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The Fighting Must Stop - to Create a Space for Peace: Attacking Hodeida city, after its airport, would be a far greater threat to Yemeni civilians

June 20, 2018

On 13 June 2018, the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition launched an attack on Hodeida, Yemen's lifeline port. One week on, the Coalition has ignored all warnings and combined forces have pressed ahead to take Hodeida airport. The advance must now stop and efforts be refocused on peace. Taking the battle to a densely-populated city will have a much higher humanitarian toll.

The World Needs a New Strategy to Protect Hodeida and Avoid Catastrophe

June 15, 2018

The Saudi- and UAE-led Coalition's assault on Hodeida - Yemen's lifeline port - threatens hundreds of thousands of civilians in that city, and around 20 million more who rely on its imports of food, fuel, medicine and other supplies. The strategy to prevent this assault through quiet diplomacy - by the Coalition's international partners including the US, UK and France - has failed. The UN Security Council has been largely silent, and has still not demanded an immediate end to the offensive. For the sake of millions of Yemenis, the time for a more effective strategy is now.

Facing Risk: Options and challenges in ensuring that climate/disaster risk finance and insurance deliver for poor people

April 6, 2018

Reducing the impacts of disasters on poor people is absolutely vital. Climate/disaster risk financing could play a useful role if it is part of an approach that includes risk reduction, if it strengthens social protection, and if it has real participation from civil society. Insurance, as one component of risk financing, could play a supportive role if carefully designed - keeping in mind the limitations, including the risk of worsening income and gender inequality.The InsuResilience Global Partnership should build more evidence of what works for poor people, invest in pro-poor business models, and ensure the insurance schemes developed are part of a broader approach to reduce risks and the inequalities that make people vulnerable to disasters.

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.

What Will Become of Us? Voices from around the world on drought and El Niño

April 13, 2016

About 60 million people across Southern Africa and the Horn, Central America, and the Pacific face worsening hunger and poverty due to droughts and crop failures in 2014-15 that have been exacerbated by the El Niño weather system in 2015-16. This number is likely to rise. The international response is working, but much more is needed and long-term solutions must be found. This report gives a voice to some of the people Oxfam is working with in Ethiopia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, El Salvador and Papua New Guinea. They explain how they have lived through bad times before, but that this drought is much worse than previous ones.

El Niño: The case for urgent action

December 14, 2015

Millions of poor and vulnerable people face hunger and poverty this year and next because of record global temperatures, droughts and erratic rains in 2014 and 2015, compounded by the development of possibly the most powerful El Niño on record. Strong leadership at every level of government and a coordinated international effort are required to avoid the failures of the 2011 Horn of Africa drought, when the international system was slow to respond and widespread suffering ensued. Urgent humanitarian response is required in places already in crisis such as parts of Ethiopia. This paper focuses particularly on other places, where the crisis is currently unfolding, and where there is still the opportunity for rapid action to mitigate the worst impacts of El Niño.

El Niño Key Messages: Urgent action now can prevent major suffering and loss

November 20, 2015

Millions of poor and vulnerable people face hunger and poverty this year and next because of record global temperatures, droughts and erratic rains in 2014 and 2015, followed by the development of possibly the most powerful El Niño on record.This briefing makes the case to urgently scale up humanitarian response in countries already in crisis. It also draws on the experience of the super El Nino in 1997-98, and the inadequate response to the Horn of Africa drought of 2011, to push for early action to save livelihoods elsewhere. Long-term approaches to reduce food insecurity must be found, and climate change, which is super-charging the effects of El Niño, must be tackled at the UN climate conference in Paris and beyond.

Improving International Governance for Global Health Emergencies: Lessons from the Ebola crisis

January 26, 2015

The 2014-15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa has demonstrated again the urgent need for strong leadership and coordination when responding to global health emergencies. All actors in the Ebola crisis appreciate that this has been a challenging response, and many agencies (including Oxfam) have struggled to identify and establish their role in the process. As a result, there have been multiple failures by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies. These failures have left many people vulnerable.To ensure a better international response to future epidemics in developing countries, we need to learn lessons from the current crisis. An improved system is required. This discussion paper examines shortcomings of WHO and other agencies in the Ebola response and provides recommendations for improving international structures and governance. It is one of a series of Oxfam papers on the Ebola crisis and response.Read more about Oxfam's response to Ebola.

Ebola and the Private Sector: Bolstering the response and West African economies

December 8, 2014

Ebola is a humanitarian crisis first and foremost - but it is also a mounting economic disaster for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The World Bank estimates the cost of the epidemic to be $3-4bn by the end of 2015, many times more than the amount donated for the response so far. The economic impact is measurable in terms of reduced production, diminished trade, disrupted agriculture, higher fiscal deficits and rising prices. Household incomes are dropping due to the reduction in the labour market, the loss of harvests, disruption of markets, and laying off of workers. In Liberia, nearly half of those working when the outbreak was first detected in March 2014 no longer had jobs by early November.This briefing shows how important the private sector is to both the response to Ebola and the recovery. It urgesAll companies to contribute directly and urgently to the international Ebola response;Companies with operations and supply chains in affected countries to be at the forefront in the fight against Ebola - to keep their business operations open and to support long-term economic recovery.It is one of a series of Oxfam briefings on the Ebola crisis and response.Read more about Oxfam's response to Ebola. 

A Long Way to Go: The Ebola response in West Africa at the sixty day mark

December 8, 2014

The international response to the Ebola epidemic is on the right path, but there is a long way to go. Case numbers are stabilizing in Liberia and Guinea, but remain out of control in Sierra Leone and the targets for cases treated have not been met. The issues raised by the Ebola crisis go beyond transmission rates, but other issues are not yet being properly addressed. The absence of non-Ebola healthcare capacity is keeping people away from health services and risks prolonging the epidemic; women are dying in childbirth and not accessing prenatal care; preventable illnesses like malaria and diarrhoea are rampant, causing needless deaths. There are around 4,000 new orphans and more new female-headed households. Household incomes are dropping due to the loss of harvests, restrictions on movement and on markets and rising unemployment, which is likely to lead to hunger by March 2015. The macro-economic impacts could cost West Africa $3-4bn.This Oxfam briefing outlines the key operational challenges and recommends that stepped up action should be taken urgently in multiple areas to contain the spread of the disease and to support those most affected. It is one of a series of Oxfam briefings on the Ebola crisis and response. Read more about Oxfam's response to Ebola.

Turning the Tide on Ebola: Scaling up public health campaigns before it's too late

October 30, 2014

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented. The accelerating number of cases, the poor health infrastructure in affected countries, the short supply of skills, knowledge and personnel, and the fear surrounding this disease are a huge challenge to affected governments and the international community as they battle to bring the epidemic under control.This briefing makes the case that public health campaigns involving community engagement and social mobilization are key aspects of reducing transmission rates, and require appropriate prioritization in the international response. Community leaders are best positioned to identify ways to stop the virus spreading in their communities and are key to improving case finding and outbreak control.Oxfam calls on donors and implementing partners to ensure that the community mobilization element of the UN plan - currently costed at $45.8m - is fully funded and swiftly implemented.Read more about Oxfam's response to Ebola.

Initial Analysis of the Pre-Zero Draft of the Post-2015 DRR Framework

September 22, 2014

This briefing outlines Oxfam's initial analysis of the pre-zero draft of the successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction. In general, this draft is a significant improvement on the previous Suggested Elements paper, with greater emphasis on many of the issues highlighted during the consultation period, and a much stronger implementation framework. However, Oxfam has substantial concerns which would need to be addressed if an effective instrument is to be agreed in March 2015 at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.