Emergency Response Fund

Women walk long distances to collect water in Ethiopia. The country is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years.
Women walk long distances to collect water in Ethiopia. The country is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years.

The Emergency Response Fund enables Oxfam Canada to provide quick and effective responses to emergency situations in developing countries.  

Being ready to respond

The Oxfam Canada Emergency Response Fund (ERF) enables us to provide timely, appropriate responses to emergency situations and to support reconstruction work that enables people affected by an emergency to get back on their feet and become less vulnerable to disasters in the future.

Emergencies that don’t make the headlines

Oxfam provides humanitarian aid to serious humanitarian disasters around the globe, even the ones that seldom or never hit the headlines.  Our Emergency Response Fund ensures that Oxfam can quickly respond wherever and whenever the need is greatest.  Assistance shouldn’t be dependent on media coverage.

Your gift to Oxfam's Emergency Response Fund will go directly towards our emergency work, present and future. With your help, we can:
  • Locate the communities hit hardest and launch relief operations immediately.
  • Strengthen the Gender in Emergencies capacity of partners and responders.
  • Reach survivors and help provide the tools they need, like food, cash, and access to clean water and safe sanitation – even when disasters don't grab headlines and inspire an outpouring of donations.
  • Provide support to smaller underfunded emergencies. 

Click here to donate

Recently Funded Projects


Earthquake Response in Lombok, Indonesia

Project Duration:  4 months 
Date Approved: August 1, 2018
Total response amount:  ERF amount approved: $15,000 CAD
Project Description: 
Following multiple earthquakes in Lombok, Indonesia, Oxfam is providing support to 3,000 people in the most affected areas of North and East Lombok. Oxfam will be providing water and sanitation, and shelter support through water treatment, hygiene promotion and materials and non-food item kit distribution as well as providing training on earthquake resistant building. 

Response to Flooding in Kerala, India 2018
Project Duration:  12 months
Date Approved: August 21, 2018
Total response amount:  4.5 million USD
ERF amount approved: $50,000 CAD
Project Description: 
The most intense rain period in 100 years impacted Kerala, India in August 2018, with torrential rains, overflowing rivers and a series of landslides have resulting in damage and hundreds of deaths. Oxfam is responding, providing 22,300 households with chlorine tablets, hygiene kits, temporary latrines, shelter supplies, and education and risk reduction support. 

Marawi Conflict Response, Mindanao, Philippines.

Project Duration:  6 months
Date Approved: July 1, 2017
Total response amount: 1,000,000 GBP
ERF amount approved: $50,000 CAD

Project Description:
Following a confrontation in Marawi City, which has displaced over 400,000 people, Oxfam is responding, providing people with safe water and sanitation facilities, along with packages of non-food items needed. Oxfam is providing livelihood support through cash transfers along with psycho-social support to women and girls.  

Response to Typhoon Haima, Philippines

Project duration:  4 months
Date Approved: December 1, 2016
Total response amount: 750,000 GBP
ERF amount approved: $50,000 CAD
Number of beneficiaries: 6800 people

Project Description:
Classified as a Category 5, Typhoon Haima (Lawin) made landfall October 17, 2016 impacting 1.3 million people. Oxfam is responding with livelihoods support, to allow people to rebuild and protect those most vulnerable. 

Response to Typhoon Nock-Ten, Philippines

Project duration:  4 months
Date Approved:  January 16, 2017
Total response amount:  700,000 GBP
ERF amount approved: $50,000 CAD
Number of beneficiaries: 6,000 households

Project description:
Typhoon Nock-Ten made landfall in the Philippines on December 24, 2017, impacting 1.5 million people in four regions, causing significant infrastructure damage and displacing people to 56 school evacuation centres. In our response, Oxfam is helping to provide families with livelihoods recovery support, water resources including water kits and reparation of damaged water sources and latrines, as well as hygiene kit distribution.

