Oxfam International Blogs - peace and security http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/peace-and-security en Trends in humanitarian policy and practice: What to watch in 2015 http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-01-08-trends-humanitarian-policy-and-practice-what-watch-2015 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>Tara Gingerich, humanitarian researcher at Oxfam America, contributes this post.</em></p> <p>One of my favorite parts of my job at Oxfam is reading new research findings and reports in our field to help my humanitarian programming and policy colleagues keep on top of external trends.</p> <p>I recently conducted such a scan to guide Oxfam’s planning for the coming year. Here are eight of the most interesting things that I found:</p> <h3>1. The number of people affected by disasters and conflict is rising.</h3> <p>The number of people affected by humanitarian crises has almost doubled over the past decade and is expected to keep rising. By the 2030s, large parts of Southern Africa, South Asia, and East Asia will see greater exposure to droughts, floods, and other hazards.</p> <h3>2. There are <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/srex/SREX_Full_Report.pdf">more – and more severe – natural disasters</a>, and smaller disasters are causing tremendous damage.</h3> <p>Smaller,<a href="http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/gar/2011/en/bgdocs/GAR-2011/GAR2011_Report_Chapter2.pdf"><strong> localized disasters account for a large proportion</strong></a> of the total impact of disasters: 54% of houses damaged, 80% of people affected, and 83% of people injured.</p> <h3>3. A record number of people are displaced by conflict around the world.</h3> <p><a href="http://www.unhcr.org/5399a14f9.html"><strong>Fifty-one million people were forcibly displaced by conflict</strong></a>, persecution, or human rights violations at the end of 2013 – the highest number since World War II. And the numbers at the end of this year will be even higher, with displacement in Sudan, South Sudan, Iraq, and elsewhere continuing.</p> <h3>4. Poverty drastically affects the impact a crisis will have on everyday people.</h3> <p><a href="http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/crisis%20prevention/UNDP_CPR_CTA_20140901.pdf"><strong>81% of disaster deaths</strong></a> are in low- and lower-middle-income countries, even though only 33% of disasters occur in those same countries. This means that the people most at risk of dying when disaster occurs are the poorest and most vulnerable, driving up the numbers of casualties.</p> <h3>5. Humanitarian assistance funding is increasing, but still falling woefully short.</h3> <p>Reported humanitarian assistance increased 27% in 2013 to reach an <a href="http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/GHA-Report-2014-interactive.pdf"><strong>all-time high of $22 billion</strong></a>. But the need for humanitarian assistance is growing at an even faster rate. Over the past 10 years, the international community is meeting – on average – only two-thirds of the need.[i]</p> <h3>6. New humanitarian donors are coming on the scene.</h3> <p>The world’s biggest donors (from 29 of the OECD countries[ii]) are giving more and more in humanitarian assistance and continue to give the lion’s share globally. But other donors (with Turkey leading the way) <a href="http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/GHA-Report-2014-interactive.pdf"><strong>increased their humanitarian spending by 58%</strong></a> last year, after an <a href="http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/GHA-Report-2013.pdf"><strong>86% increase</strong></a> the previous year, suggesting a slow shift in the balance of funding.</p> <h3>7. Very little international support of governments and civil society is provided in disaster- and conflict-affected countries.</h3> <p>Most humanitarian experts and practitioners are convinced that <a href="https://www.devex.com/news/time-for-an-alternative-humanitarian-response-funding-model-85129"><strong>we can save more lives</strong></a> if local humanitarian actors—from government ministries to local non-profit organizations—lead the way in their own countries. To do so, they need to have resources, capacity, and power. Yet in 2012<a href="http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/GHA-Report-2014-interactive.pdf"><strong> less than 0.1% of total humanitarian assistance</strong></a> went directly to local- and national-level NGOs in crisis-affected countries, and just 0.3% went directly to crisis-affected governments.[iii] The figures are increasing, but too slowly.</p> <h3>8. Not nearly enough humanitarian funding is going to reduce the risk of natural disasters.</h3> <p>The logic here is this: If we spend more money to reduce the risk and impact of disasters, lives will be saved, and we won’t need to spend as much money responding to crises. Donors, the UN, and humanitarian aid agencies are spending more on this work, but still not nearly enough. Over the past five years, the biggest donors have spent only about 3-6% of their total humanitarian spending on reducing risk and impact of disasters.</p> <p><strong>So what’s the bottom line?</strong> Humanitarian spending is increasing, but it’s not keeping up with the need. And we need to change the way we conduct humanitarian assistance.</p> <p>As we mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami, Oxfam has <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/the_indian_ocean_tsunami_10_years_on_-_lessons_from_the_response_and_ongoing_humanitarian_funding_challenges.pdf"><strong>published some thoughts</strong></a> on how the humanitarian system operated in response to that massive crisis, what lessons we learned as a community, what changes have been made, and ideas for still-needed reform. Oxfam is hopeful that the <a href="http://www.worldhumanitariansummit.org/"><strong>World Humanitarian Summit</strong></a> taking place in 2016 will help bring about real change. In the coming year, we will be proposing ideas along these lines. Stay tuned!</p> <p>[i] We are measuring need by the UN-coordinated humanitarian appeals.</p> <p>[ii] These 29 donors are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) <a href="http://www.oecd.org/dac/dacmembers.htm">Development Assistance Committee (DAC)</a>.</p> <p>[iii] Calculated from data in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs<a href="http://fts.unocha.org/"> Financial Tracking Service</a>.</p> <p><em>Photo: Hussein Ammar, 27, from Qusayr, Syria, is reunited with his mother after two months of separation. Today they meet again after fleeing their home in Qusayr. Hussein was one of thousands of Qusayr residents who walked out of the town after a 3 week long siege by the Syrian government army and Hezbollah. Approximately 300 died on their way to safety. Two of Hussein's brothers were killed. Credit: Sam Tarling / Oxfam </em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><strong>Support <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/ebola-response">Oxfam's Ebola response</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Read <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/liberia-ebola-response/agnes-door-door-volunteer-helps-prevent-ebola-spread-liberia">how Oxfam door-to-door volunteers are helping prevent Ebola's spread in Liberia</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Watch and share this video</strong> about quarantines in Sierra Leone, in response to the Ebola outbreak there.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VMglQHa6n34?list=PL80F9E10344322839" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Trends in humanitarian policy and practice: What to watch in 2015</h2></div> Thu, 08 Jan 2015 16:33:34 +0000 Guest Blogger 24727 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-01-08-trends-humanitarian-policy-and-practice-what-watch-2015#comments Still living in fear in the Congo http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-03-05-still-living-fear-congo <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>This post comes to us from Jean Pierre Buledi, Program Officer/Research and Documentation, with Oxfam's local partner in the DRC, The Centre for Documentation and Civic Education (CEDAC).