Press Releases

As fighting intensifies thousands displaced by Yemen conflict could be forced to flee again, Oxfam warns

December 16th 2021

A recent increase in fighting across Yemen has forced over 100,000 people to flee their homes in the last three months, prompting Oxfam to warn that further mass displacements are imminent. Over 120 civilians have been killed in the last two months with people facing danger from airstrikes, missile and shell fire, landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Fighting has increased in recent weeks, particularly in resource rich Marib governorate where fierce clashes are concentrated to the south and west of Marib city around the Balaq mountains. Since September, 46,000 people have fled to Marib city or the Al Wadi district to the east, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Local authorities in Yemen have put the number at over 96,000.

Marib City had a population of 41,000 people only seven years ago but now hosts over one million people who have sought a safer place to live. Marib governorate is home to between one and two million displaced people.

Oxfam Yemen’s country director Muhsin Siddiquey said:
“There is fighting on all frontlines around Marib - previously it was only in certain areas. We are worried that we will not be able to reach some displaced people because they are so close to active frontlines. We are constantly trying to support more people in Marib but we need to be able to help them safely. We’ve already had to move our cash distributions as frontlines shift. Our team keep witnessing shelling in populated areas every week.”

As well as trying to flee the fighting, displaced people are dying in the harsh winter conditions. Local media have reported that an elderly lady and a young baby died at the weekend.

Many people have been forced to flee several times and Oxfam is concerned that they have nowhere left to run. Land to the east of Marib is dry and with scarce resources.

Salem* and his family had to live in caves and drink pond water when they were first displaced. They fled to two different camps before eventually reaching Alswidan camp on the outskirts of Marib. Each time, he and his family would leave everything behind and walk for hours to reach their next safe location. He said:

“People in the camp are always afraid of military actions that could hit them anytime. We all live in anxiety. I can’t even leave the camp for a short time. I live with fear about my family and my family sleep and wake up frightened.”

Marib is not the only area affected by the recent increase in violence. Civilians have suffered losses in attacks carried out by different warring parties across the country. In October, fierce fighting near Al-Abdiyah severely restricted humanitarian access and access to hospitals, leading to concerns that situation may be repeated in Marib.

During nearly seven years of conflict, over four million people have been forced from their homes and there have been over 18,500 direct civilian casualties. Over two-thirds of Yemenis are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

The UN Human Rights Council voted to end the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen, the body responsible for monitoring human rights in Yemen, in early October. All parties in Yemen’s protracted conflict have been responsible for civilian casualties.

Siddiquey said:
“Humanitarian Law clearly states that civilian areas must not be targeted in any conflict. Yet civilians continue to be killed and homes and other civilian infrastructure continue to be destroyed. This crisis is getting worse, as is daily life for Yemeni civilians caught in the crossfire. The international community must urgently negotiate a lasting peace.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Salem* (name changed to protect identity)

Displacement information from IOM:https://www.iom.int/sitreps/yemen-marib-response-flash-update-20-27-november-2021" target="_blank and https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/20211025_RDT_Weekly%20Update-%2017-%2023%20Oct%202021.pdf

Death of elderly lady and young baby

Civilian casualties taken from figures compiled by https://civilianimpactmonitoring.org/ and Yemen Data project : https://mailchi.mp/99878f9c6934/december2021-yemen-data-project-update-6531620?e=33bbd0634b

Oxfam press release: Reaction to today’s decision by the UN Human Rights Council to withdraw the mandate to the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen 7 October 2021

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Leading medics and scientists request meeting with Taoiseach on TRIPS waiver in relation to Omicron fears

Over 400 leading doctors and scientists have issued a letter to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, requesting a meeting regarding vaccine inequity and the Omicron variant. A small representation from the Doctors for Vaccine Equity group, who are part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance in Ireland, and the Irish Society of Immunology presented the letter to the Taoiseach’s office today (09.12.2021).

This group of doctors and scientists is calling on the Government to work towards temporarily suspending patent rules on Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments in order to increase their  production and thereby , increase access in low- and middle-income countries. Signatories include Professor Kingston Mills, Professor Sam McConkey, Professor Cliona Ni Cheallaigh and Professor Luke O’Neill.

Speaking at the handover of the letter today, Dr Christine Kelly, founding member of Doctors for Vaccine Equity and an Infectious Diseases SpR and Honorary Clinical Fellow at UCD, said:

“Viral mutations occur when viruses replicate, meaning that the more virus is circulating in a population, the higher the risk of new mutations. Leaving large populations unvaccinated is increasing the risk of new variants, like we are seeing now with Omicron.”

