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.
At the UN donor conference on the reconstruction of Haiti, the international community has pledged some $5 billion in aid over the next 2 years.
Philippe Mathieu, Spokesperson of Oxfam in New York said:
“The $5 billion headline figure is impressively generous and what is needed for Haiti.
“However this must be new not recycled money taken from other humanitarian crises. The poor and vulnerable of other disasters should not be paying for this.
"The last time the region was hit by a natural disaster of this scale, Hurricane Mitch of 1998, only less than a third of the $9bn promised materialized. This cannot be allowed to happen this time.
“Almost every country exceeded in its financial obligations to help Haiti. Soon these pledges will need to turn into concrete progress on the ground. This cannot be a VIP pageant of half promises.”
“The amounts pledged today should be made a reality for the tens of thousands of victims as soon as possible. Mechanisms will need to be put in place quickly for the Haitian civil society, the private sector and local authorities to be able to have a say and watch over the spending of these funds. The government must also immediately start communicating the options people have in advance of the rainy season. Without this, NGOs and the UN might be put in the difficult position of doing it themselves."
View the slideshow: Oxfam in Haiti (March 2010)
Watch the video: Rebuilding Haiti: Haitians say jobs are key to recovery
Download the report: Haiti: A Once-in-a-Century Chance for Change
Explore the map: Oxfam's response to the Haiti earthquake
In detail: What Oxfam is doing in Haiti