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Aisha’s husband approaches all staff at the humanitarian organization to ask for help on behalf of his wife, whose pain has been compounded by the lack of medical care.

More than 1,500 people come to Renk every day. The two transit centers here are intended to be just one registration site initially designed to temporarily house 4,750 people. They now house more than 15,000 people and hundreds of thousands more, including Aisha’s family, live outdoors.

Services here are extremely limited and humanitarian agencies are rushing to increase emergency assistance for more than 600,000 Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees returning from Sudan.

What Oxfam is doing to help refugees in South Sudan

Oxfam is working alongside partners in South Sudan to provide clean water and adequate sanitation to more than 90,000 people in transit camps. Oxfam is urgently working to raise $7 million to scale up its operations and reach 400,000 people with life-saving food, clean water and health services.

The humanitarian response in the area around Renk joins other work in South Sudan that has been helping people recover from five years of widespread seasonal flooding and conflict, as part of Oxfam’s humanitarian program in East Africa. Oxfam and our partners are helping people in five states with clean water, resources for sanitation and hygiene, cash grants for families to buy food and other essential items, and support for people to increase their income, such as seeds, tools and fishing equipment. In 2022 and 2023, Oxfam and our partners will help more than 800,000 people.

Uncertain times for refugees

The many refugees escaping the war in Sudan do not know where their next meal will come from. Nafisa Ismail Adan, 35, is a refugee who arrived in Renk in October 2023 after losing her husband in the conflict. Like Aisha, Nafisa now lives with her seven children in a worn-out cloth tent. When she arrived, Nafisa got a job carrying water for people, walking almost seven kilometers (about five miles) one way to get to the nearest water point. “It takes me more than two hours to get to the nearest water point and I do it more than once to be able to buy food for my children,” explains Nafisa.

Having left everything behind, he says life has not been easy in South Sudan. “We had a house, a job and even a school for my children in Sudan, but here even water costs $3, which I can’t afford,” she says, adding that although they receive some support from aid agencies, they don’t It’s like that. enough.

Nafisa and Aisha, along with their families, are among more than 600,000 people who have fled to neighboring South Sudan since fighting between rival military factions engulfed much of Sudan.

But this new emergency is testing an already limited and underfunded response in South Sudan, a country of about 11 million people, which is still recovering from the devastation of a brutal seven-year civil war that ended in 2020.

More than 2.2 million South Sudanese remain internally displaced due to conflict and the impacts of climate change. Three quarters of South Sudan’s population need humanitarian aid.

“People here have shown a lot of resilience and determination to build their lives despite all the adversities, but they need our support,” said Dr Manenji Mangundu, Oxfam’s country director in South Sudan, adding: “We must act now and help save lives.