</em></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2013-11-11/communities-still-risk-military-action-eastern-drc-civilians" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>defeat of the M23</strong></a> rebel group by the Congolese army was big news last year. We all hoped that the business of getting on with life could return. But decades of extreme violence, lawlessness and the lack of accountable government authorities in my country could not disappear overnight.</p> <p>My organization, CEDAC (The Centre for Documentation and Civic Education) wanted to see how life on the ground was changing for the communities of South Kivu. Our work typically takes us into rural Congo, where we teach groups about democratic processes, the functioning of public offices, and good governance. We train communities to understand the importance of monitoring all processes, including democratic processes like the local elections. When we visit communities to learn about their concerns, we hear that violence and threats are now entrenched.</p> <h3>Continuing violence</h3> <p>Violence continues to flourish because the state does not consistently provide protection and state authorities themselves frequently threaten vulnerable communities.</p> <p>Too often, members of the police and army are left to find their own ways to survive for themselves and their families. <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/drc-conflict" rel="nofollow"><strong>Decades of conflict</strong> </a>have left the Democratic Republic of the Congo without the resources for education, health and a robust police force.</p> <h3>Supporting women</h3> <p>A rural woman, who has never been able to go to school, who has no economic power, is an easy target; Not only for armed groups but also for the army, the police, and even certain local leaders. Women’s important role in growing food and bringing it to market appears to be making them a target for taxation and fines at checkpoints on the way to the market.. Programs run by CEDAC are making headway; our training involves educating women to read and write, and to learn about their rights. CEDAC also documents abuses, refers them to court, and supports women to demand justice.</p> Many communities continue to be affected by the conflict, with fishermen and farmers often having to share a portion of their yields with both armed groups and military. Photo: Aimee Brown/Oxfam <h3>Rampant exploitation</h3> <p>More than 1.7 million people remain displaced across North and South Kivu, and people remain a valuable economic commodity for armed actors to exploit.</p> <p>I’ve heard of a case where a farm owner in South Kivu got some soldiers in to guard his farm while he was away. They put up a barrier and demanded 200 Congolese francs (25 cents) from each person who passed by. They said it was for them to eat. When the community leader heard about this practice, he went to see the army commander – for a day the practice stopped, only to start the following day.</p> <h3>Hope for peace?</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.peaceau.org/en/article/peace-security-and-cooperation-framework-for-drc-and-the-region-signed-in-addis-ababa" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Peace and Security Cooperation Framework</strong></a> offers some hope – that more security in our villages would also mean that more children will be educated, and learn how to hold their government accountable.  I’m hopeful for the first time in a long time, but there’s a long way to go. There will have to be real change, not just talk. More honesty and more justice. Then we will see long-lasting stability in the eastern DRC and we can live our lives without fear.</p> <p>Will things change for the Congo?</p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Read Oxfam’s report: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp-in-the-balance-protection-eastern-drc-270114-en.pdf" rel="nofollow">In the Balance, searching for protection in eastern DRC</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Watch: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/video/2013/oxfam-delivering-water-belungo-camp-democratic-republic-congo" rel="nofollow">Oxfam delivering water to Belungo camp, Democratic Republic of the Congo </a></strong></p> <p><strong>More about <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/drc" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's work in the DRC</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Still living in fear in the Congo</h2></div> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:06:41 +0000 Jean Pierre Buledi 10621 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-03-05-still-living-fear-congo#comments Why peace talks are the only way forward for Syria http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-07-18-why-peace-talks-are-only-way-forward-syria <div class="field field-name-body"><p>War has raged in Syria for more than two years now with devastating human cost. <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-syrian-war-has-killed-100000-but-what-about-those-who-are-still-alive-8701139.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Over 100,000 people have been killed</strong></a> and around <a href="http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>8 million people are in desperate need</strong></a> of humanitarian assistance. Since January this year, 200,000 new refugees have fled Syria every month and by the end of the year the total is expected to reach 3.5 million. These are simply staggering numbers that will continue to climb without a political solution to the crisis.</p> <p>That’s why Oxfam has teamed up with 14 humanitarian organizations from around the world to launch a new petition calling for urgent peace talks on Syria. As part of this campaign, we’re asking people to sign our petition to push Presidents Putin and Obama to work quickly to organize the peace talks they have promised.</p> <p><a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/don-t-let-syria-down" rel="nofollow"></a></p> <p> </p><p></p> <h3>Why are we calling for peace talks in Syria now?</h3> <p>Peace talks are just the first step towards a full peace process and an ultimate end to the war in Syria, but they are a vital step to ensure that Syrians have the opportunity to create a future without conflict. The leaders hosting the talks must work to bring together all sides involved in the war, plus representatives of the millions of peaceful Syrians not part of any military group, including refugees and women’s groups.</p> <h3>Why are we targeting Presidents Putin and Obama?</h3> <p>Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama promised to host peace talks on Syria months ago, but they have yet to deliver on this promise. This petition is one way to hold Obama and Putin to account for that promise. It is clear that multiple parties need to be involved to make genuine peace talks a success and Presidents Putin and Obama have significant influence to use in getting them to the negotiating table.</p> <h3>What can I do?</h3> <p>If you want to see Syria move one step closer to a political solution to this crisis, sign this petition today to call on Putin and Obama to urgently set a date for Syria peace talks. If you’ve already signed the petition, why not share it with your friends and family? </p> <p>This is one way that you can show your support for the millions of Syrians affected by the crisis.</p> <p><strong>Liqaa’ (pictured) is a 23 year old Syrian refugee living in Jordan</strong>. She was forced to flee Syria for her life, and now lives with her husband in Za’atari refugee camp where Oxfam is working to provide water and sanitation facilities. She is eight months pregnant, and unsure about what the future holds for her family: </p> <p>“Our children are crying for peace. We’ve shed enough tears and blood already. What we need is an end to the suffering. That is my dream.”</p> <h3>What if I don’t?</h3> <p>On current estimates, around 5,000 people are killed every month in Syria. That’s equivalent to 161 people every single day. Peace talks, as a first step in a more comprehensive peace process, are the only meaningful way to bring about a swift end to the bloodshed. </p> <p>That’s why we need your support today. Help us call on Presidents Putin and Obama to commit to a timetable for peace talks urgently.