Echoing Dr Kelly, Professor Cliona O’Farrelly, PhD, Professor of Comparative Immunology TCD, said: “It is becoming increasingly urgent to address the issue of vaccine inequity which is making sure these variants are a constant threat. This is why we are seeking a meeting with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD as a matter of urgency to ensure Ireland is working to support the TRIPS waiver which would allow greater access to vaccine technologies across the globe.

“Vaccine inequity is having a profound impact not just on people living in low-income countries who have little or no access to vaccines and vaccine technologies but is effecting everyone on the planet. Variants like Omicron will continue to threaten all health systems including our own here in Ireland, as we struggle to deal with increasing case numbers and our hospitals become too overwhelmed by Covid to cope with other sick patients.

“Vaccine inequity is a human rights issue, we have a moral obligation. We have the knowledge and strategies available to protect the lives of millions of people in low-income countries, particularly in the continent of Africa.

“We are urging the Government to adopt a global viewpoint in our handling of the pandemic – only though working to facilitate equitable access to vaccines will we be able to effectively bring the pandemic under control.”

Oxfam Ireland online Christmas shop now open

  • Oxfam's online Christmas shop is back this year!

  • Go green and power people this Christmas with Oxfam’s online gift range 

  • Check out our amazing gift range of the latest Tech and gadgets

Oxfam Ireland have officially relaunched their online Christmas shop calling on people to do something precious this Christmas by giving gifts that support both people and planet. 

The charity is calling on the public to shop with purpose this year by visiting their new online pop-up shop to browse their wide range of gifts. Each gift makes a lasting impact by supporting small traders the world over and helping to raise vital funds for Oxfam’s global work to beat poverty.

This year we also have an incredible range of the latest tech and gadgets available from our Christmas shop

The Sourced by Oxfam range contains an abundance of festive food, gifts and eco-products that are made with care, protect the planet, and help the women and men who produce them to earn a decent living – providing them with a way to lift themselves out of poverty. Present ideas in this year’s gift range include Zaytoun's Extra Virgin Olive Oil (€28). This Fairtrade oil is sourced from family-owned olive groves in Palestine. Zaytoun is an award-winning social enterprise where 100 percent of profits are reinvested into furthering their mission of supporting Palestinian farmers by paying a fair price - enabling them to fund community projects and invest in farming tools. 

Michael McIlwaine, Oxfam Ireland’s Head of Retail, said: “This Christmas, we’re asking people to give something different by shopping more sustainably on our new online shop. 

“Everything in our range of gifts is guaranteed to last longer than your festive bottle of wine or foodie hamper as all of them contribute to our mission to beat poverty for good by raising vital funds for our work across the world.

“From supporting development projects that transform lives in Rwanda, Tanzania and beyond, to saving lives through emergency responses in places like Yemen – where millions of people already on the brink of famine now face a deadly winter freeze – your gift will make a difference for people most in need and help to protect our shared planet.

“Last year alone, the generosity of people shopping at Oxfam, especially at Christmas time, raised enough money to fund life-changing projects that positively impacted the lives of 7.9 million people across 10 countries – including supporting women to develop businesses and earn an income, getting safe, clean water to people in desperate need, and helping communities prepare for extreme weather events.”

In addition to their online shop, Oxfam also offer their Unwrapped gift collection. With Unwrapped, you are guaranteed to find the perfect card – be it for a winter birthday or wedding, or a quick hello or season’s greetings - in support a cause you or your recipient care about, such as climate change or access to education. People can add a personal message to their gift card either online (e-card) or by hand (Oxfam post you out your Unwrapped card). 

McIlwaine concluded: “Why not commit to give something different as one of your gifts this year? Whether that’s your workplace Kris Kringle or family stocking fillers, Oxfam’s online shop and Unwrapped gift range has you covered.” 

Visit the new Oxfam online shop via https://shop.oxfamireland.org/

To see Oxfam’s full range of Unwrapped gifts, visit oxfamireland.org/unwrapped

Posted In:

Oxfam Ireland online Christmas shop now open

  • Oxfam's online Christmas shop is back this year!

  • Go green and power people this Christmas with Oxfam’s online gift range 

  • Check out our amazing gift range of the latest Tech and gadgets

Oxfam Ireland have officially relaunched their online Christmas shop calling on people to do something precious this Christmas by giving gifts that support both people and planet. 

The charity is calling on the public to shop with purpose this year by visiting their new online pop-up shop to browse their wide range of gifts. Each gift makes a lasting impact by supporting small traders the world over and helping to raise vital funds for Oxfam’s global work to beat poverty.

