The Future is Equal

News & Media

South Sudan: More than 300 people share a single water tap, as transit centres hold four times their capacity

South Sudan: More than 300 people share a single water tap, as transit centres hold four times their capacity, increasing risk of cholera outbreak – warns Oxfam 

The influx of over half a million people fleeing Sudan’s conflict meant that transit centres in Renk – a border town in neighbouring South Sudan- are swelling with people four times their capacity, with more than 300 people sharing one water tap. The lack of clean water and sanitation is increasing the risk of cholera, warned Oxfam today. 

Over r 15,000 people stay in two centres designed to host only 4,750 people.  Up to 5,000 more people are living in the open with no access to any clean water or proper hygiene.

Even prior to the recent conflict, there were 1,027 cases of cholera in South Sudan. The rains, together with a lack of proper water or sanitation, increase the risk of diseases outbreak. Currently, 100 people are share just one latrine – more than double the minimum standard.

Oxfam in South Sudan Country Director, Dr. Manenji Mangundu, said:  

“I just came back from Renk where people are crammed in shelters in horrifying conditions. Many have to queue for hours just to use clean water or a toilet. Without an immediate injection of funds, the situation will explode into a full-blown catastrophe, leaving many more people at risk of diseases and going hungry. The upcoming rainy season in April will cut off major roads hampering vital aid and further limiting people’s transportation to shelters.”

Over 80% of the population in South Sudan – four out of five people- are already in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Overlapping crises including five years of floods and conflicts in some parts of the country have already devastated the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.

Bibiana Peter, a mother of five who was forced to flee her home in Sudan and now living in transit centre 2 in Renk, said:

“The hunger is unbearable. My children eat only once a day if they are lucky. Their meal is a small bowl of lentils for the entire day, as I watch them suffer from malnutrition. I need to walk deep into the forest for firewood, facing multiple hazards such as snakes and the risk of being attacked. If I’m lucky I sell firewood to buy little food and if not, we sleep hungry and in the open leading to diseases and insecurity.” 

The upcoming lean season (April to July 2024) will force food stocks to hit their lowest level, compounding the already dire situation for the host community. Over 7 million people in South Sudan face extreme hunger – including 79,000 facing catastrophic levels of hunger. This number has increased by 22% percent while people experiencing catastrophic hunger has more than doubled.

Despite a surge in the number of people fleeing the conflict in Sudan, and the worsening humanitarian catastrophe, funding has dwindled to an unprecedented low. The UN appeal for South Sudan in 2023 has been slashed by half compared to previous years. Since the beginning of this year, less than 4% of $1.79 billion UN appeal has been raised. This low level of funding has severely curtailed humanitarian efforts.

“With major global crises attracting attention, the crisis in South Sudan is forgotten. But the world must not turn a blind eye. We are racing against time but funding cuts at this time are stretching our capacity to the limit and are a recipe for disaster. Every day of delayed action means irreversible harm to a population that already suffered years of devastation and destitution,” added Manenji 

Oxfam, together with partners, has provided clean water and proper sanitation to over 70,000 people in the transit camps, but urgently needs $7 million to ramp up its operations and reach 400,000 people with lifesaving food, clean water and sanitation. 

Note to editors: 

  • The current capacity of Renk Transit Centres (Both Old and Extension – commonly referred to as TC1 and TC2 respectively) is 4,750. TC Extension with a capacity of 2750 individuals currently host over 15,000 individuals (over 4 times its design holding capacity)
  • The 2024 Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan for South Sudan indicates that 9 million people will need humanitarian aid in South Sudan including more than 1.6 million children who are at risk of acute malnutrition.
  • The IPC South Sudan Acute Food Insecurity Malnutrition Sep2023 July2024 report confirms 5.83 million people (46% of the population) are currently facing crisis and worse levels of hunger (IPC 3+) which is set to go up to 7.1 million during the lean season starting in April 2024.
  • South Sudan’s Humanitarian Response Plan was 4% funded in 2023 according to OCHA FTS. In 2024, to date, the Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan is only 3.6% funded (as at 27 February 2024).
  • UNOCHA FTS funding levels for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 show that 2023 was comparatively the lowest funding provided in proportion to the needs and even in light of the amount raised.
  • In 2023, the $ 1.05 billion raised is less funding than raised in any single year between 2014 and 2022.


