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Help protect people vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 in the US and around the globe.

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Hunger and famine

The global struggle against hunger is central to Oxfam’s mission, and why Oxfam was created in the 1940s. Today, confronted with a pandemic, we are facing new challenges and finding innovative ways to end hunger and famine.

The world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, yet each night more than 820 million people go to bed on an empty stomach. Roughly one in three people suffer from some form of malnutrition, and women have a 10 percent higher chance of being food insecure than men. Conflict, unpredictable weather due to climate change, and bad policy choices by governments all play a role in hunger and can create the right conditions for famine. But with the right support, especially for small-scale farmers and women, and timely intervention in emergencies, we can beat hunger.

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You can help

Right now, you can help families facing hunger and poverty around the world, provide aid to countries recovering from disaster, and support refugees fleeing from violence.

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How we fight hunger and famine

Vietnamese farmer Hoang Thi Lien, 53, right, and Nguyen Thi My, 49, are specialists in the System of Rice Intensification. They teach other farmers innovative techniques to produce more rice using less water and seed.
Vietnamese farmer Hoang Thi Lien, 53, right, and Nguyen Thi My, 49, are specialists in the System of Rice Intensification. They teach other farmers innovative techniques to produce more rice using less water and seed. Chau Doan/Oxfam America

Building livelihoods

All over the world, Oxfam and our partners help farmers learn new techniques, share their innovative ideas with each other, grow more food, and earn more money. And when sudden disasters (an earthquake or an upsurge of locusts), or slow-onset emergencies such as drought bring hunger and the threat of famine, we help people rebuild the ways they make a living so they can put food on the table. For farmers, we provide seeds, tools, and other supplies people need to grow their own food, keep their livestock healthy, and become self-sufficient. In many emergencies, Oxfam provides cash so people can make their own food purchasing decisions, to ensure they can get what will help them best (and circulate money in the local economy).

Juana Gutiérrez washes her son's hands at their home in Guatemala, in part of the country known as the Dry Corridor. Oxfam has been helping families here with soap to ensure they do not get water-borne diseases.
Juana Gutiérrez washes her son's hands at their home in Guatemala, in part of the country known as the Dry Corridor. Oxfam has been helping families here with soap to ensure they do not get water-borne diseases. Carlos Zaparolli / Oxfam

Water, sanitation, and hygiene

Communities enduring emergencies and food shortages may also face a lack of clean water and the threat of disease. It’s hard to absorb nutrition from any available food if you have a stomach ailment. Oxfam and our partners help people with a source of clean water, soap so they can stay clean, and a proper toilet to avoid contaminating water supplies. In many of Oxfam’s ongoing programs, our partners work on promoting good hygiene and sanitation to help people stay healthy even when there is not an emergency.

Monica Maigari, a finalist in Nigeria’s Female Food Hero contest, went to Washington, DC, to help Oxfam advoacate in Congress for legislation that will improve global humanitarian assistance for small-scale women farmers.
Monica Maigari, a finalist in Nigeria’s Female Food Hero contest, went to Washington, DC, to help Oxfam advoacate in Congress for legislation that will improve global humanitarian assistance for small-scale women farmers. Keith Lane / Oxfam America

Speaking out

Oxfam and our supporters advocate for peace, push for adequate assistance for people affected by war and famine, and campaign for international action on the changing climate, which will affect the world’s supply of food and hit the poorest people first and worst. Our research and advocacy advance sustainable development in ways that help reduce the risk of future food crises and disasters, and help communities become more resilient. We advocate for more assistance for rural women farmers, who account for nearly half the agricultural workforce in developing countries. Despite their crucial roles in producing food, they face discrimination and limited bargaining power, disadvantages in land rights, unpaid work, insecure employment, and exclusion from decision making and political representation.

Volunteers in Washington, DC, help Oxfam advocate for humanitarian assistance for countries struggling to avoid famine in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula in 2017.
Volunteers in Washington, DC, help Oxfam advocate for humanitarian assistance for countries struggling to avoid famine in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula in 2017. Keith Lane / Oxfam

Get involved

Find out what you can do to fight hunger and famine: Visit our Take Action page to sign up for a virtual event, add your name to a petition or contact your member of Congress to push for better policies, and join our E-Community.

You can also make a donation: Your financial contribution can help fight hunger and famine, so we can defeat poverty.

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Coronavirus crisis

Oxfam is responding to the coronavirus in more than 50 countries. You can read more about what we’re doing, check our interactive map for country-by-country information, and make a donation to fund this essential work to help farmers and others affected by the virus.

Coronavirus crisis: How to help

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