Oxfam International Blogs - hunger http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/hunger en Stop the Bombs, Yemen is Starving http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-11-20-stop-bombs-yemen-starving <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>In recent days in the port city of Hodeidah in Yemen, hundreds of bombs have been dropped on and fighting has raged around the hospital</strong>. Houthis artillery fire in Yemen, and across the border into Saudi villages and towns, has similar effects. This intensification of fighting in the has put the spotlight back on the terrible conflict which has been raging since 2014.</p> <p>The tragedy here is that the crisis is human made and a product largely of arms brought in from outside of Yemen, both before the war and since it started.</p> <h3>Millions of People Are in Need</h3> <p>The fighting has <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-hodeida-port-city-war-civilians-saudi-arabia-houthis-a8404841.html">trapped about 600,000 civilians</a> in the city as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seek to wrest control of the port from Houthi forces, who have some backing from Iran. Hodeidah is strategically important as the vast majority of humanitarian aid for Yemen flows through the port, and the risk is that the fighting will leave the 22.2 million people in need of aid without access to food or medical supplies.</p> <p>In the past week, the World Food Programme has been <a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-al-hudaydah-update-situation-report-no-14-reporting-period-16-october-13-november">unable to access</a> 51,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat grain stored at the Red Sea Mills in the city, enough to feed 3.5 million people for a month. And a vital UNHCR warehouse containing emergency shelter and non-food items has become inaccessible.</p> <h3>Imported Arms Are Fuelling Death in Yemen</h3> <p>This terrible situation is entirely caused by a war in which the parties are dependent on arms supplied from outside the country.</p> <p>For the coalition side, arms, equipment and munitions have come mostly from western countries. The Saudi Arabian Air Force flies military jets from the US and UK, with bombs and missiles are supplied by those States and also notably by Italy. The UAE is also a coalition partner with a strong presence on the ground in Yemen including in the fighting in Hodeidah. The UAE is equipped with tanks and other armoured vehicles by France, and by a Canadian-owned Dubai based military vehicle manufacturer. France has also sold jets to the UAE and Qatar.</p> <p>Concerns about violations of International Human Rights Law (IHL), which have been committed by all parties to the conflict, have until recently not had much effect on the supply of bombs, missiles and other military arms and equipment to Saudi Arabia or other coalition countries.</p> <p>However, following the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45812399">murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi</a> in Turkey by the Saudi government, countries such as Germany, Norway and Austria have recently announced a suspension of arms transfers to the Kingdom, and pressed other EU states to do the same. Most recently, the <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/u-s-ends-refueling-support-in-yemen-war-as-pressure-builds-on-saudi-arabia-idUSKCN1NF06R">US announcement</a> on October 10, of an end of refuelling for Saudi fighter jets active in Yemen, should hopefully constrain their ability to maintain a high operational tempo.</p> <p>Research by the UNSC mandated panel of experts showed that Iran smuggled arms into Yemen for use by the Houthis - who have also used arms and equipment from government forces which they seized, or were given by deserting army units in the early stages of the war. Further research by independent analysts have also shown continuing supplies of explosives and military technology, including missiles and drones, from Iran.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">The people of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yemen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yemen</a> are experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. <br /><br />They desperately need our support: <a href="https://t.co/P3wXVqCmiv">https://t.co/P3wXVqCmiv</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YemenCantWait?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#YemenCantWait</a> <a href="https://t.co/HwoOAyWmKW">pic.twitter.com/HwoOAyWmKW</a></p> <p>— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/1064272535292768256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 18, 2018</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><h3>Women Are Affected Most</h3> <p>Oxfam is particularly concerned about the gendered impact of arms supplied to all combatants, with the burden of the violence <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/humanitarian-action/facts-and-figures">falling particularly heavily on women and girls</a> trapped in war zones.