Photo: A child carries water on their back.

Blog: Two weeks of love and hope in Dadaab

Secretly, I was rather dreading Dadaab. For weeks I’d seen the images on TV: babies so emaciated they looked like a bundle of twigs wrapped in cloth; elderly people dying, their faces shrouded in a cloud of flies. I was bracing myself, mentally preparing to try to bear the unbearable and do the best job I could.

Oxfam partner trucks water to Ifo Extension, Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya. Photo: Nicole Johnston/Oxfam

Blog: Getting aid into conflict-affected Somalia: difficult, but not impossible

The UN announced today a worsening of famine conditions in Somalia. The country is at the epicenter of the current drought affecting East Africa; with 3.7 million affected by the crisis – and an estimated 3.2 million in need of immediate, life-saving help. The expectation is that the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate over the coming months; and that lower-than-expected rains in some areas will mean the emergency will continue well into next year.

Katuma with one of her children, in Dadaab. Photo: Chee Chee Leung/Oxfam

Blog: Praying for paradise: Eid Al Fitr in Dadaab refugee camp

For most Muslims around the world, this week’s Eid Al Fitr holiday – which marks the end of Ramadan – is a time for celebration.

But for refugees I met in Dadaab, it was just another week of survival. Many said that given their daily struggles, there was no celebration, only prayers for a better future.

Katuma (pictured above), a mother of seven living in one of the Ifo extension camps in Dadaab, said: “We only go to pray but there are no celebrations, because life is difficult.  We ask God for peace in our country.”

Blog: Africans Act 4 Africa: Famine shouldn’t happen in the 21st century

The myth that aid is something the rest of the world provides to Africa prevails.

I’ve been doing lots of interviews about the food crisis in recent weeks, and it’s been clear that for many people in Europe and North America there is still an enduring image of white western aid workers flying in to save starving African children. The myth that aid is something the rest of the world provides to Africa prevails. The reality here of course is very different.

Blog: World Humanitarian Day 2011: How handwashing helps in Dadaab

Every day, millions of people’s lives are at risk for reasons that are avoidable. In Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp, where now an outbreak of cholera has struck, hygiene is a question of life and death. Thanks to people like Audrey Andwati, hygiene promotor with Oxfam, camp residents are learning about the importance of washing their hands.

Distribution alimentaire coordonnée par Oxfam, avec le PAM, nord du Kenya. Photo : Irina Fuhrmann/Oxfam

Blog: Le combat quotidien des mères dans la Corne de l'Afrique

Devoir enterrer son enfant m'a toujours semblé être l'expérience la plus traumatisante que pouvait vivre une mère, une sorte de bouleversement de l'ordre naturel de la vie. Mais si en plus, cet enfant meurt car vous n'avez pas été en mesure de le nourrir, alors vient s'ajouter à la douleur de la perte d'un enfant celle de ne pas avoir pu répondre à un des instincts maternels primaires : celui de nourrir ses enfants. 

Blog: Video diary: Rankin in drought-hit Turkana

More than 2.4 million Kenyans are affected by the current drought and food crisis. Photographer Rankin recently visited the drought-hit Turkana region of northern Kenya. Here he records his impressions and experience of how communities have been affected on video:

Please donate to Oxfam's East Africa Appeal.

Oxfam coordinates with WFP for food distribution in northern Kenya. Photo: Irina Fuhrmann/Oxfam

Blog: The struggles of a mother in the Horn of Africa

I have always believed that having to bury a son or daughter is the most traumatic thing that can happen to a mother, a violation of the natural order of life.  But if, on top of this, your child dies because you cannot feed him, then your pain is compounded by the impotence of not being able to respond to the most basic maternal instinct: to nourish your children.  

A woman is carrying a bag with belongings through an arid landscape.

Blog: Is famine in the Horn of Africa linked to climate change?

So is famine in the Horn of Africa linked to climate change or not? The question arises whenever "extreme weather events" – hurricanes, floods, droughts – hit our TV screens. It's impossible to answer with a simple yes or no – but here's what we think we know so far:

A Turkana, Kenya, des communautés dépendent aujourd'hui de l'aide alimentaire. Photo : Andy Hall/Oxfam

Blog: 48 heures d’action sur le Net pour l’Afrique de l’Est

Alors que la faim continue de menacer des millions d’individus en Afrique de l’Est, nous vous proposons de prendre part ce week-end à un événement de sensibilisation à la crise que traversent des communautés de Somalie, d’Éthiopie et du Kenya et d’aider à collecter des fonds visant à sauver des vies.


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