The situation in South Sudan is rapidly deteriorating and we are deeply concerned about the impact the fighting there is having on thousands of ordinary families.
In a conflict that has already claimed at least 1,000 lives, human rights violations including extreme acts of violence have left people in fear. The fighting has seen almost 200,000 people flee their homes and many are living in dire conditions, including being forced to go hungry or drink dirty water.
Above: Will Juma's family arrived in Jamam camp in South Sudan after fleeing conflict in their village in Sudan in 2012. When this picture was taken, he said: “We are relying for everything on this tree. We sleep here underneath it – there is nowhere else to shelter. And there is nothing except its leaves for us to eat. Food is our biggest concern here.” In 2014, thousands of families in South Sudan are facing a similar situation as the latest wave of violence forces people to leave their homes. Alun McDonald/Oxfam
On the ground
Oxfam has been working in the Southern Sudan region for 30 years and we are on the ground helping to provide desperately needed food, clean water and sanitation to those most in need.
One such area is the Awerial refugee camp on the banks of the Nile which is now home to 75,000 displaced people. Our rapid response team is there to support in the delivery of clean water, construction of latrines and public health work.
Peace solution urgently needed
The bloodshed and misery must stop. As peace talks begin in Ethiopia, political leaders taking part must urgently agree to halt the violence and work actively towards resolution of the crisis.
Oxfam strongly condemns the use of violent force against civilians and requests all parties to the conflict to respect the human rights of all its people regardless of their political or ethnic identity.
Oxfam in South Sudan
Oxfam has been working in Southern Sudan since 1983, providing humanitarian aid to victims of conflict, drought and floods, as well as long-term development assistance to some of the most vulnerable Sudanese communities, both in Darfur and South Sudan.
In the past year, we helped 172,000 vulnerable refugees who fled from Sudan to South Sudan with emergency relief and long-term development aid. Our work in the region has been a balance between humanitarian response as the priority focus in some areas, and where there is greater stability we help people to grow food and develop livelihoods.
We work through local partners and civil society organisations including women's groups.
A difficult place to live
South Sudan, which became an independent state on 9 July 2011, remains one of the poorest and least developed regions of the world, and most communities still have little access to basic services. It is increasingly reliant on emergency aid.
The country needs urgent support to respond to the humanitarian crisis now and be able to provide enough food, water and essential services to its people over the coming years.