our approach

Syria Crisis: 1.1 million people have fled
Syria Crisis: 1.1 million people have fled
Photo: Luca Sola / Oxfam

When disaster strikes, we’re there. Thanks to your support, our teams are saving lives around the world right now. The world leader in emergency response, we believe it’s just as important to help communities to prevent crises and to support them to build their resilience in the aftermath.

The conflict in Syria has resulted in a severe and worsening emergency.

More than 4 million refugees have fled into neighbouring countries.

Those who have fled are in desperate need of shelter, food, water and medical care. We're scaling up our response to help families through the coming months.

We're also working to tackle the worsening Syria crisis. 

Samira (right) is living with 12 other members of her family in a one room shelter. Half of the wall is made from cardboard and plastic sheeting. There is hardly any heating and the floor is wet.

“I cannot get any sort of sleep at night. I just can’t stop thinking about how to feed my children and how to protect them. Sometimes I try to sell things that I have in order to get some money for food for the children.”

Your generosity is making a huge difference. However, we need your continued support to prevent this crisis situation from escalating.

Philippines Typhoon Appeal
Philippines Typhoon Appeal
Photo: Colin Keegan Collins

Acting quickly saves lives. We are ready and on the ground with a major disaster response in the Philippines where super typhoon Hagupit (known locally as Ruby) threatens widespread devastation. 

We have been working in the Philippines for many years and have the local knowledge and skills to bring aid to those worst affected. Making sure people have clean water, safe sanitation and a roof over their heads will be among our activities. 

Typhoon Hagupit comes one year after our rapid response to Typhoon Haiyan helped over 860,000 people. Our first priority was to provide life-saving assistance, such as clean water, toilets, hygiene kits, and cash to buy food and other essentials. We then began helping people to recover the livelihoods that had been destroyed by the disaster.

Martha Nyandit
South Sudan crisis
Martha Nyandit and her children were forced to flee their homes after coming under brutal attack. Photo: Pablo Tosco / Oxfam

Fierce fighting in South Sudan has forced more than a million people from their homes.

With 3.7 million people currently facing crisis levels of hunger and in desperate need of food, water and sanitation, we must act now and we need your help to save lives.

Fearing for their lives, millions of people in South Sudan desperately need emergency assistance like water, food and sanitation. We are there but need your support. Please donate to our South Sudan appeal now.

Debie & Doule carry a bag of rice near Bermo, Niger
and Doule carry a bag of rice, Niger
Photo: Glenn Edwards / Oxfam

Our approach to emergencies

The money you donate to our emergency appeals goes directly to the people affected, ensuring that they get clean water, food, shelter and security. We’re helping many more people than ever, with more and better aid, delivered by more professionally trained aid workers and in a manner that treats people and communities caught up in an emergency with the respect and dignity they deserve. We are able to reach more people because we have invested over the years in helping local organisations build their own capacity to respond to crises when they strike. This is made possible by the phenomenal response of the public north and south to communities in crisis. Our East Africa appeal in 2011 raised an astonishing €1.12m/£1m, helping us to reach 2.8 million people. One year from the East Africa food crisis, you’re continuing to support communities like Helen Eweton’s in Turkana, Kenya. This video shows their delight as we build them a borehole, bringing desperately needed fresh water to their village. Projects like this are made possible by you. Thank you for donating to our East Africa appeal. Other emergencies where you’ve played a vital role in saving lives include the Ivory Coast and Liberia crisis, the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the Pakistan floods, the Haiti earthquake and the emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Delivering Aid, fast

Each year more than 30 million people flee their homes as a result of conflict and natural disaster and over 500,000 people are killed in war. As part of Oxfam, we are currently working in emergencies in over 30 countries around the world. Some are in the public eye; some are forgotten by the world’s media. We respond to wherever we’re needed. We launch an emergency response whenever lives, health, and livelihoods are threatened as a result of natural disasters or armed conflict. In emergencies people need help. Fast. We respond to humanitarian crisis anywhere in the world where we are confident we can save and protect lives.

After an emergency and before

After an emergency, we stay for the long-term, helping people rebuild their lives and restore their way of living. In some countries, people cannot return home due to ongoing conflict. We work in camps for displaced people helping them to secure a basic way to make a living, protection from violence and a voice. Before emergencies happen, we prepare contingency plans and work with local partners to increase their preparedness and ability to cope with disasters. This can mean literally raising villages beyond the reach of annual floodwaters, or strengthening houses in areas prone to hurricanes.

We learn from past experiences

We took a long hard look at how the international community reacted to the food crisis which took hold in East Africa in 2011. We spoke out about how a culture of risk aversion that caused a six month delay in the large-scale aid effort because humanitarian agencies and national governments were too slow to scale up their response to the crisis, and many donors wanted proof of a humanitarian catastrophe before acting to prevent one in A Dangerous Delay, a joint report with Save the Children. This is why we’ve acted quickly and decisively when the earliest warnings of a food crisis in West Africa’s Sahel region began to show.