Press Releases

Half a million homeless Yemenis on brink of famine face winter freeze

 
More than half a million people who have fled fighting in Yemen are facing a double threat of famine and near freezing temperatures Oxfam said today, as it called on the warring parties to respect the ceasefire agreed in Sweden last week. 
 
People forced to flee their homes are set for a winter struggle to survive in areas of the country which are one step away from famine and often without adequate shelter to protect them or fuel to keep them warm as temperatures plummet. 
 
Almost 20,000 displaced people are facing winter weather in districts already experiencing famine conditions. 
 
Winter temperatures are likely to drop to below freezing in highland areas of Yemen and rain brought in by southwest winds can fall in heavy torrents, leading to flooding. Many of the 530,000 displaced people living in these areas are in makeshift shelters with no insulation or weatherproofing
 
Humanitarian agencies have identified over 75,000 displaced, vulnerable families in districts across the country who will need help to cope during the winter months, and there are likely to be more who haven’t been included in the assessment. 2658 of these families are in districts with catastrophic levels of hunger. 
 
Despite the warring parties agreeing to a ceasefire and withdrawal of forces from the key city and port of Hudaydah at negotiations in Sweden last week, there have been clashes, shelling and airstrikes in recent days. Continued fighting will disrupt aid efforts and make it harder for Yemenis to survive the winter. 
 
Muhsin Siddiquey, Oxfam’s Yemen Country Director said: “Freezing temperatures could be the final straw for families already struggling to survive desperate hunger. Imagine trying to survive a winter freeze in a tent, far from your home, without knowing where your next meal is coming from - that is the dreadful prospect facing tens of thousands of families. 
 
"It is vital that the ceasefire holds so that aid is able to reach as many people as possible this winter and those struggling to survive at least get a respite from the fighting. 
 
“While a step in the right direction, the international community cannot assume that the agreements reached in Sweden will fix everything. They need to keep the pressure on the warring parties to lay down their weapons and work towards a peaceful solution to the conflict that will give the people of Yemen real hope.” 
 
Malnourished people are less able to cope with disease and extreme temperatures. Food price rises have put the cost of basic necessities beyond the reach of many. The price of a month’s worth of essential food rose 15 per cent in October, the last month for which data is available. This basket of foods now costs 137 per cent more than it did before the conflict began. 
 
Yemen has already been described by the UN as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. 
 
Salaries of public sector workers in the north of the country have not been paid for almost two years, leaving approximately 6.9 million people without a main source of income. Around eight million people are thought to have lost their jobs since the beginning of the conflict because of the closure of private businesses. 
 
Oxfam is providing aid, including clean water and cash to buy basic food supplies, to people forced to flee their homes. 
 
ENDS
 
For more information , please contact:
 
ROI:     Alice Dawson-Lyons on 083 198 1869 /alice.dawsonlyons@oxfam.org
 
NI:        Phillip Graham on 07841 102535 / phillip.graham@oxfam.org
 

Oxfam Ballymena unwraps new ‘all-in-one’ store in time for Christmas

 
Oxfam proudly opened its new state-of-the-art shop in Ballymena on Thursday (13th December 2018) – and warmly invites the local community to come browse and buy, raising vital funds that will save and transform lives worldwide. 
 
The new and larger shop is on 6-9 Wellington Street and Oxfam Ballymena store manager Rebecca McCoy said: “We are very excited about our ‘all-in-one’ shop, which boasts a larger floor area and is elegantly separated into 3 distinct zones. I’m sure people in Ballymena and beyond will be suitably impressed too!
 
“The new premises combine a dedicated Oxfam Books section, a Six 4 GOOD section full of brand new jewellery and fashion accessories, as well as a generous range of traditional charity shop goods, including pre-owned quality clothing, homewares, music and DVDs. So it really is a diverse one-stop shop.”
 
The shop is also currently offering Oxfam’s Christmas 2018 range of Fair Trade and ethically-sourced gifts and the Unwrapped gift card range that change and save lives while catering for all your Christmas essentials. 
 
Rebecca McCoy added: “It’s great to have unwrapped and opened this shop just in time for Christmas – it’s like an early present for the people of Ballymena and for the vulnerable people Oxfam works with.
 
“Everything in-store is guaranteed to help beat poverty for good by raising vital funds for Oxfam’s work across the world – from development projects that change lives in Rwanda, Tanzania and beyond, to saving lives in places like Yemen where millions of people face hunger and disease.”
 
Oxfam’s Ballymena store is also looking for additional enthusiastic volunteers to pledge their time and make a difference to the lives of people around the world. “It’s a great way to meet new people and gain new skills, as training will be provided,” said deputy shop manager Laura Gaston.
 
“However you choose to support Oxfam Ballymena – whether by volunteering, shopping with us or donating your pre-loved but now unwanted goods to us – you’ll be supporting our work worldwide, helping to change lives for good through our long-term development work, emergency response and campaigning to tackle the root causes of poverty and injustice.” 
 
