What Oxfam is doing
Even before a disaster strikes, Oxfam is working in innovative ways to reduce people's vulnerability to emergencies by helping them prepare to respond and to build their resiliency. When disaster strikes around the world, we and our partners respond quickly with life-saving assistance. Once the immediate danger has passed, we work to rebuild lives and reduce the risk of future disasters.
Meeting basic needs
In Darfur, Sudan, where conflict has forced 2.7 million villagers from their homes, we have been providing clean water and sanitation services to hundreds of thousands of people now crowded into temporary camps. And we are supporting women by providing them with highly efficient cooking stoves. This not only increases their security by eliminating their need to leave the safety of the camps to hunt for wood, but it is also reducing the stress on the environment.
Improving public health
In Ethiopia, we have launched a drought early warning surveillance system called DEWS. Using data gathered at the household level and mapped on a visual analog scale, we are able to spot public health trends that could signal trouble ahead. The system allows us to work with communities on programs to prevent droughts from causing serious harm to families.
Helping people earn a living
In Zimbabwe, we have helped people establish community gardens to cope with the consequences of drought and the country’s economic meltdown.
Preventing the next disaster
In El Salvador, where hurricanes can cause severe flooding, we worked with one of our partners to launch a disaster-preparedness program that helps communities understand their risks, map their resources, and devise plans that allow everyone—even those with limited mobility—to reach safety in the early hours of an emergency. It's a proven strategy that has already saved lives.