Photo: Alun McDonald/Oxfam Photo: Alun McDonald/Oxfam

Crisis in South Sudan

The situation

The unfolding political crisis in South Sudan has left the young country teetering on the brink of a full scale humanitarian crisis with at least 65,000 people displaced and living in fear because of growing violence, many of whom are seeking protection, food, water and shelter inside UN compounds across the country.

Oxfam’s Africa policy coordinator Matthew Phillips, who returned from South Sudan earlier this year, said since fighting broke out in the presidential guard barracks on 15 December violence has spread to the streets of Juba and has taken on an increasingly ethnic dimension. He said violence has also spread to other parts of South Sudan, such as Jonglei, compounding an already severe humanitarian situation there.

“Emerging from decades of conflict, South Sudan has secured some improvements in the lives of its citizens in the two years since independence but the current deterioration in the security and humanitarian situation threatens these fragile gains in the world’s newest country,” Mr Phillips said.

Oxfam in South Sudan

Oxfam has been operational in South Sudan for over 25 years and has a presence in seven of South Sudan’s ten provinces.

Oxfam is coordinating with others in the humanitarian community to provide life saving assistance – including food supplies, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities – to approximately 20,000 people displaced by violence in Juba and is closely monitoring the situation in other parts of the country.

We are currently providing essential services in the form of clean water and basic sanitation to 32,000 people in Upper Nile region. We are also providing cash relief to help people through rising food prices, supporting people to improve their skills and job opportunities and lobbying for political change.

In the years since Oxfam has worked in southern Sudan, we’ve helped more than 500,000 people affected by conflict, drought and floods, by:

  • providing access to clean, safe water and sanitation as well as basic necessities such as blankets, soap and jerry cans for carrying water
  • carrying out public health education programs to try and prevent the spread of disease
  • providing opportunities for people find alternatives to the reliance on external aid so they can build a future
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