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South Sudan crisis appeal

South Sudan is facing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis driven by nearly four years of a brutal civil war. 


4.8 million people - almost half the country and one and a half million more compared to this time last year - are facing extreme hunger. Because of conflict, this year's harvests will be paltry or non-existent for many. 

Help provide urgently needed food, water and sanitation to the people who need it most.

Donate to South Sudan 

Since July 2016, more than 1 million people have fled to Uganda, where Oxfam is providing clean water and other help.

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Bruno Bierrenbach Feder/Oxfam

George* sits on his mother's lap as health personnel take his measurements to determine his nutrition level. Nyal, Unity State, South Sudan  - March 2017.

*Name changed

The situation

South Sudan is facing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis driven by nearly four years of a brutal civil war.

Right now six million people - half the population - are facing extreme hunger, and over 60 per cent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance.

Civilians have been attacked, and schools and hospitals have been looted and burned. Tens of thousands of people have been killed. The fighting has forced nearly four million people - one in three - from their homes. As they flee, people lose their possessions, crops and income, and often get stranded in places where there aren't enough facilities to support tens of thousands of new arrivals. Most of them are women and children, who are particularly vulnerable to the risks that come with finding aid and services away from their communities.
Many also retreat to very isolated areas, keeping themselves far away from fighting, but also from aid.

Back in February, famine was declared in Leer and Mayendit, two counties of former Unity State; 100,000 people were facing famine, and one million more were on the brink.Since then Oxfam and other humanitarian organisations have raced to respond - aid has made a really important difference: we have helped prevent famine from spreading. But despite this, there are more people facing severe hunger in South Sudan now than ever before.

Over three million have now been forced from their homes, with 1.3 million people having fled to neighbouring countries and approaching two million displaced within the country.

The people of South Sudan are used to coping with adversity but in over 30 years of working in these affected areas, Oxfam has never witnessed such dire need. Civilians including women and children have been attacked,  and schools and hospitals have been looted and burned. Tens of thousands of people have been killed.

Kieran Doherty

Mobile water source at Imvepi Settlement, Uganda. 

More than one million people have fled the brutal conflict in South Sudan and taken refuge in neighbouring Uganda in places like Bidibidi the largest refugee settlement in the world - home to over 270,000 South Sudanese refuges.

Oxfam's response 

In 2016 Oxfam helped more than 600,000 people across South Sudan by providing food and water - including almost 40,000 of the most vulnerable in Panyijar county, Unity State. We build and repair boreholes and wells, test quality levels, treat water, and train people to look after and maintain their own water supply. Oxfam is preventing the spread of diseases like cholera  by constructing safe, sanitary latrines in camps and settlements, as well as community and household toilets.

More than one million people have fled the brutal conflict in South Sudan and taken refuge in neighbouring Uganda thanks to a generous refugee policy by the country's government. Bidibidi in Northern Uganda is the largest refugee settlement in the world - home to over 270,000 South Sudanese refugees.

In Bidibidi Oxfam and it's local partners have been providing clean drinking water to around 200,000 people. Oxfam is also constructing latrines and supporting hygiene promotion activities in schools and communities. Here Oxfam is creating water systems that will last for 20 years as it is expected that many people who have fled to Uganda will remain there for decades.

Oxfam has seven humanitarian bases across the South Sudan and teams are running life-saving activities in other locations where the need is greatest. We are:

  • Providing regular emergency food distributions to over 415,000 people. 
  • Providing clean water, safe sanitation facilities, essential hygiene items and promoting good hygiene practices to help keep diseases like cholera at bay.
  • Providing vouchers for canoes so that people sheltering from the conflict on islands in the swamps can get to the help they need
  • Supporting the most vulnerable people to produce food for themselves and develop ways to make a living, for example by providing livestock or training, tools and seeds .

Oxfam is also responding to the refugee crisis in Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad.

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Photo: Pablo Tosco

Oxfam distributes WFP food at Mingkaman where 58,000 people forced from their homes have arrived in search of food, water and safety from the violence.

Robert Fogarty

Margaret, from Magwi county, lost her son Pasquali in Mundri and her daughter-in-law in a bus hijacking. She now takes care of their two children in Mangaten camp, Juba.

Robert Fogarty

Further information

History of Oxfam in southern Sudan

Oxfam has been present in southern Sudan since 1983, providing humanitarian aid to people affected by conflict, drought and floods, as well as long-term development support to vulnerable communities. 

Other ways to help