Across the globe, armed conflicts are triggering crisis after crisis, with no end in sight, and climate-related disasters are on the rise. The UN and international agencies like Oxfam are working hard to keep pace, but the needs are outstripping our capacity to respond.
But there is a vast human resource that, given the right support, could make all the difference: local humanitarian leaders.
When emergencies strike, everyone from community leaders to the mayor’s office to national organizations and government agencies may spring into action, but in too many places in the world, they are drastically short of resources. Yet, it is these groups that are best positioned to save lives: they can reach disaster zones quickly, and they understand the languages, cultures, geography, and political realities of the affected communities far better than outsiders.
With your help, Oxfam has been working to ensure that local leaders get the funds, training, and influence they need to protect their communities. Meanwhile, we are continuing to respond to the most catastrophic emergencies—the disasters that overwhelm the capacity of local leaders. We install water and sanitation facilities and distribute hygiene materials like soap to guard against disease outbreaks; we help ensure access to food and other essentials; and through our advocacy work, we help disaster-affected communities stand up for their rights.