</p> <p><a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/don-t-let-syria-down" rel="nofollow"></a></p> <p>  </p> <p>                                                                         </p> <h3></h3> <p> </p> <p> </p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/syria-appeal" rel="nofollow"><strong>Donate to Oxfam's Syria Crisis Appeal</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-07-10-ramadan-counting-my-blessings">Counting my blessings this Ramadan</a></strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-07-10-ramadan-counting-my-blessings"></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Why peace talks are the only way forward for Syria</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-07-18-por-que-las-negociaciones-de-paz-son-unica-solucion-para-siria" title="Por qué las negociaciones de paz son la única solución para Siria" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-07-17-la-voie-des-pourparlers-le-seul-espoir-de-paix-en-syrie" title="La voie des pourparlers, le seul espoir de paix en Syrie" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 09:48:59 +0000 Josephine Whitaker 10409 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-07-18-why-peace-talks-are-only-way-forward-syria#comments Réfugiés de Syrie au Liban : « nous ne sommes pas seuls » http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10361 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>« Maman, sommes-nous devenus des mendiants ? » La fille de Sahra lui a posé cette question. C’est d’ailleurs littéralement la première chose qu’elle nous raconte lorsque nous la rencontrons avec d’autres femmes réfugiées à Shabreeha, dans le sud du Liban.</p> <p>Ces femmes sont au Liban depuis quatre à dix mois. Sahra, son mari et leurs trois enfants ont fui le <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/emergencies/crise-en-syrie" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">conflit en Syrie</a></strong>, n’emportant quasiment que les vêtements qu’ils portaient sur eux. Ces vêtements ont maintenant fait long feu. « Mes enfants ont honte quand ils sortent. » Avant de quitter la Syrie, la famille n’a cessé de se déplacer, laissant ses maigres possessions dans différents endroits, soit parce qu’ils ne pouvaient pas les porter, soit que l’intensité des combats ne leur permettait pas de les récupérer. « Nous avons habité des endroits dont je n’avais jamais entendu parler ! Ma famille m’appelait pour savoir où j’étais et, quand je leur annonçais le nom du lieu où nous avions trouvé refuge, ils répondaient systématiquement en demandant où cela se trouve. Même moi je ne le savais pas précisément, alors que je suis Syrienne. »</p> <p>J’ai demandé à Sahra ce qu’elle avait répondu à ses enfants quand ils lui avaient demandé s’ils étaient devenus des mendiants. « Je leur ai expliqué que nous ne sommes pas les seuls. Beaucoup de gens sont dans la même situation. Si nous voulons survivre, nous devons accepter l’aide de ces organisations. Il n’y a pas de travail pour votre père, mais nous devons bien continuer à vivre. » Et Sahra d’ajouter avec tristesse : « Les temps sont très durs pour eux. » </p> <h3>Des emplois rares, des produits alimentaires coûteux</h3> Pour les réfugiés syriens, les épiceries sont bien plus chères au Liban que chez eux. Les coupons d'Oxfam aideront 150 000 people déplacées par le conflt en Syrie. Photo : Sam Tarling/Oxfam <p>La fille aînée de Sahra a 16 ans et cherche du travail. Elle est coiffeuse de formation. Sahra m’explique que sa fille compatit énormément avec son père. Il lui est impossible de trouver du travail. Son dos est en mauvais état car il souffre d’une hernie discale. Comme il est physiquement très limité, elle essaye de le remplacer. Elle a déjà écrit une liste de tout ce qu’elle allait acheter à chacun des membres de la famille. Elle veut offrir un nouveau pantalon à une de ses sœurs et de nouvelles chaussures à une autre tant elles sont en piteux état. Elle veut également m’offrir une nouvelle robe. Elle m’a dit : « Maman, fais-moi une liste de ce que tu voudrais acheter au supermarché et j’irai tout acheter dès que j’aurai trouvé du travail et reçu un salaire. »</p> <p>Malheureusement, comme l’explique Sahra, sa famille n’est pas la seule dans ce cas. Plus de <strong><a href="http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/country.php?id=122" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">490 000 réfugiés</a></strong> vivent à présent au Liban. Tandis que certaines vivent dans des appartements traditionnels, de nombreuses familles ne sont pas en mesure de payer les loyers qui ont doublé ou triplé ces derniers mois. <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/fr/blogs/13-05-28-refugies-syriens-reema-fillette-visage">De nombreux réfugiés</a></strong> vivent maintenant dans des garages humides et sombres, dans des abris en bois construits à la hâte ou dans des campements. Le peu d’argent que les réfugiés ont pu emporter a été rapidement dépensé. Sahra et les autres femmes expliquent que la nourriture et les autres produits indispensables sont beaucoup plus chers au Liban qu’en Syrie. Les chances que sa fille trouve du travail sont maigres. En effet, les réfugiés entrent en concurrence avec les Libanais et les emplois sont rares. Les perspectives d’avenir ne sont pas bonnes. Même si elles le souhaitent ardemment, Sahra et ses amies ne pensent pas pouvoir rentrer en Syrie avant longtemps.</p> <p>Dans le cadre du programme d’Oxfam, qui bénéficie du soutien financier du gouvernement des Pays-Bas, la famille de Sahra reçoit un <strong><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/8613268521/in/set-72157632802510283" target="_blank" title="Couvertures et oreillers pour les réfugiés syriens au Liban" rel="nofollow">équipement d’hiver</a></strong> (dont un matelas, quatre coussins et deux couvertures) ainsi que des bons donnant droit à de l’alimentation et des articles d’hygiène.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/fr/blogs/13-06-07-appel-nations-unies-syrie-financement-aide-humanitaire">Oxfam invite les donateurs internationaux à continuer à soutenir l’appel humanitaire</a></strong> lancé en faveur de la Syrie. Le programme d’aide aux Syriens piloté par les Nations unies n’est financé qu’à hauteur de 60 %. Notre objectif est de venir en aide à 650 000 personnes d’ici à la fin 2013, mais notre travail n’est financé qu’à concurrence de 20 %.</p> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/fr/blogs/13-06-07-appel-nations-unies-syrie-financement-aide-humanitaire"></a><strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/fr/blogs/13-06-07-appel-nations-unies-syrie-financement-aide-humanitaire">&gt;&gt; Faites un don pour soutenir l'action d'Oxfam face à la crise en Syrie &lt;&lt;</a></strong></p> <p></p> <h3>En savoir plus</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/emergencies/crise-en-syrie" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Crise en Syrie : le point sur la situation et sur l'action d'Oxfam</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Réfugiés de Syrie au Liban : « nous ne sommes pas seuls »</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_en first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-30-syrian-refugees-lebanon-we-are-not-alone" title="Syrian refugees in Lebanon: “We are not alone”" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-07-01-refugiados-sirios-en-libano-no-estamos-solos" title="Refugiados sirios en Líbano: &quot;No estamos solos&quot;" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Mon, 24 Jun 2013 13:31:44 +0000 Jane Beesley 10361 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10361#comments A 10 year campaign for an Arms Trade Teaty: Now it's #TimetoSign http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-31-10-years-arms-trade-teaty-now-its-timetosign <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>Anna Macdonald, Oxfam's Head of Arms Control, gave this speech at the UK's Foreign Commonwealth Office Arms Trade Treaty Reception (15 May 2013), to celebrate ten years of Control Arms Campaigning which culminated with the UN's 2 April 2013 vote in favor of a global arms trade treaty.