Conflict & Emergencies

There is something almost surreal about the setting for the Syrian peace talks. Montreux is breathtakingly beautiful, the snow-topped Swiss Alps rising starkly over Lake Geneva. Yet this is where world leaders are meeting this week to decide the fate of Syria and to try and end the brutal war...

Normally a picture of Alpine tranquility, Montreux readies for the Geneva II talks. For Syria, there is a huge amount at stake here this week. Photo: Nick Bryer/Oxfam

Things are heating up in Montreux, on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, where Oxfam campaigners are amongst the hundreds of diplomats, journalists, civil society and solidarity groups gathering for the beginning of the long awaited ‘Geneva 2’ peace talks for Syria.

Oxfam has been working with the World Food Program to help distribute food supplies. Photo: WFP

Not yet three years old and only beginning to know what peace feels like, the world’s newest country—South Sudan—is again in the throes of extreme violence. Since fighting broke out in Juba, the capital, on December 15, close to 10,000 people have been killed and almost 400,000 others have fled...

Oxfam's Vincent Malasador gives support and reassurance to a Philippines typhoon survivor during the distribution of hygiene items in Paypay north Cebu. Photo: Jane Beesley/Oxfam

In times of crisis, it’s always the poorest people who have to struggle hardest to cope and survive. That’s where Oxfam comes in. We have again been helping people caught up in the world’s biggest crises of 2013.

Typhoon Haiyan caused widespread damage to livelihoods. Among the worst affected, was coconut farming with millions of trees being uprooted, damaged or destroyed. Oxfam is helping Haiyan survivors recover coconut trees, the "tree of life".

Photo: Anne Wright/Oxfam

One month on, about 80% of people still in Tacloban City now have access to clean water, while about 60,000 hygiene kits had been distributed altogether. These plus health care, protective services and cash transfers are helping to keep families alive, prevent outbreaks of disease, and rebuild...

Photo credit: Oxfam International

Oxfam started distributing 400 tons of rice seeds in six rural municipalities south of Tacloban on 12 December 2013, to help farmers win their 'race against time' to avoid missing the next growing season.

It was a Hunger Games movie poster. Now it's someone's house. Syrian refugees use whatever they can find. Lebanon. Photo: Ben Phillips/Oxfam

There are over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The international aid response is chronically underfunded across the region. There is a clear need to do more to help Lebanon cope. The challenges are challenges for the international community as a whole.

I have just returned from the typhoon-ravaged areas of Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island in Cebu province of the Philippines. When I went there, I had moving images of the destruction on my mind – the helpless faces of women, children and families that were being flashed on T.V channels. But I...

When Oxfam’s rapid assessment teams came back from Leyte and Eastern Samar, they came from a total information blackout into a storm of angry and combative debate on the efficiency of government response to supertyphoon Haiyan victims. A couple of my colleagues marveled at how negative the...

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