian response in the Sudan and South Sudan crisis