Rachel Schaevitz/ Head of Communications, Media, and Advocacy /


Rafah, Gaza: Urgent Statement from CEOs of Humanitarian & Human Rights Organisations

We are appalled by the harrowing developments in Rafah, Gaza’s most populated area where 1.5 million people are sheltering as their last resort – over half a million of them children. If Israel launches its proposed ground offensive, thousands more civilians will be killed and the current trickle of humanitarian aid risks coming to a complete halt. If this military plan is not stopped immediately, the consequences will be catastrophic.

With significant damage to over 70 per cent of civilian infrastructure, many areas in Gaza have been reduced to rubble and are uninhabitable. Most hospitals are non-functional or only partially operational and are completely overwhelmed. There is little food, clean water, shelter, or sanitation. People are living in the most inhumane conditions, many of them out in the open. It defies belief that the Israeli military has forcibly displaced the majority of the population from their homes into Rafah – with six times as many people than before now squeezed into the area – and then announced plans to attack it.

The Israeli government’s strategy of systematic and repeated forcible transfer of the civilian population has led to the forced displacement of more than three quarters of the population, many of whom left without adequate shelter or homes to return to.  Collectively punishing civilians by denying them adequate shelter, food, clean water and other essentials needed for their survival and obstructing humanitarian relief consignments destined to alleviate starvation may amount to grave breaches of the obligations of an occupying power under International Humanitarian Law, constituting war crimes.

Last month, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling, mandated Israel to take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance in Gaza. Not only has this not happened, the situation on the ground has deteriorated further. Israel’s airstrikes in Rafah killed at least 100 Palestinians in a single day, defying both international calls for moderation and potentially the ICJ order. Over 1.5 million people trapped in Rafah have nowhere safe to go, and many have already been displaced multiple times. All of the Israeli supposed-safe spaces have been compromised, without exception, further proof that there was never truly anywhere safe in Gaza.

Our call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire is more urgent than ever as Israel’s relentless bombardment and siege have decimated Gaza and left the Palestinian civilian population starving, facing famine, and with diseases rife while obstructing attempts to alleviate their suffering. The Israeli military offensive has made it virtually impossible for our collective agencies to meaningfully and effectively deliver humanitarian work, compromising not only safety but also the very principles guiding our humanitarian efforts. Rafah has been the primary entry point for aid and bombardment will then prevent any assistance from getting through.

The silence, and at times material support of Israel’s military by powerful nations, signals distressing complicity in Gaza’s deepening crisis. Whether through the transfer of weapons, or diplomatic obstruction of resolutions, such actions have effectively granted Israel impunity. The harrowing situation in Gaza underscores the urgent need for governments worldwide to stop the supply of arms and ammunition used in these atrocities. We also call for a permanent ceasefire to protect civilian lives and release of hostages and unlawfully detained Palestinians, and full, unhindered access for humanitarian aid and workers.

States bear legal and moral responsibilities to protect civilians, prevent war crimes and uphold international law. We urge all States to consider that their inaction or continued support not only deepens the tragedy but also implicates them. We call upon them to do everything in their power to prevent further military offensives and forge a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza.


  • Ana Alcalde, Acting Secretary GeneralActionAid International 
  • Dr Agnès Callamard, Secretary General, Amnesty International 
  • Faris Arouri, Director, Association for International Development Agencies (AIDA)
  • Charlotte Slente,  Secretary General, Danish Refugee Council 
  • Manuel Patrouillard, CEO, Handicap International-Humanity & Inclusion  
  • Amitabh Behar, Executive Director, Oxfam International 
  • Rob Williams, CEO, War Child Alliance 



Rachel Schaevitz/ Oxfam Aotearoa Communications Manager /


Oxfam reaction to the Dutch court’s decision to stop military exports to Israel

Oxfam Novib, together with PAX, and the Rights Forum organizations, has won a lawsuit against the Dutch Government for exporting arms to Israel that are being used in the war in Gaza. The Dutch Court ordered the government of Netherlands to stop supplying F35 fighter jet parts to Israel within seven days, due to the clear risk of serious violations of international humanitarian law. The decision comes following the three organizations’ appeal to the court case against the Dutch government for supplying Israel with military equipment despite knowing they are used to commit war crimes in Gaza. The judge concluded, based on reports from Amnesty and the UN, that many civilians, including children, are being targeted. 

