Emergency Response

Every year Oxfam responds to emergencies around the world where people are affected by armed conflicts or natural disasters. Our work helps to save lives and alleviate the suffering of millions of people by providing critical services and needed items.

How Oxfam Works

We believe in empowering people so that they can play a role in determining the type of aid and how they receive it. Oxfam values partnership and so more and more we carry out our response with local organizations who have firsthand knowledge of the country and the context.

Oxfam believes that true human progress cannot be achieved without the full attainment of women’s rights and gender equity. This belief is manifested in our humanitarian work through the conviction that to save lives and be accountable, efficient and transparent, our response must recognize and respond to women’s specific needs and promote women’s empowerment, agency and individual and collective leadership as well as guaranteeing the prevention of gender-based violence.



Immediate life saving assistance

When disaster strikes, Oxfam's worldwide network of partners is already on the scene.  One of the most urgent issues in any emergency is water and Oxfam’s team of engineers has decades of experience digging wells, installing pumps and tanks and even directly transporting tanked water to wherever disaster victims are.

Ensuring safe, clean and culturally appropriate sanitation facilities and training in hygiene are also critical in the first days after disaster strikes, to prevent disease outbreaks and maintain the dignity of people. Oxfam also ensures disaster victims have access to food and other basic needs and ensures the safety and security of women and children, offering protection from war, bandits or other risks.



Lasting change and building resilience

Many calamities like droughts can be forecasted well in advance or predicted such as floods and so Oxfam works with communities on disaster risk reduction, helping them anticipate and prepare for the most common kinds of events and prevent or mitigate the worst impacts. Central to this is Oxfam’s work on building the resilience of communities – so that families don’t just survive between crises growing poorer and poorer.

Our ambition is instead to address structural issues like inequality to help women and their families thrive despite the droughts, floods, storms, or other ‘shocks’ they experience,  which seem likely to increase as climate change related events become more and more common.