</p> <p>Explosive weapons like the bombs and missiles used in Yemen put women at greater health risk than men:</p> <ul><li>especially due to the lack of access to healthcare after exposure to explosive weapons use or because of miscarriage;</li> <li>women are more discriminated against than men if disfigured or disabled as a result of such exposure;</li> <li>women are more vulnerable economically and socially than men especially if displaced by explosive weapons use;</li> <li>and women are usually less able to participate than men in rebuilding societies and infrastructure after conflict, meaning their needs are less likely to be met.</li> </ul><p>Fighting in Yemen has also caused the <a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-unhcr-update-march-2018">displacement of over 2 million people</a>. Among other gendered effects of conflict, it is known that displaced women have a higher risk of exposure and exploitation, and in particular are subject to gender-based violence.</p> <p>Research shows that during conflict and militarisation of societies there is often an increase in sexism and violence towards women and therefore also an <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012695/">increase in the risk of sexual violence</a>, which then usually goes unpunished.</p> <h3>Yemen Is Desperate for Peace</h3> <p>Oxfam has <a href="https://www.oxfam.org.uk/scotland/blog/2017/09/yemenoped">consistently called</a> on <a href="https://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2017/12/bringing-the-blockade-of-yemen-to-washington/">all States</a> to <a href="https://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2015/09/uk-arms-sales-fuelling-yemen-crisis-in-potential-breach-of-law-says-oxfam">stop the supply of arms</a> to all those fighting in Yemen, and where suppliers are party to the Arms Trade Treaty, to live up to their <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2018-11-07/oxfam-joins-yemeni-and-international-organizations-call-immediate-ceasefire">obligations to cease supplies</a> where there is an overriding risk of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.</p> <p>The people of Yemen need peace.</p> <p>They need the arms supplies to stop and supplies of food and medicine to enter the country unimpeded to meet their needs.</p> <p>They need materials for the reconstruction of civilian infrastructure destroyed in fighting.</p> <p>So far, countries have <a href="https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/perverse-cycle-european-arms-sales-saudi-and-uae-worth-sixty-times-aid-yemen-356882718">earned much more from arms sales</a> than they have given in humanitarian aid.</p> <p>This needs to end, and end now.</p> <p>The new and fragile ceasefire offers hope. Will it last?</p> <p><em>This entry posted on 19 November 2018, by Martin Butcher, Oxfam's Policy Advisor on Arms and Conflict.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Jameela Ahmed's three boys sitting in the room they live in, in a village outside Khamer city, Yemen. Jameela's husband died about seven years ago, so she takes care of her children. In Amran governorate, Oxfam has reached over 205,000 people. In these hard-to-reach areas, we set up some cash assistance projects to support people’s battle against starvation, and malnourished children receive treatment from Oxfam’s partners. We have also run projects for hygiene awareness and cholera prevention. Credit: Gabreez/Oxfam<br /></em></p> <h3>Read more:</h3> <ul><li><em><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/yemen"><strong>Blogs on Yemen</strong></a><br /></em></li> <li><em><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen">Support Oxfam's humanitarian response in Yemen</a><br /></strong></em></li> <li><em><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases?keys=yemen&amp;created%5Bmin%5D%5Bdate%5D=&amp;created%5Bmax%5D%5Bdate%5D=">Oxfam's press releases on Yemen</a><br /></strong></em></li> </ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Stop the Bombs, Yemen is Starving</h2></div> Tue, 20 Nov 2018 09:05:12 +0000 Martin Butcher 81784 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-11-20-stop-bombs-yemen-starving#comments Stop the war in Yemen http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-26-stop-war-yemen <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong><em>It's now been three years of war in Yemen. Meet Ahmed - he is only 14 but has a thousand reasons to end this inhuman war.