In response to the ruling, Michiel Servaes – Oxfam Novib Executive Director – said: 

“This positive ruling by the judge is very good news, especially for civilians in Gaza. It is an important step to force the Dutch government to adhere to international law, which the Netherlands has strongly advocated for in the past.  Israel has just launched an attack against the city of Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population are sheltering, the Netherlands must take immediate steps.”

“It is a pity that this legal action was necessary and, unfortunately, has taken four months to come to this conclusion. The judge had ruled that the Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation was obliged to re-examine the arms export license to Israel, and that his decision was taken incorrectly. We hope that this verdict can encourage other countries to follow suit, so that civilians in Gaza are protected by international law”.



Rachel Schaevitz/ Oxfam Aotearoa Communications Manager /


UNRWA funding cuts threaten Palestinian lives in Gaza and region, say 20 NGOs

Oxfam, together with 19 other aid organizations, is deeply concerned and outraged that some of the largest donors have suspended funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main aid provider for millions of Palestinians in Gaza and the region. The aid cuts come amid a rapidly worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. 

The suspension of funding by donor states will impact life-saving assistance for over two million civilians, over half of whom are children, who rely on UNRWA aid in Gaza. The population faces starvation, looming famine and an outbreak of disease under Israel’s continued indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate deprivation of aid in Gaza. 

We welcome UNRWA’s swift investigation into the alleged involvement of a small number of UN staff members in the October 7th  attacks. We are shocked by the reckless decision to cut a lifeline for an entire population by some of the very countries that had called for aid in Gaza to be stepped up and for humanitarians to be protected while doing their job. This decision comes as the International Court of Justice ordered immediate and effective action to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. 

152 UNRWA staff have already been killed and 145 UNRWA facilities damaged by bombardment. UNRWA is the largest humanitarian agency in Gaza and their delivery of humanitarian assistance cannot be replaced by other agencies working in Gaza. If the funding suspensions are not reversed we may see a complete collapse of the already restricted humanitarian response in Gaza. 

With approximately over one million displaced Palestinians taking shelter in or around 154 UNRWA shelters, the agency and aid organizations have continued to work in near-impossible circumstances to provide food, vaccinations, and fresh water. The countries suspending funds risk further depriving Palestinians in the region of essential food, water, medical assistance and supplies, education, and protection.

We urge donor states to reaffirm support for the vital work that UNRWA and its partners do to help Palestinians survive one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of our times. Countries must reverse these funding suspensions, uphold their duties towards the Palestinian people and scale up humanitarian assistance for civilians in dire need in Gaza and the region. 

Signatory organizations: 

  1. War Child Alliance
  2. ActionAid
  3. Norwegian Refugee Council 
  4. Diakonia 
  5. Oxfam 
  6. Première Urgence Internationale 
  7. Médecins du Monde France, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, Germany
    Danish Refugee Council
  8. Johanniter International Assistance
  9. The Association of International Development Agencies – Aida
  10. Humanity & Inclusion/ Handicap International (HI)
  12. CCFD-Terre Solidaire
  13. International Council for Voluntary Agencies
  14. Norwegian People’s Aid
  15. Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine
  16. Norwegian Church Aid 
  17. DanChurchAid
  18. American Friends Service Committee
  19. Caritas Internationalis
  20. Save the Children 

Contact information

Wealth of five richest men doubles since 2020 as five billion people made poorer in “decade of division,” says Oxfam

  • Fortunes of five richest men have shot up by 114 percent since 2020.
  • Oxfam predicts the world could have its first-ever trillionaire in just a decade while it would take more than two centuries to end poverty. 
  • A billionaire is running or the principal shareholder of 7 out of 10 of the world’s biggest corporations.
  • 148 top corporations made $1.8 trillion in profits, 52 percent up on 3-year average, and dished out huge payouts to rich shareholders while hundreds of millions faced cuts in real-term pay.
  • Oxfam urges a new era of public action, including public services, corporate regulation, breaking up monopolies and enacting permanent wealth and excess profit taxes.

