“Too weak to walk”, Oxfam spokesperson available for interview following visit to Unity State, South Sudan

Africa, Campaigns and Advocacy, East Africa, Emergencies, Humanitarian Advocacy, Media Releases, News article written on the 07 Mar 2017

Elizabeth White, Oxfam’s Policy Lead in South Sudan, has just returned to the capital Juba from Nyal in Panyijar County, southern Unity State, which has the worst nutrition situation in the country along with Leer County, which was declared to be suffering from famine last week.

People from Leer have been arriving in Nyal in search of safety and to reach humanitarian aid.

Ms White said, “Yesterday I saw people waiting to register for aid who were almost too weak to walk. They either haven’t had enough food to eat or their bodies can’t use it because of sickness caused by a lack of clean water and sanitation.

“More support is urgently needed if we are to help the growing number of people in desperate need and avoid an even bigger humanitarian crisis. With the rainy season coming soon, even more people will be isolated and out of reach from life-saving assistance.”

Oxfam is providing water and sanitation in Nyal to help people avoid diseases like cholera and diarrhoea, which can lead to malnutrition and prove fatal. It is also providing vouchers for canoes to bring the most vulnerable people sheltering from the conflict on remote islands to reach aid distributions.  Some travel eight hours each way via canoe through the swamps.

Donate to Oxfam’s emergency response in South Sudan and other humanitarian crises around the world at oxfam.org.au/Southsudan or by calling 1800 034 034.

For interviews or more information, please contact Dylan Quinnell on 0450 668 350 or dylanq@oxfam.org.au

Note to Editors:

Photos also available on Oxfam’s Words & Pictures site.

  • On Monday, 20 February, famine was declared in parts of South Sudan. 100,000 people are in famine-affected areas and millions more are at risk.
  • In the past year alone, Oxfam has helped over 600,000 people across the country with food and water distributions, and assisted almost 40,000 of the most vulnerable in Panyijar County, Unity State.
  • Throughout South Sudan, Oxfam, working with local partner organisations, is providing urgent aid and also support for communities with an emphasis on clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Oxfam also provides emergency food distributions and works with vulnerable people to produce their own food and other income, to claim their rights, to flee violence, to find safety and to access to aid.