</em></strong></p><p>In a camp for people forced to flee their homes due to the war in Abs district, Hajjah governorate, Ahmed lives with his younger brother and three sisters. He is only 14 but has a thousand reasons to end this inhuman war. His father was diagnosed with cancer, his house was bombed and his sheep, the family's main source of income, died. Thankfully the family survived and moved out to this camp in Abs.</p><p>The story doesn't end here, even though I wish it did. That would have been considered a happy ending compared to what actually happened. Earlier this year, and after seven months of suffering, Ahmed's father died, leaving his family behind to face poverty alone.</p><h3>Days without food</h3><p>Shortly after his father’s death, Ahmed was awakened by his sisters crying around their mother's body. Ahmed rushed into the room just to realize his mother had died.</p><p>After burying her, they all moved to live with their uncle, who later sent them back to the camp because he couldn't afford to take care of them along with his own large family.</p><p>Ahmed suffers from asthma and works to provide food and clothes for his siblings. He tries to work with any opportunity he can find, people give him whatever they call, sometimes a few dollars, most of the time nothing. His sister also collects firewood that he sells on the market in exchange for food. It happens that they spend days without food.</p><p><img alt="Ahmed and his siblings in Al-Okasha camp for internally displaced people, Abs district, Hajjah governorate. Photo: Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam" title="Ahmed and his siblings in Al-Okasha camp for internally displaced people, Abs district, Hajjah governorate. Photo: Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/img_1123-ahmed-and-siblings-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Ahmed and his siblings in Al-Okasha camp for internally displaced people, Abs district, Hajjah governorate. Photo: Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam</em></p><h3>Famine threatens</h3><p>Famine is threatening eight million people across Yemen, and much of the country’s basic infrastructure has been bombed, including hospitals, schools, water-sources, factories, markets, bridges and ports.</p><p>Civil workers haven't been paid their salaries for over a year now, and the <strong><a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-humanitarian-response-plan-january-december-2018-enar" rel="nofollow">UN appeal for Yemen</a></strong> hasn't been fully funded for the third consecutive year, while vital life-saving ports are blocked for more than what people could afford.</p><p>Today in 2018, millions of people in Yemen are neglected and suffering, slowly battling starvation and disease. Our people have been bombed, killed, injured, scared, displaced, starved, blocked, sickened, and denied basic rights for nearly three years now.</p><p>All of this has happened in front of the very nations that promised to protect human rights. It has happened under the watch of the United Nations and, painfully, many international NGOs who are here with us, struggling on a daily basis to provide help, either because we’re denied access to local districts or because of the blockade of Yemen’s vital life-saving ports.</p><h3>Oxfam is there</h3><p>Through Oxfam, we have seen ugly truths that the world is silent about. We have seen death in people's eyes, bodies too hungry to live and malnourished small children suffering from cholera. We don't need to tell you what else we saw, because history is full of examples of war tragedies, some of which are still happening here in Yemen.</p><p>More than 5,500 civilians have died in this war and over 2,000 others have died of cholera, mostly children and the elderly.</p><p>Since July 2015, <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Oxfam has reached more than 2.8 million people</a></strong> with humanitarian assistance, with the help of our local partners. Yet over 22 million people are in dire need of immediate humanitarian assistance.</p><p><img alt="A displaced woman in Taiz governorate. Credit: Zeyad Ghanem/Oxfam" title="A displaced woman in Taiz governorate. Credit: Zeyad Ghanem/Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/dsc_4420-woman-1240.jpg" /></p><h3>World leaders are silent</h3><p>And still, while the situation keeps on deteriorating, the war is being<strong> <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/38365529/from-egypt-to-saudi-arabia-heres-who-the-uk-is-selling-arms-to" rel="nofollow">fueled by arm sales</a></strong> that kill my people. World leaders silently continue to watch what many call the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and Yemen is facing a world-class humanitarian despair.</p><p>World leaders and the United Nations are failing humanity once again. We are disappointed and so are 29 million other Yemenis.