Emergency food response to the Indonesian tsunami. Photo: Jim Holmes/Oxfam
Oxfam responds to emergencies whenever lives, health, and livelihoods are endangered

Emergency response

Each year more than 30 million people flee their homes as a result of conflict and natural disasters like cyclone and floods. Over 500,000 people are killed in war. The livelihoods of many more are destroyed, and families broken up. Oxfam is currently working in emergency situations in over 30 countries around the world.

Oxfam's response

We launch an emergency response whenever lives, health, and livelihoods are threatened by natural disasters, or armed conflict. In any emergency, our primary goal is to reduce the incidence of death and disease. We’re also committed to staying as long as there is a need, to help people rebuild their lives.

We’re recognized globally as experts in water and sanitation provision, with a strong track record in ensuring access to food, providing basic necessities, and promoting hygiene. In recent years we have been involved in the provision of shelter.

Pushing for action

But our work doesn’t stop there. Oxfam lobbies governments and bodies like the UN too, influencing international responses to conflicts and disasters – for example, by raising funds for relief work and pressing for swifter aid.

We work at community, national and international levels to reduce the likelihood of disasters occurring in the first place, and to prepare communities to be better able to cope with disasters when they do.

Learning from our work

We are continually measuring our effectiveness, and looking at how we can demonstrate real improvements in the field as a result of new procedures and practices.

We are also exploring ways of responding to humanitarian crises which may be more long term in nature especially as consequence of global climate change, such as protecting and rebuilding livelihoods. We realize that this cannot be done in isolation – we work closely with our partners to design and deliver appropriate crisis preparation and response.

We feed our learning into our work with the UN and other humanitarian agencies.  And we’ll keep challenging ourselves and others until the whole humanitarian sector can guarantee support for all people caught in emergencies.

Oxfam is signatory to the following institutional frameworks:

How you can help

Read about the emergencies we are responding to now.

Donate to Oxfam's Emergency Relief Efforts.

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