</em></p> <p><strong>10 years ago</strong> I stood down the road in Trafalgar Square, with many others who are here tonight, to launch the Control Arms campaign. Our message was simple: the arms trade is out of control and ordinary people around the world are suffering at the rate of one death every minute, with millions more forced from their homes, suffering abuse and impoverishment.</p> <p>We had an idea. We had a vision. A global treaty to bring the conventional arms trade under control. To make governments take responsibility for every arms transfer that enters or leaves their territory. And to put human rights and humanitarian law, not profit, at the heart of every decision.</p> <p>It’s a big thing, getting a treaty. It’s a very big thing.</p> <p><strong>And its been a long road</strong> to get here. But here we are – 10 years on and with an Arms Trade Treaty adopted at the UN <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2013-04-02/states-vote-overwhelmingly-ground-breaking-arms-trade-treaty" rel="nofollow"><strong>by overwhelming majority vote</strong></a>. It’s a success for us all.</p> <p>Often in a campaign you have to go through the stage where your ideas are seen as ridiculous. When progress seems agonizingly slow, and change is measured in the tiny steps of a public statement here, a positive meeting there, until you get a breakthrough, momentum builds up and things start to roll.</p> <p>There have been many stages in this process since work started in the UN in 2006, and we’ve kept the pressure on throughout – UN consultations, open-ended working groups, groups of government experts, preparatory committees, regional meetings, resolutions every year at the General Assembly to move things forward. We’ve driven tanks round London, ridden elephants in India and rowed dragon boats in Cambodia to raise awareness. We’ve run workshops and seminars in 100 countries to deepen knowledge and explore ideas. We’ve given media interviews and written articles to communicate. And we’ve analysed papers, proposed treaty text, and negotiated hours into the night to turn a weak text into a stronger text.</p> <p><strong>The world has come together</strong> and said “Enough!”.</p> <p>To unscrupulous arms dealers, dictators and human rights abusers, we have a clear message. Your days of easy access to weapons and ammunition are over. The world is watching, and the world will hold you to account.</p> <p>The most powerful argument for the ATT has always been the call of the millions who have suffered from armed violence around the world. And every day right now <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/syria-crisis/" rel="nofollow"><strong>Syria's brutal conflict</strong></a> - which has killed over 70,000 so far - reminds us of the urgent need to control arms.</p> <p>So now we have the words on the paper. We need the action on the ground.</p> <p><strong>It is incumbent on all the governments</strong> here tonight, and the many others who voted yes, to sign and ratify the treaty as soon as possible. When the ATT opens for signature at the Signing Ceremony on 3 June in New York, it will be an important start for the treaty. There must be many governments there to sign, and at the most senior level possible. You must show that you are serious about making this treaty work effectively. 50 ratifications are needed for the treaty to enter into force. We can do this in less than two years, if we all make it a priority.</p> <p>Working in partnership with government is not always easy – for NGOs or governments – but this has been an important part of progress on this treaty, without which we would not have had success. </p> <p>I would like to thank the many officials who worked with us to secure the strongest possible treaty, it has been a relay race with many contributors and from the UK we recognize those who started the process at the UN, those who helped close the deal, and those who were there throughout.</p> <p><strong>Change does not happen</strong> only in the UN or parliaments. Change happens when we work together on a shared goal and put aside our differences for a common good. Change happens from workplaces, from schools, from universities, and from our own homes, when we refuse to take no for an answer, and keep going. Because when there is an idea worth fighting for, then set-backs along the way are not defeat, and differences in opinion are opportunities to build from.</p> <p>So for anyone who doubts that campaigning works and achieves change, let tonight be the evidence you need. Every one of you here tonight is extraordinary. Because you took that challenge and did not give up. Whether you were in the UN negotiating, lobbying your government back home, talking to the media, responding to another campaign request, sending a tweet, writing an egram, you played your part. This has been a global movement.</p> <p>For all the frustrations and challenges, the eleventh-hour negotiation that falls apart, the policy line that it its impossible to get right, and the never-ending speeches of the detractors – for all that, you have immense power.</p> <p><strong>You made this happen.</strong> This is your victory. Tonight is your night.</p> <p>To all my colleagues in the <a href="http://controlarms.org" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Control Arms Coalition</strong></a> – thank you for all you have done. Thank you for believing and sticking with it, and for the passion in your heart and the fire in your belly, and the tenacity in your veins because that is what changes the world, and that is why we have turned this idea, this ideal, into something that might just help change the world.</p> <p>Thank you for making this happen.</p> <p><em>Watch Anna's speech (at around 17 minutes into the video):</em></p> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/66308319" rel="nofollow">Control Arms at the Foreign Office</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/amnestyuk1" rel="nofollow">Amnesty International</a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/conflict/controlarms/why-we-need-global-arms-trade-treaty" rel="nofollow"><strong>Why we need a global Arms Trade Treaty</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2013/05/23/why-the-president-should-sign-the-arms-trade-treaty/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Why the President should sign the Arms Trade Treaty</strong></a> (Oxfam America)</p> <p> </p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>A 10 year campaign for an Arms Trade Teaty: Now it&#039;s #TimetoSign</h2></div> Fri, 31 May 2013 16:08:01 +0000 Anna MacDonald 10330 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-31-10-years-arms-trade-teaty-now-its-timetosign#comments Voces de África: la Unión Africana cumple 50 años http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10332 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Me he pasado tres días en la capital de África, Addis Abea, sede de la Unión Africana. Durante este tiempo, ha habido una intensa actividad al margen de la cumbre de la UA, pero he encontrado algún momento para poder explicar el trabajo de Oxfam a varia gente. Los tres días concluyeron con una actividad a la cual asistí llamada “50 lugares, 50 voces”, organizada por el equipo de<strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/campaigns/conflict" rel="nofollow"> Derechos en situación de Crisis</a></strong> de Oxfam.</p> <p>Hace un año, Oxfam se embarcó en una campaña por toda África para abordar el tema del conflicto y cómo afecta a la población más vulnerable, entre ellos las mujeres y los niños y niñas. Se seleccionaron cinco países que viven conflictos en diferentes fases y con grandes necesidades humanitarias para crear un proyecto audiovisual. Los países seleccionados fueron la República Democrática del Congo (RDC), Malí, Sudán del Sur, Sudán y Somalia. El resultado, "50 Lugares, 50 voces" es un testimonio de primera mano de gente normal que se ha visto afectada por el conflicto.</p> <h3>La cara de la resiliencia</h3> <p>En el evento, me quedé muy impresionada por los mensajes que la gente tanto de zonas rurales como urbanas envió a los líderes africanos con motivo del <strong><a href="http://summits.au.int/en/21stsummit/50th" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">50 aniversario de la Unión Africana</a></strong> y su  antecesora, la Organización para la Unión Africana (OUA).  