Response to flooding in nepal

Project duration:  3 months
Date Approved:  July 1, 2016
Total amount:  51,939 USD
ERF amount approved: $15,000 CAD
Number of beneficiaries: 600 households

Project description:
Torrential rain on 22 and 24 of July cause flash flooding and landslides in Nepal. According to the District Disaster Response Committee,  a total of 7475 households were affected by the floods through, with 37 being fully damaged. Oxfam is providing 600 households with hygiene kits, mosquito nets, cash for work to help with the reparations, and awareness training on sanitation and hygiene in the community.

El niño drought response in southern africa

Project Duration: 6 months
Date Approved:  May 30, 2016
Total Amount: $49.084M US
ERF Approved Amount: $30,000 CAD
Number of Beneficiaries: 1.2 million

Project Description:
Southern Africa is currently in the grip of an intense drought that has expanded and strengthened since the earliest stages of the 2015-2016 agricultural season, driven by one of the strongest El Niño events recorded. Across large swathes of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, and Madagascar, the current rainfall season has so far been the driest in the last 35 years. Agricultural areas in northern Namibia and southern Angola have also experienced high levels of water deficit.

Oxfam plans to reach 1.2 million people in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to help provide access to food, improve livestock and agriculture production to build resilience, improve water and sanitiation services, conduct hygiene promotion and to support and ensure the protection of vulnerable populations.

Response to the Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa

Project duration:  6 months
Date Approved:  April 14, 2015
Total amount:  $495,000 ZAR
ERF amount approved: $20,000 CAD
Number of beneficiaries: Oxfam response will reach a total of 8,500 beneficiaries

Project description:
In April 2015, an outbreak of xenophobic or ‘afro-phobic’ violence occurred in and around Durban, South Africa, as well as other pockets around the country. Out of fear, many people were displaced from their homes and forced to seek shelter in safe sanctuaries like churches, some  8500 people were directly affected. Oxfam responded by providing for the immediate needs of those persons displaced, mainly with shelter items like blankets, mats and food. They also took part in awareness and advocacy campaigns to open dialogue on the issues involved, as well as programs to provide psychosocial support.

GiE (Gender in Emergencies) Capacity Building

Project Duration: 6 months
Date Approved: September 1, 2015
Total Amount: 625,000 Euros
ERF Approved Amount: $60,000 CAD

Project Description: 
Men and women experience the impact of natural disasters and humanitarian crises rooted in conflict differently and have many very different needs.  For this reason a good understanding of gender is critical in order to provide high quality aid to disaster affected people.  

This project contributes to a larger program in Ethiopia, Pakistan, South Sudan and the Dominican Republic where Oxfam will be furthering the integration of Women’s Rights into our emergency responses in those countries. Through gender assessments, working with local communities and women’s rights organizations, and providing training to staff, government, local partners and others involved in the response on gender in emergencies the project will provide a stronger understanding of the need and of how to include gender justice priorities in all emergency program work globally.

Malawi Flood Response 2015

Project duration:  6 months
Date Approved:  January 15, 2015
Total amount:  $1.47 million USD
ERF amount approved: $35,000 CAD
Number of beneficiaries: Oxfam response will reach a total of 7,000 households (38,500 people) in Mulanje district.

Project description:
High and prolonged seasonal rains in January 2015 led to extensive flooding in the Southern Region of Malawi that has affected some 1.54 million people, 336,000 of whom have been displaced.  An estimated 104 people have been confirmed dead with an additional 172 people still missing and assumed dead. The floods caused extensive damage to homes and crops. Oxfam is providing water, sanitation and hygiene support in the Mulange district where we have a long history of working on development issues.

Floods in Mozambique 2015
Project duration:  6 months
Date Approved:  February 23, 2015
Total amount: $1.2 million USD
ERF amount approved: $5,000 (matched by a private donation of $5,000)
Number of beneficiaries: 4,000 households (24,000 people) in Mocuba and Nicoadala districts.

Project description:

The 2014-15 rainy season was characterized by moderate to heavy rains particularly in central and northern Mozambique and neighboring upstream countries of Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia causing localized severe flooding in sections of major river basins. This has resulted in inundation of farms, destruction of infrastructure and displacement of families.

According to the Mozambican authorities, the total number of people affected is 160,000 people (33,188 families). Oxfam’s response will support 4,000 people with sanitation, water and hygiene promotion.  Oxfam will also provide shelter kits.