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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.

'I Still Don't Feel Safe to Go Home': Voices of Rohingya refugees

December 12, 2017

Since 25 August, more than 626,000 Rohingya have reached Bangladesh from Myanmar. Rohingya women and men have told Oxfam devastating stories of killings, rape and sexual violence. This report is an opportunity for some of them to share their stories, hopes, and their experiences of living in overcrowded refugee camps with overflowing latrines and contaminated water. Heavy rains and the cyclone season in 2018 threaten to bring new disaster and increase the risk of cholera. And irrespective of the recent bilateral agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh, most Rohingya are terrified of returning to Myanmar while the discrimination that drove them away is unchanged.

I Ask the World to Empathize: Voices of people on the move

September 13, 2016

Worldwide, more than 65 million people have fled conflict, violence and persecution. Millions more are driven from their homes by disasters, drought and inequality. This paper tells the stories of some of those millions of people.Many have relied on local people sharing their scarce resources. In contrast, too many governments have failed to share their resources, and their welcome, in the same spirit.This September, world leaders will gather in New York for the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, and for President Obama's Summit on Refugees. These summits will achieve some, though certainly not all, of what is needed. They will recognize the need to share responsibility for refugees as a principle. The challenge beyond the summits will be to create a radical new approach that builds on this conclusion, and upholds the rights of human beings on the move.

Commitment to Change: What world leaders must promise at the World Humanitarian Summit

April 14, 2016

The World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016 will take place in a world in which warring parties kill civilians without consequence, and in which El Niño highlights yet again the rising tide of disasters affected by climate change. The Summit also takes place in the shadow of Syria's conflict and the greatest displacement crisis of our age.This briefing sets out Oxfam's challenge to world leaders who fail to resolve conflicts, permit warring parties to ignore International Humanitarian Law, and do everything possible to keep the world's refugees and displaced people from their doors. Oxfam, other NGOs and UN agencies must change too in the face of escalating humanitarian demands - including by giving a greater role and more funding directly to local actors. This briefing sets out Oxfam's own commitments to change.

British Aid and British Arms: A coherent approach to Yemen?

September 10, 2015

The situation in Yemen is among the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Since the conflict dramatically escalated in March 2015, more than 1.4 million people have fled their homes, and more than 20 million people now lack access to clean water and sanitation. The World Food Programme has warned that the country is 'one step away from famine'. Long a lead donor in Yemen, the UK has given tens of millions of pounds in new aid this year to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis. However, British arms may be contributing to the growing number of civilian deaths, as evidence mounts of war crimes by all parties, including Houthi and Saudi-led coalition forces. The UK government has declined to tell Parliament what arms Britain is still supplying to parties engaged in the conflict.This briefing note calls for the suspension of all British arms shipments to the parties engaged in the conflict; for the government to report to Parliament and the public on arms already sent; and for the UK to use its influence to push for a ceasefire and a negotiated peace. 

For Human Dignity: The World Humanitarian Summit and the challenge to deliver

June 30, 2015

The UN Secretary-General has called the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 'to make humanitarian action fit for the future'. Tens of millions of people receive humanitarian aid every year, but millions more suffer without adequate help and protection, and their number is relentlessly rising. One summit cannot change everything. But the key tests of its integrity and success are that the World Humanitarian Summit:•   demands that states are held to account for their international obligations on assistance and protection; and•   sets out genuinely new ways to support local humanitarian action, to reverse the growing gap between the amount of aid needed and given, and to reduce the risk of future disasters.

Ebola is Still Here: Voices from Liberia and Sierra Leone on response and recovery

February 27, 2015

In Sierra Leone and Liberia, thousands of local people have taken part in campaigns to spread the message about how Ebola can be controlled, and millions have taken vital practical steps to prevent infection. When the last case of Ebola is eliminated, it will not only be because of medical treatment and action by governments and the international community, but because communities have been at the heart of the response.Before Ebola struck West Africa, Liberia and Sierra Leone were among the poorest countries in the world - now they are even poorer. The challenge of recovery is enormous and communities must once again be at the heart of it. Oxfam has listened to women and men in Liberia and Sierra Leone to hear their priorities for the immediate response, the recovery and beyond. This paper presents those priorities, from rebuilding shattered livelihoods and building a resilient health service, to making schools safe and free for all.

British Foreign Policy in an Unequal World

March 19, 2014

The UK needs a safe world in which to trade and invest, and to be free from the security threats caused by conflicts or fragile states. Yet spiralling inequality and climate change, among many other factors, threaten to create a more dangerous, unequal world.As the continuing tragedy in Syria shows, the world's old and new powers have not yet found a way to unite to end conflicts. The age of interventions, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, is over. But a new rule-based world in which China, India, and others unite with Western powers to protect civilians and end conflicts has not yet come into being.Whoever wins the 2015 UK general election, the greatest test for UK foreign policy will be how much it can do to help build that world.

Civil Society in Fragile and Conflict-affected States

August 6, 2013

By 2015, half the world's poor will live in fragile states. Their prospects for peace and development depend not only on building accountable governments, but also a vibrant civil society - that can raise the voices of all citizens, particularly the most vulnerable, and hold the state to account for its performance in reducing poverty and upholding all human rights.This note is about how external governments and international institutions must do more to build that civil society - through aid and technical assistance, and diplomatic influence, particularly where civil society space is threatened by repressive legislation or other restrictions. They should:1. Help influence the state to:• Build and protect the 'space' for civil society;• Genuinely engage civil society organisations (CSOs).2. Strengthen CSOs' relationship with citizens and with the state, in order to:• Genuinely represent communities and constituencies, including women and women's rights organisations and all vulnerable groups;• Help make the state both more effective and accountable, in delivering pro-poor development and all human rights.

Oxfam's Role in Humanitarian Action

July 2, 2013

As humanitarian agencies face enormous challenges in crises such as Syria, and a rapidly changing world, this new policy compendium note sets out Oxfam's vision of its own role in humanitarian action. Like many international NGOs, its humanitarian work focuses increasingly on supporting the capacity of other organizations and partners - and on building the resilience of communities. But it also puts a high priority on influencing and campaigning for the respect of rights of the communities affected by conflicts and disasters. 

Stay on Target: Will the UK fight the battle for tough arms controls?

April 24, 2012

July 2012 sees the greatest opportunity ever to regulate the global arms trade, as states gather in New York to negotiate an international Arms Trade Treaty. The UK has been crucial in making this happen. Since 2004, it has championed a Treaty that will have a genuine impact on humanitarian and human rights. A strong Arms Trade Treaty will be a triumph for UK diplomacy. In this paper, the Control Arms UK group of NGOs (comprising Oxfam, Amnesty International, Transparency International UK, Article 36, and Saferworld) calls on the UK Government to hold out for a robust Treaty that most of the world wants. Not the watered-down alternative that Syria, Iran and a handful of other governments would prefer.