A young girl stands amid the freshly made graves of 70 children, at Dadaab refugee camp. Photo: Andy Hall/Oxfam

Blog: A Charter to End Extreme Hunger: the time is now

With 13 million people affected by the drought across East Africa and with the UN suggesting that 750,000 people could be at risk of death in Somalia in the next few months, it’s easy to end up fatalistic about the issues.

Around 1,000 Somali refugees arrive each day at Hiloweyn camp, in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. Photo: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

Blog: Somalian refugees in Ethiopia: Between a rock and a hard place

Every few minutes, a gust of wind blows, forcing people to screw up their faces in pain against the fierce sand-dust that tears into their eyes, and forces its way into their mouths, ears and noses. Only the large scarves traditionally worn by women for modesty offer any protection against the dust which covers everything in a thick layer of yellowish brown in a few seconds.

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.

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: 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.  

Une femme porte ses effets personnels vers la nouvelle extension du camp de réfugiés IFO, à Dadaab, Kenya.

Blog: Les changements climatiques sont-ils responsables de la famine qui frappe la Corne de l'Afrique ?

La famine qui frappe la Corne de l'Afrique est-elle liée aux changements climatiques ? La question se pose chaque fois que des nouvelles "d'événements climatiques extrêmes" (ouragans, inondations, sécheresses) investissent nos écrans de télévision. Impossible de répondre par un simple "oui" ou "non". Néanmoins, nous vous livrons ici un résumé de ce qui nous pensons savoir, à ce jour, sur le sujet.

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:


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