A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam:
"While Oxfam has no connection to the Gaza flotilla, as an international humanitarian and development organization, we condemn any use of violence and the loss of civilian life which occurred when the Israeli navy intercepted it at sea.
Oxfam extends its sincere condolences to the families and relatives of those killed and wounded. We believe that those on the boats should be treated in a manner consistent with international human rights standards. Oxfam calls for a full and independent inquiry to ascertain what took place and to ensure accountability.
The 1.5 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip have been living under Israeli blockade for three years and are in dire need of sufficient supplies. The relief items on the boats included cement to rebuild homes destroyed during Israeli military operation Cast Lead, medical items like wheelchairs and materials to repair the failing water system. This particular incident could have been prevented if Israel and the international community had worked effectively together to lift the blockade of the occupied territory which would provide a structural, long-term solution to the humanitarian and development needs of the Gazan people. The blockade of Gaza has widely been condemned as collective punishment, which is illegal under international law.”
Oxfam International's work around the Gaza crisis