Hablaban de la necesidad urgente de llegar a la paz, de que haya un liderazgo responsable y del potencial que tiene África de prosperar. La gente pide comida, ropa, educación, refugio, mejoras sanitarias y un ambiente de paz donde puedan construir sus vidas y prosperar. A pesar de la dureza de sus vidas, las fotos  les mostraban como personas “resilientes” frente a un entorno tan hostil.  </p> <p>Francine Chikanine, una comerciante del mercado de Goma lanzó un mensaje simple pero realmente potente: “La guerra en el Congo no termina; quiero que nuestros líderes se tomen dos minutos, solo dos minutos para encontrar las causas de fondo de esta guerra.”  Llegar a la raíz del problema que ha originado la guerra es factible, pero hacer algo para abordar estas causas fundamentales puede ser una tarea realmente compleja. La complejidad no significa que no se pueda hacer, simplemente se requiere un esfuerzo mayor. Tenemos que presionar para  que se encuentren soluciones, pero ¿por qué debería importarnos? </p> <h3>¿Por qué impulsar soluciones a los conflictos?</h3> <p>Nos debería importar porque las guerras han acabado con las vidas de millones de personas. En Somalia, por ejemplo, hay más de un milllón de personas desplazadas internas y otro millón que se ha refugiado en países vecinos. Sudán, Sudán del Sur y la RDC viven inmersos en conflictos armados de larga duración, donde cada día se denuncian casos de violencia de género. </p> <p>Nos debería importar porque cientos de miles de personas viven con miedo y no pueden alcanzar todo su potencial. Hombres, mujeres, niños y niñas han sido agredidos física y sexualmente, pero las mujeres y las niñas son los que se lleban la peor parte. Las mujeres viven con el temor constante de ataques sexuales cuando van a buscar <strong><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/6982323879/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">agua</a></strong>, están en el <strong><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/5329968337/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">campo</a></strong> o <strong><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/8405858192/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">traen leña</a></strong>. En noviembre de 2012, soldados rebeldes y del gobierno fueron <strong><a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44854#.Uad3ztL0E2W" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">declarados culpables de violar a mujeres en la RDC</a></strong>. Ejércitos rebeldes reclutan a niños para convertirlos en soldados. Y los hombres se ven impotentes de  proteger y cuidar a sus familias.</p> <h3>El cambio es posible</h3> <p>Así que, aunque se han producido grandes avances en el continente, queda aún mucho por hacer. Una vida perdida en un conflicto es una vida de más. Estoy realmente orgullosa de que el proyecto “50 lugares, 50 voces”, y otras actividades organizadas por oficina de Oxfam de enlace con la Unión Africana, sirva para llevar las voces de la gente de los pueblos a los líderes africanos. Y mientras hablan de sus experiencias también demuestran esperanza en que el cambio es posible.</p> <p>Después de 50 años de existencia de la Unión Africana, y la emancipación política plena del continente, ha llegado el momento de que los líderes africanos acaben con la plaga de la guerra, para que la población africana pueda por fin vivir en paz, poner en pràctica sus derechos y desarrollar plenamente su potencial humano.</p> <p></p> <h3>Más información</h3> <p><strong>El trabajo humanitario de Oxfam en <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/crisis-en-mal%C3%AD" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Malí</a>,  <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/conflicto-rdc" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">la República Democrática del Congo</a> y <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/crisis-sudan-sudandelsur" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Sudán del Sur</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Voces de África: la Unión Africana cumple 50 años</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-06-04-voix-afrique-union-africaine-cinquante-ans" title="Voix d’Afrique : l&#039;Union africaine a cinquante ans" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_en last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-29-voices-africa-african-union-50" title=" Voices from Africa: the African Union at 50" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> </ul> Fri, 31 May 2013 15:56:06 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10332 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10332#comments Syrian refugees in Lebanon: “We are not alone” http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-30-syrian-refugees-lebanon-we-are-not-alone <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>“So mummy are we beggars now?” is a question Sahra’s daughters asked her. It’s virtually the first thing she tells us when we visit her and other women refugees in Shabreeha, South Lebanon. The women have been in Lebanon between four and ten months. Sahra (35), her husband and three children fled the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/syria-crisis" rel="nofollow">conflict in Syria</a> with little but the clothes they were wearing. The clothes have had a lot of wear. She says, “My children are ashamed when they go out.”</strong></p> <p>Before leaving Syria the family moved from place to place, leaving their few possessions in different houses because they could no longer carry them or the fighting was so fierce they didn’t have chance to collect them. “We moved to places I’d never even heard of! My family would ring me and ask ‘Where are you?’ and I’d say the name of the place and they’d say, ‘Where is that?’ but I didn’t know where it was even though I’m Syrian.”</p> <p>I asked Sahra what she said to her children when they asked her about being beggars: “I told them we are not alone. A lot of people are going through this. If we are going to live we have to accept help from these organizations. Your father can’t find a job and we need to live.” Adding sadly, “but they find it very hard.”</p> <h3>Jobs are scarce and food is costly</h3> Syrian refugees find that groceries are much more expensive in Lebanon. Oxfam's vouchers will support 150,000 people displaced by the conflict in Syria. Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam <p>Sahra’s eldest daughter, who is 16, trained to be a hairdresser and is looking for a job. “She has a lot of empathy with her father. He can’t find a job and has a bad back, a slipped disc. The work he can do is limited, so she wants to find work instead. She’s already written a list of what she is going to get each member of the family. She wants to buy new trousers for one of her sisters. For another sister she wants to buy new shoes, which she badly needs as her old ones are falling apart. She wants to buy me a new dress. She also said to me, ‘Mum, make me a list of what you want from the Co-op (supermarket) and I’ll go and get everything as soon as I get a job and get paid.’”</p> <p>Sadly as Sahra says the family is not alone. There are now over <a href="http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/country.php?id=122" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>490,000 refugees living in Lebanon</strong></a>. While some are living in conventional apartments, many are unable to afford the rental prices, which have doubled or tripled in the last few months. <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-05-28-syria-refugees-reema-girl-whose-face-youll-never-see"><strong>Many refugees</strong></a> are now living in damp, dark garages, hastily constructed wooden shelters and poor tented settlements. Any money people were able to bring with them is rapidly spent. Sahra and the other women report that food and other essential items are much more expensive in Lebanon than in Syria. Her daughter’s prospects of gaining employment are poor, as local Lebanese and Syrian refugees compete for few jobs. The outlook is bleak. Sahra and the other women believe that despite longing to go home they will not be back in Syria for a long time.</p> <p>Sahra’s family received a <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/8613268521/in/set-72157632802510283" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>winterization kit</strong></a> (including a mattress, four pillows, and two blankets), vouchers for hygiene and food items. This Oxfam program was supported through funds from the Government of the Netherlands.</p> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-06-07-un-syria-appeal-governments-must-fund-aid-effort-now"><strong>Oxfam is calling on international donors</strong></a> to continue supporting the Syria humanitarian response by giving more funds. The UN-led Syria response program is around 60 percent funded.</p> <h3>Donate now</h3> <p>Oxfam is aiming to reach 650,000 people in the next 12 months, however our work is just 23% funded. We still very much need your support.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/syria-appeal" rel="nofollow">&gt;&gt; Donate to Oxfam's Syria crisis response &lt;&lt;</a></strong></p> <p></p> <h3>Read more</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/syria-crisis" rel="nofollow">Crisis in Syria: The situation and what Oxfam is doing</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Syrian refugees in Lebanon: “We are not alone”</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-06-24-refugies-syrie-liban-nous-ne-sommes-pas-seuls" title="Réfugiés de Syrie au Liban : « nous ne sommes pas seuls »" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-07-01-refugiados-sirios-en-libano-no-estamos-solos" title="Refugiados sirios en Líbano: &quot;No estamos solos&quot;" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Thu, 30 May 2013 16:12:21 +0000 Jane Beesley 10338 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-30-syrian-refugees-lebanon-we-are-not-alone#comments Voices from Africa: the African Union at 50 http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-29-voices-africa-african-union-50 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>I recently spent three days in Africa’s capital, Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union. During this time, there was a flurry of activity in the margins of the AU summit but I found my own space to talk to various people about Oxfam’s work. The three days were concluded by attending an activity called “<strong>50 Voices, 50 Places</strong>”, organized by Oxfam’s <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/conflict/" rel="nofollow">Rights in Crisis</a></strong> team.</p> <p>A year ago, Oxfam embarked on an Africa-wide campaign to address conflict and how it affects men women and children. Five focus countries – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia – all at various stages of conflict and each with huge humanitarian needs, were selected for a film and picture project. The result, <strong>50 Places, 50 Voices</strong> (embedded below) – is a first-hand testimony by ordinary people of how they have been affected by conflict.</p> <h3>The face of resilience</h3> <p>At the event, I was struck with the powerful messages people in rural villages and urban settings sent to African leaders to mark the <strong><a href="http://summits.au.int/en/21stsummit/50th" rel="nofollow">50th anniversary of the African Union</a></strong> and its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The messages were on the urgent need for peace, responsive leadership and Africa’s potential to prosper. People want food, clothing, education, shelter, good health and a peaceful environment that allows them to thrive. Despite what life had thrown at them, the pictures were those of people who were resilient in the face of hostility.</p> <p>Francine Chikanine, a market trader in Goma had a simple but powerful message: “This war in Congo doesn’t end; I want our leaders to take two minutes, just two minutes, to find the root causes of war.” Getting to the root causes of war is doable, but doing something to address the root causes can be complex. Complexity does not mean it can’t be done, it simply means that more effort is required. We need to push for solutions to be found, but why should we care?</p> <h3>Why push for solutions to conflict?</h3> <p>We should care because the lives of millions of people have been destroyed by war. In Somalia for example, there are over one million internally displaced persons with another one million living in neighboring countries. There is on-going armed conflict in Sudan, South Sudan and <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/congo" rel="nofollow"><strong>DRC</strong></a>, while gender based violence continues to be reported.</p> <p>We should care because; hundreds of thousands of people live in fear and cannot achieve their full potential. Men, women and children have been physically or sexually assaulted, but women and children have suffered the most. Women live in constant fear of sexual attacks when they go to <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/6982323879/" rel="nofollow"><strong>fetch water</strong></a>, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/5329968337/" rel="nofollow"><strong>tend to the fields</strong></a>, or <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/8405858192/" rel="nofollow"><strong>bring firewood</strong></a>. In November, 2012, government and rebel soldiers were found <a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44854#.UaYcAlFZhOI" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>guilty of raping women in DRC</strong></a>. Children have been conscripted in rebel armies. Men have been left feeling powerless to look after their families.</p> <h3>Change is possible</h3> <p>So even with great strides made on the continent, there still remains a lot more to be done. One life lost in conflict, is one life too many. I am proud that through 50 Places, 50 Voices, and other activities of our AU Liaison Office, Oxfam is bringing the voices of people at the grassroots to African leaders. As the people speak about their experiences, they also express hope that change is possible.</p> <p>After 50 years of existence of the African Union, and full political emancipation of the continent, time is ripe for African leaders to remove the blight of conflict, so that African people can live in peace, exercise their human rights and achieve their human potential.</p> <p></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/african-union-compendium" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's African Union Compendium</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/somalia" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's work in Somalia</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/congo" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's humanitarian response to the conflict in the DRC</a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2> Voices from Africa: the African Union at 50</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-06-04-voix-afrique-union-africaine-cinquante-ans" title="Voix d’Afrique : l&#039;Union africaine a cinquante ans" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-05-30-voces-de-africa-la-union-africana-cumple-50-anos" title="Voces de África: la Unión Africana cumple 50 años" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Wed, 29 May 2013 15:20:24 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10340 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-29-voices-africa-african-union-50#comments The growing crisis in Africa's Great Lakes region http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-08-27-growing-crisis-great-lakes <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>More people are displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) right now than at any time over the past three years, and tens of thousands more people have fled to neighboring countries. Oxfam’s Policy Advisor in DRC, Samuel Dixon, explains the current crisis and what the international community can do to help ease the suffering: </em></p> <h3>How serious is the crisis at the moment? </h3> <p>Nearly half a million people have been displaced by conflict since the start of the year, and there are now over 2.2 million displaced people within DRC – the highest number since 2009. </p> <p>Thousands are staying in crowded, overstretched homes with relatives or friends, while others have sought refuge in rapidly <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergenies/congo/we-do-not-dare-go-home-photos-kibati" rel="nofollow">growing camps</a></strong> as aid agencies struggle to provide food, safe water, and shelter to the swelling populations. The most affected are often those who are unable to flee – the elderly, the infirm and the handicapped. </p> <p>The humanitarian consequences are also increasingly felt in neighboring countries – nearly 60,000 refugees have fled to camps in Uganda and Rwanda. Oxfam is scaling up <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/drc-conflict" rel="nofollow">our emergency response</a></strong> across the region. </p> <p><a href="https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=democra&amp;sll=53.800651,-4.064941&amp;sspn=10.379125,19.753418&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;t=m&amp;ll=-2.986927,23.291016&amp;spn=26.103261,26.279297&amp;z=4" rel="nofollow">View Larger Map</a> </p><h3>How are ordinary people affected? </h3> <p>Civilians are facing an increase in killings, forced recruitment (including of children), extortion, pillaging and sexual violence at the hands of numerous armed groups, as well as by the Congolese army itself. </p> <p><strong>Farmers fear being attacked if they go to their fields.</strong> Women are raped on their way to collect water. People with guns benefit financially from the insecurity – armed groups profit from forced labor in some areas and traders and farmers are forced to <a href="https://twitter.com/noahgo/status/238921773163372544" rel="nofollow"><strong>pay taxes</strong></a> at illegal checkpoints along the roads to markets, meaning that these lucrative roads are often fought over. Food prices have risen because crops are looted. People tell Oxfam they don’t grow crops to sell because they will just be stolen before they can reach the market. </p> <p>The crisis is pushing many people into hunger in one of the most fertile regions in the world. </p> <h3>Why is the situation getting worse now? </h3> <p>In April former fighters from rebel CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People) who had been integrated into the Congolese army (<strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo" rel="nofollow">FARDC</a></strong>) mutinied and took control of areas close to the border with Rwanda. In response, the FARDC deployed troops from across the east to fight the “M23” rebellion and protect major towns. </p> <p><strong>Tens of thousands have fled the resulting conflict</strong> between the army and the M23, while the redeployment of the army has left a massive security vacuum which has allowed rebel groups to reassert their control. </p> <p>Eastern DRC has been a story of conflict, exploitation and impunity for decades. A large number of armed groups are battling for control over territory and resources, exacerbating ethnic tensions. Military operations by the Congolese army against the FDLR militia over recent years have had <strong><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/16/un-congolese-army-offensive-displace" target="_blank" title="The Guardian - UN-backed Congolese army drive could displace 100,000 people, analysts warn" rel="nofollow">enormous humanitarian fallout</a></strong>. Within this fragile context, the M23 rebellion poses a significant and new threat to stability, government control, and communities’ protection against further abuse. </p> Ongoing insecurity and violence continue to make life precarious for civilians. <h3>What do people need most urgently? </h3> <p><strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-08-22-fatous-story-searching-safety-drc">People need security</a></strong> and humanitarian aid. Without immediate support, people will suffer even further. Donors and aid agencies need to step up their response.</p> <p><strong>People also need better protection from the Congolese government and the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO.</strong></p> <p>Given the severity of the new conflict dynamic in the Kivus, MONUSCO needs to reassess its use of resources in order to better protect civilians where they need it the most – including areas where armed groups have reasserted control. </p> <h3>What are the long-term solutions to the crisis? </h3> <p>The current crisis is the latest in a long line of emergencies in this extremely fragile environment, and people’s ability to cope with cyclical crises has eroded. To date, responses to the chronic emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been piecemeal and achieved very little, often because they are imposed from above and do not take local opinions and solutions into account. Only by tackling the root causes of conflict, marginalization, and poverty will DRC achieve lasting peace. </p> <p><strong>The urgent reform of the FARDC is crucial</strong> so that the security forces can protect communities. Preparations should be made for free and fair provincial and local elections to address a situation in which people have little to no say over decisions affecting them. Underlying tensions over land and other resources also must be resolved between communities through grassroots peace-building, supported at the provincial and national levels. </p> Millions of people in the Eastern DRC are at the mercy of militias. <h3>What can the international community do? </h3> <p>The DRC government must lead with political and army reform, but lasting solutions require external support and recognition that this is a regional crisis. Donors should reinforce and better coordinate efforts to reform the army, and increase funding to better enable Congolese civil society to hold their government to account. </p> <p><strong>Numerous regional agreements made over the past decade remain unimplemented.</strong> More international pressure is needed to ensure that regional agreements prioritize the protection of civilians, cooperation between states, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. These agreements must be made in a transparent manner and finally turned into action on the ground that will bring people real stability. </p> <h3>Related links</h3> <p><strong>Oxfam briefing:</strong> <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-lobby-briefing-drc-july2012-for-me-but-without-me.pdf" rel="nofollow">"For me, but without me, is against me": Why efforts to stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo are not working</a></strong> (July 2012, pdf 957kb)</p> <p><strong>Blog: </strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blog/12-03-26-drc-trying-build-security-where-fear-prevails">DRC: Trying to build security where fear prevails</a></p> <p><strong>Slideshow: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergenies/congo/we-do-not-dare-go-home-photos-kibati" rel="nofollow">Seeking refuge in Kibati: 'We do not dare to go home' </a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.france24.com/en/20120822-democratic-republic-congo-various-rebel-groups-war-rwanda-uganda" rel="nofollow">DR Congo: Who are the various rebel groups at war?</a> </strong>(<a href="http://www.france24.com">www.france24.com</a>)<strong></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/congo" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's response to the crisis in DRC</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The growing crisis in Africa&#039;s Great Lakes region</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/12-08-28-afrique-crise-aggrave-region-grands-lacs" title="Afrique : la crise s’aggrave dans la région des Grands Lacs" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-08-30-la-creciente-crisis-en-la-region-de-los-grandes-lagos-africana" title="La crisis aumenta en la Región de los Grandes Lagos africana" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Mon, 27 Aug 2012 16:11:29 +0000 Sam Dixon 9943 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-08-27-growing-crisis-great-lakes#comments La crisis aumenta en la Región de los Grandes Lagos africana http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/9948 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>En estos momentos hay más personas desplazadas en la República Democrática del Congo (RDC) que en los últimos tres años, y hay decenas de miles de personas que han dejado sus hogares y puesto rumbo a los países vecinos. El responsable de incidencia política de Oxfam en la República Democrática del Congo, Samuel Dixon, nos explica la crítica situación actual y qué puede hacer la comunidad internacional para mitigar el sufrimiento de las personas afectadas. </em></p> <h3>¿Cómo de grave es la crisis en este momento? </h3> <p>Casi medio millón de personas se han visto desplazadas por causa del conflicto desde comienzos de año, y en este momento hay <strong>2,2 millones de desplazados</strong> en la República Democrática del Congo, la cifra más elevada registrada desde 2009.