News / Africa

Oxfam Warns of South Sudan Hunger Crisis

In this photo taken Tuesday, May 6, 2014 and made available Tuesday, May 13, 2014, John Kawai Lam, 8, right, plays with a non-functioning automatic rifle that he found buried in the soil when he and his mother Tabitha Nyanyun Ruach, 38, center, were culti
In this photo taken Tuesday, May 6, 2014 and made available Tuesday, May 13, 2014, John Kawai Lam, 8, right, plays with a non-functioning automatic rifle that he found buried in the soil when he and his mother Tabitha Nyanyun Ruach, 38, center, were culti

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to De Capua report on Oxfam warning on South Sudan

Joe DeCapua
Oxfam International says a massive and rapid surge in aid is needed for South Sudan. Otherwise, it says, millions of people are at risk of – what it calls – catastrophic levels of hunger and suffering. 
 
Listen to De Capua report on Oxfam warning on South Sudan
Listen to De Capua report on Oxfam warning on South Sudani
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Oxfam’s Colm Byrne says the international community must act immediately to help the people of South Sudan.
 
“The situation as we see it at the moment is that there are seven million people in South Sudan of a population of just around 11million who don’t have enough to eat right now. Following the trauma and the hardship that people have endured over the last four to five months of heavy conflict our concern is that many of these communities will not have the time and the opportunity to plant crops in order to have food at the traditional harvest time in September / October.”
 
Byrne – who’s based in Juba -- is the aid organization’s Humanitarian Advocacy Manager. He said, “There has been a cessation of hostilities, and there is definitely a window of opportunity before the heavy rains start, which still enables us access to many of the communities across the country. If we have the funding and we have the time and the space of this window of opportunity to provide people with the seeds and tools that they require, we can help ensure that people do have enough food to eat over the course of the year.”
 
Oxfam is calling on donors to meet the U.N. funding appeal for South Sudan of nearly $1.3-billion. Currently, the appeal has a shortfall of $700-million. Donors are due to meet Tuesday at a conference in Oslo.
 
Byrne said, “We also need to see a surge in the capacity of the response, which is very much dependent on funding. But we need to see a scaling-up of the activities of the international community to respond to this crisis. It’s now or never. It’s a one-off chance that we have. Once the rains start our access to communities affected by this crisis is very much limited.”
                                                            
The humanitarian crisis is not confined to South Sudan.
 
“More than 300,000 refugees have fled to Kenya, to Ethiopia, to Uganda and indeed to Sudan itself, as well. So Oxfam has also supported 63,000 people in northern Uganda, too,” he said.
 
Oxfam is working in seven locations across the country.
 
“So far,” said Byrne, “we’ve helped over 180,000 people in terms of food vouchers – in terms of fuel efficient stoves – and in terms of water and sanitation, which is really important at a time of rains when you have large populations closely living together at the risk of public health emergencies.”
 
Byrne said that Oxfam wants to expand its operations in South Sudan, but needs donor support to do so.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs