In East Africa, countries like South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are being threatened by a severe food crisis. To date, around 20 million people across these four countries are starving. Unless urgent action is taken, the situation will deteriorate, and the number of deaths and those affected will drastically increase.
The clock is ticking
Tens of millions of people in East Africa are starving and in critical need of humanitarian relief.
We are currently responding to the crisis in the affected countries and have stepped up our relief efforts, but we need your help.
Latest Situation in South Sudan
1 million South Sudanese have fled to Uganda in the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis
As the announcement of 1 million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda was made today, Ranjan Poudyal, Oxfam South Sudan’s Country Director, said:
'As long as the senseless, costly and brutal war in South Sudan continues, its people will continue to flee to find protection, food, water and shelter. More than anything they need peace at home. South Sudan’s neighbouring countries and the international community must honour their commitments to get South Sudan’s warring parties back to the negotiating table. Until then, it will not be safe for South Sudanese refugees to return home, forcing them to depend on aid across the border. '
Peter Kamalingin, Oxfam Uganda’s Country Director, said:
'Uganda’s open-door policy to refugees has provided protection for one million South Sudanese. This is the third-largest population of refugees in the world. Yet Uganda is one of the most under-funded host nations. If the international community does not increase support to Uganda’s refugee response it could quickly buckle and fail. Donor governments must urgently release funds critical in supporting refugees with life-saving aid, and long-term support for those who have already fled their country. '
With the country’s prolonged conflict, which erupted in December 2013, coupled with crop failure and the rapid increase in food prices, South Sudan is facing a catastrophic humanitarian. The UN declared a famine in Leer and Mayendit Counties in Unity State, the northern part of South Sudan, on 20 February. Though famine has been halted in the two counties, an estimated 6 million people - half of the country’s population – are expected to be severely food insecure. Besides, 1.9 million people from South Sudan have fled to neighbouring countries to seek refuge from the conflict.
Oxfam's Responses in South Sudan
In South Sudan, we have/are:
- Provided food, distributed water and other relief to more than 600,000 people in the country over the past year
- Seven humanitarian bases across the country and our roving Emergency Preparedness & Response team is deployable to run life-saving activities in other locations where the need is greatest, including Unity State where a famine was declared
- Supplying emergency food and clean water
- Building latrines and hygiene facilities, and promoting good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of disease
- Distributing cash for the most vulnerable families
- Conducting cash for work programmes to rehabilitate local infrastructure
- Providing people with short cycle vegetable seeds, tools and training so that they can start fishing and farming to resume their livelihoods
- Setting up water supply systems and sanitation facilities, providing people with the daily necessities of life, and promoting good hygiene practices in Nguenyyiel camp – the camp for refugees from South Sudan in Ethiopia, which is bordered by South Sudan