The world’s five richest men have more than doubled their fortunes from $405 billion to $869 billion since 2020 —at a rate of $14 million per hour— while nearly five billion people have been made poorer, reveals a new Oxfam report on inequality and global corporate power. If current trends continue, the world will have its first trillionaire within a decade but poverty won’t be eradicated for another 229 years.

Inequality Inc., published today as business elites gather in the Swiss resort town of Davos, reveals that seven out of ten of the world’s biggest corporations have a billionaire as CEO or principal shareholder. These corporations are worth $10.2 trillion, equivalent to more than the combined GDPs of all countries in Africa and Latin America.

“We’re witnessing the beginnings of a decade of division, with billions of people shouldering the economic shockwaves of pandemic, inflation and war, while billionaires’ fortunes boom. This inequality is no accident; the billionaire class is ensuring corporations deliver more wealth to them at the expense of everyone else,” said Oxfam International interim Executive Director Amitabh Behar.

“Runaway corporate and monopoly power is an inequality-generating machine: through squeezing workers, dodging tax, privatizing the state, and spurring climate breakdown, corporations are funneling endless wealth to their ultra-rich owners. But they’re also funneling power, undermining our democracies and our rights. No corporation or individual should have this much power over our economies and our lives —to be clear, nobody should have a billion dollars”.

The past three years’ supercharged surge in extreme wealth has solidified while global poverty remains mired at pre-pandemic levels. Billionaires are $3.3 trillion richer than in 2020, and their wealth has grown three times faster than the rate of inflation. 

  • Despite representing just 21 percent of the global population, rich countries in the Global North own 69 percent of global wealth and are home to 74 percent of the world’s billionaire wealth. 
  • Share ownership overwhelmingly benefits the richest. The top 1 percent own 43 percent of all global financial assets. They hold 48 percent of financial wealth in the Middle East, 50 percent in Asia and 47 percent in Europe. 

Mirroring the fortunes of the super-rich, large firms are set to smash their annual profit records in 2023. 148 of the world’s biggest corporations together raked in $1.8 trillion in total net profits in the year to June 2023, a 52 percent jump compared to average net profits in 2018-2021. Their windfall profits surged to nearly $700 billion. The report finds that for every $100 of profit made by 96 major corporations between July 2022 and June 2023, $82 was paid out to rich shareholders.

  • Bernard Arnault is the world’s second richest man who presides over luxury goods empire LVMH, which has been fined by France‘s anti-trust body. He also owns France’s biggest media outlet, Les Échos, as well as Le Parisien
  • Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, holds a “near-monopoly” on cement in Nigeria. His empire’s expansion into oil has raised concerns about a new private monopoly.  
  • Jeff Bezos’s fortune of $167.4 billion increased by $32.7 billion since the beginning of the decade. The US government has sued Amazon, the source of Bezos’ fortune, for wielding its “monopoly power” to hike prices, degrade service for shoppers and stifle competition.

“Monopolies harm innovation and crush workers and smaller businesses. The world hasn’t forgotten how pharma monopolies deprived millions of people of COVID-19 vaccines, creating a racist vaccine apartheid, while minting a new club of billionaires,” said Behar.

People worldwide are working harder and longer hours, often for poverty wages in precarious and unsafe jobs. The wages of nearly 800 million workers have failed to keep up with inflation and they have lost $1.5 trillion over the last two years, equivalent to nearly a month (25 days) of lost wages for each worker. 

New Oxfam analysis of World Benchmarking Alliance data on more than 1,600 of the largest corporations worldwide shows that 0.4 percent of them are publicly committed to paying workers a living wage and support a living wage in their value chains. It would take 1,200 years for a woman working in the health and social sector to earn what the average CEO in the biggest 100 Fortune companies earns in a year. 

