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.
Oxfam is today sending a team of water engineers and logisticians from Colombia and senior humanitarian staff from its center in Mexico in response to the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile today.
Jeremy Loveless, Oxfam’s Deputy Humanitarian Director:
“Even though the severity of the situation is unclear, Oxfam is preparing for the worst and will be sending five staff out to Chile today to assess and consider how best to help the thousands of people effected by the disaster. The team flying in have years of experience in responding to earthquakes and Oxfam also has partners in the country who can begin to help immediately. Chile is a developed country with a very capable government and while it is unlikely that this disaster will be as severe as what we saw last month in Haiti, we want to be in place to help as soon as possible.”
Oxfam is also contacting partners in the country so that the agencies response to the crisis can roll out as fast as possible.
Audio updates from Louis Belanger, Oxfam spokesperson: