Photo: Dylan Quinnell/OxfamAUS


Quick facts

  • 12.2 million people
  • 66% living on less than $1.90 USD a day

After decades of conflict, South Sudan officially became the world’s newest nation in 2011. Unfortunately this did not bring about long-term peace and stability, as civil war began in 2013.

Since then, over 2.5 million South Sudanese have been displaced by the conflict and are unable to return to their homes. The country’s economic and political systems have been irreparably damaged. The crisis has made it very difficult for people to make a living and many face severe food insecurity.

Oxfam works in South Sudan to help hundreds of thousands of people by supplying clean water and safe sanitation. We also work to help communities to ensure they have access to essential services including food and livelihood activities.

Key areas of work

Food Security, Water and Sanitation

One Story of Change

Jal is one of many canoe drivers that works with Oxfam in Nyal. Photo: Photo: Ashley Hammer/Oxfam

Jal is one of over 80,000 people forced from their homes by recurring violence in neighbouring Mayendit, Leer and Koch counties in 2015. With six years’ experience driving the canoe, Jal is one of the many displaced in Nyal trying to carve a living out of the little he has left. A devoted husband and father, Jal is motivated by his need to contribute to building a better future for his children.

“I grew up in Leer and worked there until fighting broke out in March 2015. I was forced to move here with my family but didn’t stop driving the canoe because many people, like me, needed to leave for safe areas, and as canoe drivers, we had to be around to help.”

“This work is difficult but very rewarding. You have to have a strong body and will to do this work. Before the canoe voucher system started, there were people willing to travel, but security was not good, and many could not afford to. During the crisis in Nyal, many people needed to go to the islands to find safety, but they did not have money. At that time, when someone told me they had nothing, I knew they really had nothing. But in my culture, we support each other in the good and the bad times. I knew what it felt like to be forced from home to avoid violence, so I helped in the only way I knew, by driving the canoe. We were all losing because as human beings, we could not watch people suffering without offering help, but we also suffered because we were not making enough money to take home.”

“With the voucher system, we are all taken care of. When there is a food distribution, people use the canoes to take their food back to the islands. If there is a medical emergency, people use vouchers to pay for a trip to Nyal. If there is another crisis, we are more prepared to take people to safety, and they are more confident because they have come to know us, and will rely on us at that time again.”

“With the regular income, I am able to support my family and met our daily needs like food, fuel, medicine and education. I can to put some money aside in case there is another emergency, something I have not been able to do since the crisis started in 2013.”

“Peace means living a good life.  Staying at home, watching my children grow, taking them to school, and working for a living. Living without restrictions or limitations. It’s being able provide for your family, without always looking over your shoulder, worrying about what might happen to you or your children at any moment. It’s allowing yourself to dream of a different life for your children, in a future without war.”

Key projects

South Sudan Food Crisis Response

Oxfam Australia is providing life-saving support to communities in South Sudan affected by the critical food crisis facing the country. Oxfam Australia is supporting communities to access clean water and sanitation, and food and nutrition support; as well as helping communities to sustain their livelihoods and daily activities. This $4.5 million, running from 2017-2019 is implemented by Oxfam in South Sudan on behalf of the Australian Government through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership.


Photo: Albert González Farran/Oxfam

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