Oxfam’s report also shows how a “war on taxation” by corporations has seen the effective corporate tax rate fall by roughly a third in recent decades, while corporations have relentlessly privatized the public sector and segregated services like education and water.

“We have the evidence. We know the history. Public power can rein in runaway corporate power and inequality —shaping the market to be fairer and free from billionaire control. Governments must intervene to break up monopolies, empower workers, tax these massive corporate profits and, crucially, invest in a new era of public goods and services,” said Behar. 

“Every corporation has a responsibility to act but very few are. Governments must step up. There is action that lawmakers can learn from, from US anti-monopoly government enforcers suing Amazon in a landmark case, to the European Commission wanting Google to break up its online advertising business, and Africa’s historic fight to reshape international tax rules.”

Oxfam is calling on governments to rapidly and radically reduce the gap between the super-rich and the rest of society by: 

  • Revitalizing the state. A dynamic and effective state is the best bulwark against extreme corporate power. Governments should ensure universal provision of healthcare and education, and explore publicly-delivered goods and public options in sectors from energy to transportation. 
  • Reining in corporate power, including by breaking up monopolies and democratizing patent rules. This also means legislating for living wages, capping CEO pay, and new taxes on the super-rich and corporations, including permanent wealth and excess profit taxes. Oxfam estimates that a wealth tax on the world’s millionaires and billionaires could generate $1.8 trillion a year.  
  • Reinventing business. Competitive and profitable businesses don’t have to be shackled by shareholder greed. Democratically-owned businesses better equalize the proceeds of business. If just 10 percent of US businesses were employee-owned, this could double the wealth share of the poorest half of the US population, including doubling the average wealth of Black households. 

Notes to editors

Download Oxfam’s report “Inequality Inc.” and the methodology note.

The top five richest billionaires are from the Forbes real-time billionaires list as of the end of November 2023.

It will take 229 (almost 230) years to ensure the number of people living under the World Bank poverty line of $6.85 was reduced to zero.

According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Database, the combined GDP of economies in Africa in 2023 is $2,867 billion, while that of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is $6,517 billion, for a total of $9.4 trillion.

Oxfam defines windfall profits as those exceeding the 2018-2021 average by more than 20 percent. 

Daily death rate in Gaza higher than any other major 21st Century conflict

Israeli military killing 250 Palestinians per day with many more lives at risk from hunger, disease and cold

Israel’s military is killing Palestinians at an average rate of 250 people a day which exceeds the daily death toll of any other major conflict of recent years, Oxfam said today, as the escalation of hostilities nears its 100th day.

In addition, over 1,200 people were killed in the horrific attacks by Hamas and other armed groups in Israel on 7 October and 330 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since then.

Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East Director, said: “The scale and atrocities that Israel is visiting upon Gaza are truly shocking. For 100 days the people of Gaza have endured a living hell. Nowhere is safe and the entire population is at risk of famine.

“It is unimaginable that the international community is watching the deadliest rate of conflict of the 21st century unfold, while continuously blocking calls for a ceasefire.”

15 January 2024 CLARIFICATION: Using publicly available data, Oxfam calculated that number of average deaths per day for Gaza is significantly higher than any recent major armed conflict including Syria (96.5 deaths per day), Sudan (51.6), Iraq (50.8), Ukraine (43.9) Afghanistan (23.8) and Yemen (15.8). 

Using publicly available data, Oxfam calculated that number of average deaths per day for Gaza is significantly higher than any recent major armed conflict including Syria (96.5 deaths per day), Sudan (51.6), Iraq (50.8), Ukraine (43.9) Afghanistan (23.8) and Yemen (15.8).

The aid agency is warning that people are being increasingly forced into smaller areas due to constant bombardment, as they are forced to flee from places they have previously been told are safe, but nowhere in Gaza is truly secure. Over one million people – more than half the population – have been forced to seek shelter in Rafah on the Egyptian border. Oxfam staff in Rafah report massive overcrowding, with very little food and water, and essential medicines having run out. This crisis is further compounded by Israel’s restrictions on the entry of aid, closing borders, imposing a siege, and denying unfettered access. Currently only 10 per cent of the weekly food aid needed is getting in.