</p><p>I desperately wish to see the war end and no more children to suffer like Ahmed. There are far too many families like Ahmed's.</p><p><img alt="People gather around a water tank provided by Oxfam in Khamir, a district in Amran governorate hosting many internally displaced people. Photo: Kate Wiggans/Oxfam" title="People gather around a water tank provided by Oxfam in Khamir, a district in Amran governorate hosting many internally displaced people. Photo: Kate Wiggans/Oxfam" height="826" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="4" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oxfam-water-delivery-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>People gather around a water tank provided by Oxfam in Khamir, a district in Amran governorate hosting many internally displaced people. Oxfam engineers repaired an existing water network there, which reached 30% of families in the town with running water for the first time in 7 years. Credit: Kate Wiggans/Oxfam, June 2016</em></p><p><em>This entry posted by Ibrahim Yahia Alwazir, Social Media Officer, and Ahmed Al-Fadeel, Field Media Assistant, both Oxfam in Yemen, on 26 March 2018.</em></p><p><em>Top photo: Ahmed and his siblings in Al-Okasha IDP camp, Abs district, Hajjah governorate. Faces blurred to protect the children's identities. <em>Credit: Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam.</em></em></p><ul><li><strong>Read <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/tags/yemen">more blogs about Yemen</a></strong></li><li><strong></strong><strong>Support <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen">Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</a></strong></li></ul><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Stop the war in Yemen</h2></div> Mon, 26 Mar 2018 10:01:02 +0000 Guest Blogger 81452 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-26-stop-war-yemen#comments After harvests fail and thousands flee homes, famine looms again in South Sudan http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-05-after-harvests-fail-and-thousands-flee-homes-famine-looms-again-south-sudan <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>South Sudan's brutal four-year civil war has left four million people displaced and killed thousands. It has also forced millions into poverty and is pushing people to their absolute limits. Oxfam aid worker Tim Bierley shares some of the horrific stories that have become almost commonplace in the country.</strong></p><p>With the ground exploding around her and bullets whizzing past, Ruth* and her mother didn’t have time to think about what they were leaving behind. They yelled for Ruth’s young brothers and sisters to come and scoop up the youngest. No time to consider how they would cope without their crops, their cattle, their home. They started running. <br><br>Soon, Ruth would have to leave her mother behind as well. “They used very heavy bullets. Big weapons,” Ruth says. “My mother was with us when we started running, but I saw her falling next to us. She had been shot. Killed.”<br><br>Ruth and her siblings walked for seven days before they felt they were out of harm’s reach, sleeping among the bushes wherever the night found them. Eventually, they arrived in Akobo, exhausted and hungry.</p><p>This is the kind of extraordinary, extreme, horrific story that has become almost commonplace in parts of South Sudan. Ruth is one of 25,000 people to arrive in Akobo in the past year. One of four million people who have fled their homes since the war started four years ago. And one of over 600,000 people Oxfam is working hard to support.</p><h3>Famine looms again</h3><p>One million people are now on the brink of famine in South Sudan after a harvest season in which rains fell on abandoned and charred plots; this in <a href="http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article20272" rel="nofollow">a country once touted</a> as the future bread-basket of Africa.</p><p>The situation here is getting worse, which is the only way things can go if the war continues. So, what can we do? For now, we have to help people keep going – to make it through until they have the peace they desperately need.</p><p>While talks to end the war continue <a href="https://www.voanews.com/a/south-sudan-peace-talks/4247854.html" rel="nofollow">with no end in sight</a>, people across South Sudan are straining every last sinew to keep their families alive. Take Sarah*, a new mother of twins I met in Nyal last year: before her new boys were a couple of months old, fighting came to their town in Leer County, where famine was declared last year. Their only path to safety was through the Sudd, an immense swamp dotted with remote islands.