This year we also have an incredible range of the latest tech and gadgets available from our Christmas shop

The Sourced by Oxfam range contains an abundance of festive food, gifts and eco-products that are made with care, protect the planet, and help the women and men who produce them to earn a decent living – providing them with a way to lift themselves out of poverty. Present ideas in this year’s gift range include Zaytoun's Extra Virgin Olive Oil (€28). This Fairtrade oil is sourced from family-owned olive groves in Palestine. Zaytoun is an award-winning social enterprise where 100 percent of profits are reinvested into furthering their mission of supporting Palestinian farmers by paying a fair price - enabling them to fund community projects and invest in farming tools. 

Michael McIlwaine, Oxfam Ireland’s Head of Retail, said: “This Christmas, we’re asking people to give something different by shopping more sustainably on our new online shop. 

“Everything in our range of gifts is guaranteed to last longer than your festive bottle of wine or foodie hamper as all of them contribute to our mission to beat poverty for good by raising vital funds for our work across the world.

“From supporting development projects that transform lives in Rwanda, Tanzania and beyond, to saving lives through emergency responses in places like Yemen – where millions of people already on the brink of famine now face a deadly winter freeze – your gift will make a difference for people most in need and help to protect our shared planet.

“Last year alone, the generosity of people shopping at Oxfam, especially at Christmas time, raised enough money to fund life-changing projects that positively impacted the lives of 7.9 million people across 10 countries – including supporting women to develop businesses and earn an income, getting safe, clean water to people in desperate need, and helping communities prepare for extreme weather events.”

In addition to their online shop, Oxfam also offer their Unwrapped gift collection. With Unwrapped, you are guaranteed to find the perfect card – be it for a winter birthday or wedding, or a quick hello or season’s greetings - in support a cause you or your recipient care about, such as climate change or access to education. People can add a personal message to their gift card either online (e-card) or by hand (Oxfam post you out your Unwrapped card). 

McIlwaine concluded: “Why not commit to give something different as one of your gifts this year? Whether that’s your workplace Kris Kringle or family stocking fillers, Oxfam’s online shop and Unwrapped gift range has you covered.” 

Visit the new Oxfam online shop via https://shop.oxfamireland.org/

To see Oxfam’s full range of Unwrapped gifts, visit oxfamireland.org/unwrapped

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COP26 Deserves A Guarded Welcome

13th November 2021.

As COP26 reached a deal in Glasgow, Oxfam Ireland has given a guarded welcome to an agreement that does not go far enough to avert the risks and injustices of climate change.

According to the charity, while there has been incremental progress in several policy areas, this compromise agreement does not contain the urgent measures required for the planetary and humanitarian emergency we face.

The charity is calling on all nation states to turn the focus of action to national levels, in order to hold to global heating to 1.5 degree Celsius.

Focus must also turn to real measures of international solidarity in order to redress the global injustices of climate change.

Commenting on the deal agreed in Glasgow, Simon Murtagh, Senior Policy and Research Coordinator for Oxfam Ireland said: “At every level, COP26 did not deliver the goals we sought urgent action on.

“The process couldn’t deliver for small island states facing immediate destruction. Nor could it deliver for two million Kenyans currently left destitute by the effects of climate change, nor for millions more in Yemen, Madagascar or central America, who face hunger and destitution caused by climate change.

“At COP26, developing countries and small island states strongly made their voices heard, demanding justice and accountability in historic terms.

“Their words and actions did make a difference and improved the outcome of the conference on a number of levels, politically as well as technically.

“The results were a better wording to restrict global warming to 1.5C, a fairer balance of mitigation and adaptation policies, vital to the developing world, but a failure to move forward on the crucial issue of Loss and Damage.”

Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland added: “It is possible to see green shoots of progress in the agreement from COP26.

“The agreement to double the level of climate finance allocated to adaptation measures, vital to the developing world, represents real progress, as does the mention of fossil fuels and coal as the drivers of global warming that must be phased out.

“We understand that the improved measures in climate finance were supported by Ireland and by the EU.

“It is now left to us, and to all nations at COP26, to return home and drive emissions down through policies agreed by all social partners, government and citizens.

“For our part in Ireland, we must reach the 7% average reduction per year in Green House Gases (GHGs), set out in the Programme for Government, sooner rather than later.

“We owe it to our children, and to the people of the world facing the deadly effects of climate change right now, to make an urgent, just transition.

“In all our ways of living and working, we must act now to create a fairer, more sustainable world following COP26.” 

ENDS

Contact: Darragh McGirr, Alice PR & Events, media@alicepr.com, 086-2599369

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