</p> <p>Hay miles de personas que permanecen hacinadas en hogares saturados compartidos con amigos y familiares, mientras que otras han buscado abrigo en los <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/congo/republica-democratica-congo-no-nos-atrevemos-volver-casa" rel="nofollow">campos de refugiados que brotan</a></strong> como esporas mientras las agencias de ayuda humanitaria luchan para poder ofrecerle alimentos, agua potable y cobijo a esta creciente población. </p> <p>A estos datos hay que sumar las casi 60.000 personas que han huido a los campos de refugiados de Uganda y Ruanda, motivo por el que Oxfam está ampliando su <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/conflicto-rdc" rel="nofollow">respuesta de emergencia</a></strong> en toda la región.  </p> <p><a href="https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=democra&amp;sll=53.800651,-4.064941&amp;sspn=10.379125,19.753418&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;t=m&amp;ll=-2.986927,23.291016&amp;spn=26.103261,26.279297&amp;z=4" rel="nofollow">Ver en un mapa más grande</a> </p><h3>¿Cómo afecta la situación a la gente de a pie? </h3> <p>Los civiles hacen frente al aumento de los asesinatos, personas reclutadas por la fuerza (incluidos niños), la extorsión, el pillaje y la violencia sexual a manos de grupos armados, así como del propio ejército congoleño. </p> <p><strong>Los agricultores sufren ataques incluso cuando van a trabajar a sus campos</strong>; las mujeres son víctimas de violaciones cuando van a recoger agua; y quienes están armados se benefician económicamente de la situación de inseguridad: <strong>hay grupos armados que consiguen ingresos obligando a otras personas a realizar trabajos forzados</strong> en algunas zonas, mientras que comerciantes y agricultores se ven <strong><a href="https://twitter.com/noahgo/status/238921773163372544" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">forzados a pagar impuestos</a></strong> en puestos de control ilícitos instalados por las carreteras, por lo que muchas veces surgen enfrentamientos entre bandas armadas por el control de estas lucrativas vías de comunicación; los precios de los alimentos han aumentado a causa del pillaje de las cosechas; y la crisis está llevando a muchas personas a padecer de hambruna en una de las regiones más fértiles del mundo. </p> <h3>¿Por qué está empeorando actualmente la situación? </h3> <p>Un gran número de grupos armados del este de la República Democrática del Congo luchan por hacerse con <strong><a href="http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/elmundo/articulo-370117-control-los-minerales-de-sangre" target="_blank" title="Elespectador.com / El Mundo - Control a los &quot;minerales de sangre&quot;" rel="nofollow">el control territorial y de los recursos</a></strong>, lo que ha intensificado las tensiones étnicas.</p> <p><strong>En el mes de abril, los antiguos combatientes del grupo rebelde</strong> CNDP (Congreso Nacional para la Defensa del Pueblo), integrado por disidentes de las Fuerzas Armadas de la República Democrática del Congo (FARDC), se amotinaron y tomaron el control de las zonas próximas a la frontera con Ruanda. Como respuesta a esta acción, las FARDC desplegaron sus tropas por el este del país para acabar con la revuelta “M23” y proteger las principales ciudades de la zona.</p> <p><strong>Decenas de miles de personas han huido como resultado del conflicto</strong> entre el ejército y los rebeldes del M23, mientras que el nuevo despliegue de tropas del ejército ha dejado un enorme vacío de seguridad, permitiendo a los grupos rebeldes consolidar su control. </p> La creciente inseguridad y la violencia hace la vida muy difícil para las personas. <h3>¿Qué es lo que la gente necesita con mayor urgencia? </h3> <p><strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/es/blogs/12-08-23-la-historia-de-fatou-buscando-un-lugar-seguro-en-la-republica-democratica-de-congo">La gente necesita protección</a></strong> y ayuda humanitaria, y si no consiguen apoyo inmediato, su sufrimiento se verá incrementado. Tanto los países donantes como las agencias de ayuda humanitaria necesitan dar un paso al frente en su respuesta ante esta situación.</p> <p><strong>Asimismo, se necesita un mayor nivel de protección por parte del gobierno del Congo y de la misión de paz de las Naciones Unidas</strong>, MONUSCO, sobre todo en aquellas zonas en las que los grupos armados han reafirmado su control.</p> <h3>¿Cuáles son las soluciones a largo plazo para la crisis?</h3> <p>Hasta la fecha, las respuestas a la situación de emergencia crónica que vive la República Democrática del Congo han sido fragmentadas y han conseguido tímidos resultados, por lo general debido a que suelen venir dictaminadas por instancias superiores y no tienen en cuenta la opinión o posibles soluciones aportadas desde el marco local. Solo es posible conseguir una paz duradera en la República Democrática del Congo si se hace frente a las causas de base del conflicto, la marginalización y la pobreza.</p> <p><strong>Ahora se impone una urgente reforma de las FARDC</strong>, un paso crucial para que las fuerzas de seguridad del estado puedan proteger a las comunidades. Además, es necesario preparar el escenario para celebrar unas elecciones provinciales y locales que sean libres y justas. Deben resolverse las tensiones subyacentes por el control de la tierra y los recursos entre las comunidades a través de acciones de base para el establecimiento de la paz que cuenten con el respaldo de las instancias locales y nacionales.</p> Millones de personas se encuentran a merced de las milicias en la zona oriental de la R.D. del Congo. <h3>¿Qué puede hacer la comunidad internacional? </h3> <p>El Gobierno de la República Democrática del Congo debe dar ejemplo emprendiendo una reforma política y militar, aunque para conseguir soluciones que no sean efímeras es necesario contar con respaldo externo y admitir claramente que se trata de una crisis regional. Los países donantes deberían realizar mayores contribuciones y estar mejor coordinados en sus esfuerzos para conseguir la reforma del ejército y una mayor financiación que permita a la sociedad civil congoleña exigir responsabilidades a su gobierno.</p> <p><strong>Es necesaria una mayor presión internacional</strong> con la que garantizar que los acuerdos regionales anteriores priorizan aspectos como la protección de la sociedad civil, la cooperación entre Estados y la resolución pacífica de las disputas. Estos acuerdos deben suscribirse de forma transparente y llevar a acciones concretas sobre el terrero con las que conseguir un auténtico clima de estabilidad para la población. </p> <h3>Más información</h3> <p><strong>Fotos: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/congo/republica-democratica-congo-no-nos-atrevemos-volver-casa" rel="nofollow">R.D. del Congo: “No nos atrevemos a volver a casa”</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/es/blogs/12-08-23-la-historia-de-fatou-buscando-un-lugar-seguro-en-la-republica-democratica-de-congo">La historia de Fatou: buscando un lugar seguro en la República Democrática de Congo</a></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/conflicto-rdc" rel="nofollow"></a><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/conflicto-rdc" rel="nofollow">Conflicto en la República Democrática del Congo</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>La crisis aumenta en la Región de los Grandes Lagos africana</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_en first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-08-27-growing-crisis-great-lakes" title="The growing crisis in Africa&#039;s Great Lakes region" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/12-08-28-afrique-crise-aggrave-region-grands-lacs" title="Afrique : la crise s’aggrave dans la région des Grands Lacs" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Sun, 26 Aug 2012 23:00:00 +0000 Sam Dixon 9948 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/9948#comments