Oxfam is also warning of the massive threat to life, beyond direct casualties, from hunger and disease. The onset of cold and wet weather is making the situation even more critical, with a shortage of blankets, no fuel for heating devices and no hot water. One of Oxfam’s partner organizations, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), described the situation for those living in tents as “worse than anything you could imagine”, with makeshift shelters letting in rain, being blown away in the wind and people resorting to desperate measures like selling precious food or water supplies in order to get a blanket. 

Mutaz, an engineer who has been displaced to Al-Mawasi with his family, said: “The rain was going down from all sides of the tent. We had to sleep lying over the bag of flour to protect it from the rain. My wife and three of my daughters use one blanket at night. There are only enough blankets for four people to share. We have nothing.”

Earlier this week, a camp in Jabaliya was flooded with sewage when pipelines and a pumping station were damaged by Israeli air strikes. The lack of clean drinking water and proper sanitation poses a huge risk to health. Cases of diarrhoea are 40 times higher than this time last year, although in reality, the number of cases is likely to be significantly higher.

Sally Abi Khalil said: “While the mass atrocities continue, lives continue to be lost and critical supplies cannot get in. Israel’s total blockade of the Gaza Strip is restricting life-saving aid, including food, medical supplies and water and sanitation facilities.

“On top of the already horrific death toll, many more people could die from hunger, preventable diseases, diarrhoea and cold. The situation is particularly worrying for children, pregnant women and those with existing medical conditions.

“The only way to stop the bloodshed and prevent many more lives being lost is for an immediate ceasefire, for hostages to be released and for crucial aid supplies to be allowed in.”

The United Nations International Court of Justice is holding a hearing today on the legality of Israel’s prolonged assault on Gaza, and may issue an emergency order for the suspension of Israel’s military campaign. Oxfam supports all efforts to investigate and address all mass atrocity crimes and human rights violations, irrespective of the perpetrator.

15 January 2024 CLARIFICATION: Oxfam calculated the daily rates of conflict-related death in these named countries, using public data from UN or academic sources, by dividing the total death toll over the period for each conflict. However, that calculation therefore does not represent the respective death rates during the heaviest period of hostilities. After further review, Oxfam is confident in restating that Gaza remains the bloodiest rate of death of any conflict in the past 24 years, but the exact figures will vary during periods of more intense conflict. 

Media contact:

David Nieto, Oxfam Media & communications coordinator in Jerusalem: ‪+972 54 669 3992 /

Notes to editors:

  • Figures are based on where data is available, other conflicts for which there is not data, have not been included.
  • Deaths per day statistics are based on civilian and combatant deaths.
  • According to UNOCHA, there were 23,074 reported deaths in Gaza between 7 October 23 and 7 January 24, an average of 250.8 per day and 330 deaths so far in the West Bank.
  • Deaths per day statistics for Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen from: Human Cost of Post-9/11 Wars: Direct War Deaths in Major War Zones, Afghanistan (October 2001 – October 2019); Iraq (March 2003 – October 2019); Syria (September 2014-October 2019); Yemen (October 2002-October 2019); and Other. Neta C. Crawford and Catherine Lutz, November 13, 2019.
  • Sources for Ukraine statistics: UN OHCHR. Source for combatant casualties since February 2022 is; These figures are best estimates.
  • Sudan figures from UNOCHA (April 15 – December 7, 2023).
  • According to UNRWA, over 1 million people have fled to Rafah governate.
  • According to the Food Security Cluster, humanitarian food assistance is only meeting 10% of the weekly need, whilst 2.2m people need food each day.
  • According to the Joint Humanitarian Operations Centre (JHOC) Daily Readout, January 9, 2023, the number of cases of acute watery diarrhoea in Gaza are 40 times higher than the same period last year, but expected to be higher due to the lack of data from areas without access.