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 has been working in Haiti since 1978. We have focused on supporting communities and local government in sustainable livelihoods, disaster risk reduction, good governance and humanitarian assistance.
In response to the earthquake, Oxfam is providing life-saving water and sanitation, working closely with other organizations to ensure that assistance is well-coordinated. We are also supporting local organizations with which we have a long-term relationship to assess and respond to the humanitarian crisis in other affected areas.
As the international response move from rescue to rebuilding, here are Oxfam's recommendations:
- All actors should ensure that the people of Haiti have a central role in the process of reconstruction and that reconstruction is equitable.
- Those delivering assistance on the ground should immediately work to coordinate within the UN established system and with the Haitian government.
- In consultation with NGOs, the UN should establish a system to determine who receives fuel, for what purposes and in what priority.
- The Haitian government, UN and international military actors must work together to improve the security situation.
- Protection, particularly for women and children, should be mainstreamed into the design of all programs, in consultation with affected people and local civil society.
- The government, UN, donors and other actors must ensure that efforts to restore and improve public services, infrastructure and economic activity prioritize poorer communities.
- It is not too early to lay a new foundation for Haiti’s reconstruction and development with complete debt forgiveness, aid in the form of grants not loans and a “pro-poor” approach that prioritizes livelihoods and sustainable development led by Haitians from the start.