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A Preventable Crisis: El Niño and La Niña events need earlier responses and a renewed focus on prevention

July 15, 2016

The devastating impacts of the 2015-16 El Niño will be felt well into 2017. This crisis was predicted, yet overall, the response has been too little too late. The looming La Niña event may further hit communities that are already deeply vulnerable. To end this cycle of failure, there is an urgent need for humanitarian action where the situation is already dire, to prepare for La Niña later this year, to commit to comprehensive new measures to build communities' resilience, and to mobilize global action to address climate change which is creating a 'new normal' of higher temperatures, drought and unpredictable growing seasons.

Solidarity With Syrians: Action needed on aid, refuge, and to end the bloodshed

October 5, 2015

The arrival of tens of thousands of Syrians to Europe's borders and the shocking deaths of women, children and men on their perilous journey has been a sharp reminder to the international community of the tragedy engulfing the people of Syria. Syrians put themselves and their families at so much risk only out of sheer desperation.The international community has failed so far to address the spiralling catastrophe in Syria. This briefing calls for urgent and immediate action by the international community to deal with this deepening crisis:to fully fund the aid response;to offer refuge to those who have fled Syria, including through resettlement of a fair share of the refugee population;to halt the transfer of arms and ammunition andto revive concerted efforts towards a resolution of the crisis.

The Right Move? Ensuring durable relocation after typhoon Haiyan

April 24, 2014

Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) left four million people homeless. Local authorities are preparing to relocate thousands of them, to protect them from future disasters. However, current plans ignore key elements of sustainable relocation processes, and lack technical guidance and support. People may see their rights denied and become poorer and more vulnerable to disasters.Similar gaps emerged previously in the Philippines and led to failed relocations. The government's response to typhoon Haiyan should demonstrate increased political will to 'do it right' this time and resolve these issues once and for all.Oxfam's paper, 'The Right Move?', shares the results of a survey of 435 people at risk of relocation, and provides key recommendations on how the Philippines government, the international community and civil society can ensure a better and more successful relocation process.

Mali's Conflict Refugees: Responding to a growing crisis

January 21, 2013

With conflict escalating in Mali, the aid effort to help some 145,000 refugees living in camps across remote, poor areas of the Sahel could become overwhelmed unless there is a step-change in the way aid operations are carried out. Since January 2012, nearly 375,000 Malians have fled the conflict in the north of their country. Some 145,000, the majority of them women and children, have crossed into Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. More refugees are set to follow as fighting intensifies in Mali. Host governments and humanitarian agencies have provided life-saving aid to refugees in difficult circumstances, but they are struggling to meet all the refugees' basic needs, in particular in education, nutrition and protection. In Niger's camps, up to 21 per cent of children are malnourished, well above the 15 per cent 'emergency threshold' set by the UN. For many refugees - including those interviewed by Oxfam - this was the latest of several flights from crisis over two decades and they say they will not return until a lasting peace in Mali is secured.Oxfam's briefing paper analyses the shortfalls in the humanitarian response to refugees, and outlines what is needed to better meet the needs of refugees and the communities among which they are living. It also calls on all military forces and armed groups in Mali to take all possible steps to prevent harm to an already distressed civilian population. Finally, the report emphasises that Mali's crisis can only be addressed through a comprehensive approach that moves beyond a focus on counter-terrorism and seeks to address the deep-seated drivers of the conflict.

Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons: Challenges in eastern Chad

December 31, 2012

Between 2005 and 2007, a combination of regional conflict and national crisis led to the internal displacement of about 180,000 people in eastern Chad. However, the situation has since changed. By March 2012, when this report was produced, incursions by the Janjaweed militia and conflict between government forces and Chadian rebels had largely ended. The Chadian government is now seeking to put an end to the distinction between displaced persons and host communities. Internally displaced persons currently have the choice between three solutions: local integration, relocation or voluntary return to their home village. The goal of this joint report is to reflect on the decisive actions that could provide durable solutions for displacement, taking into account the rights and needs of affected communities. Even if the causes of the initial displacement have now been contained, creating the right set of circumstances for long-term sustainable development still remains a challenge. The Chadian government has publicly recognized that it is responsible for setting up an appropriate framework for durable solutions, ensuring security, rule of law, respect for human rights and access to basic services; however, very little has yet been done by the government to make this a reality.