If you are interested in volunteering, or wish to donate items for sale, please drop in to 6-9 Wellington Street, Ballymena or contact Rebecca or Laura on 028 2565 8341.
 
ENDS
 
For more information, to request further images or for case studies of how shopping at Oxfam makes a difference, please contact: Phillip Graham on 07841 102535 / phillip.graham@oxfam.org
 
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
 
Available in-store and online via oxfamireland.org/unwrapped, the Unwrapped gift card range starts at just £7 and support a wide range of life-changing projects. 
 
 
Photos by Jonathan Porter, Press Eye Photography. (Left to Right: Michael McIlwaine, Head of Retail, Oxfam Ireland; Laura Gaston, Oxfam Ballymena Deputy Shop Manager; Margaret Pajakowska, Oxfam Ballymena shop volunteer; Rebecca McCoy, Oxfam Ballymena Shop Manager; Trevor Anderson, Director of Trading, Oxfam Ireland;  Mark Kinneen, District Retail Manager, Oxfam Ireland)
 
Photos by Jonathan Porter, Press Eye Photography. (Left to Right: Laura Gaston, Oxfam Ballymena Deputy Shop Manager; Margaret Pajakowska, Oxfam Ballymena shop volunteer)
 

Ebola cases in DRC reach 500

 

OXFAM: Ebola cases in DRC reach 500, as country faces threat of more violence ahead of elections

In response to the number of Ebola cases in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reaching 500, Chals Wontewe, Oxfam’s Country Director in the DRC, said:

“DRC is battling to keep Ebola under control; cases are increasing at a quicker rate and the virus has spread further.

“Although the outbreak is still far from the scale of the West Africa epidemic, we’re operating in an extremely complex environment and facing the very real threat of more violence and instability in the run up to the elections.

“The response could be forced to slow down, or even be suspended - every time this has happened before the virus spread further.

“The election must be allowed to take place peacefully and all candidates and their supporters must put the well-being of the Congolese people first, if we’re to have any hope of putting an end to the Ebola outbreak and the horrendous suffering people have faced for decades.”

Ends

For more information , please contact:
 
ROI:     Alice Dawson-Lyons on 083 198 1869 /alice.dawsonlyons@oxfam.org
 
NI:        Phillip Graham on 07841 102535 / phillip.graham@oxfam.org

 

Life-changing Unwrapped Gifts

This festive season why not choose a gift for your business customers, staff or other stakeholders that will last long after Christmas and change lives for good.  Investing in our Unwrapped range of gifts will literally guarantee positive returns for some of the world’s poorest for generations to come.

What is Oxfam Unwrapped?

Each Unwrapped gift is representative of our work around the world with the funds raised helping to support a range of initiatives in one of four life changing and often life-saving programme funds – depending on which gift you choose. 

Life-changing Unwrapped Gifts

Please visit our online catalogue to find life-changing gift ideas priced from €10 to €1,000. For €65 you can put a child struggling to get to school on The Road to Education – and a better future. For students in southern Malawi, who used to have to walk up to 25 kilometres for school, getting to the classroom used to be an ordeal. Many students – especially young girls, like Grace* (pictured) – thought about dropping out of school before completing their education. But since Oxfam started distributing bikes to schoolgirls in the region, they spend less time travelling and more time learning. *Name changed  

Please look at this 2-minute video to see how Oxfam are helping Grace to break the cycle of poverty.

How to Buy

Once you’ve selected your Unwrapped Gifts there are several ways you can buy:

1)      Online at oxfamireland.org/unwrapped

2)      Via email at irl-unwrapped@oxfam.org

3)      Call our office at 1850 30 40 55. We’re open Monday through Friday 9am-5pm.

4)      Or, visit your local Oxfam shop. There, you can select your gift cards of choice and pick up some other items on your Christmas list.

We’re offering Chamber of Commerce members a BAA-rilliant 10% discount on bundles of 10 cards – please email irl-unwrapped@oxfam.org to avail of this. 

As one of the world’s leading and most trusted aid organisations, Oxfam is the perfect charity partner for your business. Whatever gift you decide to buy, we’ll ensure that your donation gets to the people who need it most and will continue to give hope and a brighter future to families and communities around the world.

When animals help families build a better future

Want to give that special someone something udderly unique this Christmas? Then why not make a really dairying moove – get them a Cow (€50/£46) from Oxfam’s Unwrapped range of gifts.

In Tanzania, widow and mother-of-six Noongishu’s life has been transformed since receiving a cow. She is now able to sell milk to earn an income for food and basic household items to provide for her family.

“I have been lifted from the pool of poverty and am now valued in the society,” she said. 

In many communities around the world, livestock provides a financial backbone for poor families, helping them to feed their children, pay medical bills and cover school fees. The funds generated by this gift help communities who rely on animals make a secure and sustainable living. 

Money raised from this gift supports our Livelihoods projects. Oxfam Unwrapped helps people build happier, brighter futures.  

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