What Oxfam is doing
Responding to disasters when they occur is a crucial part of Oxfam's humanitarian mission. But finding ways to help communities prepare for emergencies and prevent natural events from becoming full-scale disasters is at the cutting edge of our humanitarian work.
Responding to disasters when they occur is a crucial part of Oxfam's humanitarian mission. But finding ways to help communities prepare for emergencies and prevent natural events from becoming full-scale disasters is at the cutting edge of our humanitarian work. The following are just a few examples of our risk-reduction work around the world.
- When a severe cold snap struck the high Andean district of Caylloma, Peru, killing more than 8,000 llamas and alpacas and damaging the health of the remaining stock, Oxfam joined forces with a local partner to make sure it wouldn't happen again. Together with the herder communities, we built protective sheds for the animals, introduced barley as a crop for fodder to supplement grazing, and installed an early-alert system to warn of approaching bad weather. (Read a story from the field.)
- In El Salvador, where hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes pose an array of risks, Oxfam helped partners lobby for national risk-reduction legislation and is now helping communities strengthen their emergency preparedness - as well as their ability to advocate for themselves with government at all levels. We have also trained Salvadoran partners to be effective emergency responders. (Read about how the programs saved lives in November 2009, and about our "healthy wells" project to protect water quality during floods.)
- To improve the resiliency of small farmers in Ethiopia, Oxfam and partners are combining agricultural and environmental projects like reforestation, irrigation, and organic composting with weather insurance for crops—all aimed at reducing the environmental and economic shocks that can lead to severe food shortages. (Read about the Adi Ha pilot project.)
- In India and Sri Lanka, Oxfam has supported local researchers to launch an array of innovative risk-reduction initiatives, from setting up local radio stations to improve the disaster preparedness of farm communities, to helping farmers adapt their crops to changing rainfall patterns, to supporting villagers to strengthen their planning for cyclone emergencies. (Read stories and a summary of the research.)