Promoting Health and Hygiene:
Oxfam is supporting our powerful network of local partners to help communities access clean water, distribute supplies like soap, hand-sanitizer, and menstrual products, repair and install hand-washing and sanitation facilities, and share life-saving health and safety information in local languages. Our supporters have made it possible to launch these efforts rapidly and effectively in 51 countries, including supporting vulnerable people in the US.
In Bangladesh, people are struggling to deal with the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan on top of the growing COVID-19 outbreak. Oxfam and our partners have reached 15,000 people with hygiene kits, and used radio, social media, and public announcements to share critical health information with 334,000 people. We are working with public health authorities to improve hand-washing facilities in refugee camps, creating a prototype with foot pedals to pump water and soap. We tested the new design with dozens of women and girl refugees, who suggested changes to make the station easier and safer to use and are now working to install up to 600 of these stations across several refugee camps.
In the Middle East, Oxfam and our partners have rehabilitated and supplied 39 health care facilities in Yemen, Iraq, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We have also provided soap and hygiene information to 132,000 people in Lebanon and the Zataari refugee camp in Jordan, and distributed 31,476 family hygiene kits in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. Through mass media outreach, we are planning to share health and hygiene information with 2 million people in Yemen and 5 million people in Syria in the coming weeks.
In Puerto Rico, residents are still rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Maria which struck in 2017. Oxfam is working with partners in to ensure the most vulnerable Puerto Ricans, especially elderly people, have access to safe water, and are deploying mobile hand-washing stations in high impact public areas to prevent spread of the virus. Strengthening water and other public health infrastructure is especially vital to build resilience for future disasters.
Preventing People from Falling into Poverty:
“A lot of people are just as scared of dying of hunger as they are of COVID-19.” – Laté Lawson-Lartego, Food Theme Director, Oxfam America
As people remain unable to work or face reduced hours or income, Oxfam is providing cash transfers to vulnerable people to help meet essential needs and keep cash flowing into local economies and small businesses. Where local markets are inaccessible or goods unavailable, we are also providing in-kind food assistance to people most at risk of going hungry.
In Kenya, Oxfam joined with the Kenya Red Cross and other partners in a pilot effort to combat food insecurity and extreme poverty in urban settlements, starting with cash distributions to 1,504 families. The success of this small pilot helped secure additional funding and the consortium is now scaling up the program to provide cash assistance to 20,000 urban families in need.
In India, Oxfam and our partners have distributed dry food rations to 22,807 households, focusing on migrants and other marginalized communities.
In South Sudan, partners are making cash and food vouchers to close to 1,072 households, and are also supporting 200 households with gardening supplies, seeds, and fishing kits to help people generate income and produce food for their families.
Oxfam is also advocating governments to strengthen social protection systems to increase long-term resilience, and advising on how to protect farmers and food workers to ensure people everywhere can continue to access vital resources.