</p><p><img alt="Sarah and her new twins fled fighting and battled malnourishment in South Sudan. Photo: Tim Bierley/Oxfam" title="Sarah and her new twins fled fighting and battled malnourishment in South Sudan. Photo: Tim Bierley/Oxfam" height="824" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/sarah-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Sarah and her new twins fled fighting and battled malnourishment in South Sudan. Photo: Tim Bierley/Oxfam</em></p><h3>Struggle for survival</h3><p>In blistering 40-degree heat, she waded through the water, carrying her children for several days until they reached one of the islands. With little growing on the dry and sandy ground, she had to search for water lily bulbs for her family to eat.</p><p>“We lived like this for two months before the sound of guns closed in again,” she said.</p><p>By then, Sarah was weak and her children badly malnourished. When Oxfam staff found her, one of her boys, who was now seven months old, weighed less than when he was born. Under an agreement we have with local canoe drivers, we helped her pay to get herself and her family to the mainland, a two-day journey. At last she was able to get them emergency treatment at a clinic and when I last saw her, she and her family were regaining their health well. But the battle she had to fight just to bring her family back to some kind of normality is absolutely staggering.</p><h3>Fleeing war and hunger</h3><p>Occasionally you can see a glimpse of what South Sudan life could be like in better times.</p><p>In Bor, a town devastated in the early days of the war, but now recovering gradually after three years away from the front line, I met Rebecca*. She had lost her entire herd of cattle to armed raiders last year.</p><p>Left with no way of feeding her family, she turned to vegetable farming. Oxfam helped her out with some seeds and tools and she took it from there.</p><p>“When this garden is going well, we produce so much that you can’t carry it to the market on your own. I hire a motorbike and strap it on to that instead,” she said.</p><p>Fewer and fewer people are in a position to grow their own food though. In the especially fertile south, <a href="https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/07/south-sudan-ongoing-atrocities-turn-countrys-breadbasket-into-a-killing-field/" rel="nofollow">Amnesty last year reported</a> of civilians shot, hacked to death with machetes and burnt in their homes. Many parts of this land which used to provide food for the country are now deserted. Most of those who can flee, have done so.</p><p><img alt="Rebecca received vouchers to help support her farming. Photo: Tim Bierley/Oxfam" title="Rebecca received vouchers to help support her farming. Photo: Tim Bierley/Oxfam" height="826" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/109625lpr-rebecca-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Rebecca received vouchers to help support her farming, and training in good cultivation, storage and marketing techniques. Photo:&nbsp;<em><em>Tim Bierley/Oxfam</em></em></em></p><h3>Oxfam is there</h3><p>The past few weeks have rightly prompted self-reflection and further change within Oxfam. There has been a great deal of anger and sadness at the despicable behavior that went on in our organization. But <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/immediate-response-actions-sexual-misconduct" rel="nofollow">we are resolved</a> not only to put it right, but to keep doing what we are good at too – supporting people and saving lives.</p><p>Last year, the dedication of our staff and supporters helped Oxfam assist <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/hunger-crisis-south-sudan" rel="nofollow">over half a million people here in South Sudan</a>.</p><p>As bullets continue to fly, fields go untended and the economy buckles under siege from a dismal <a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/research-publications/the-cost-of-living-and-the-price-of-peace-economic-crisis-and-reform-in-south-sudan/" rel="nofollow">war economy</a>, Oxfam will continue doing everything we can to help keep people going.</p><p><em>*Names changed for their safety.</em></p><p><em>This entry posted by Tim Bierley, Oxfam Communications Officer, Oxfam in South Sudan, on 5 March 2018. Tim travels to Oxfam program areas across South Sudan to listen to the stories of people affected by the crisis and learn about their needs to help Oxfam improve its projects in the country.</em></p><p><em>Top photo: <em>Ruth*, recently arrived in Akobo after conflict came to her town in South Sudan.</em> Photo: <em>Tim Bierley/Oxfam</em><br></em></p><h3>What you can do now<em><br></em></h3><ul><li><strong>Support <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/hunger-crisis-south-sudan" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's humanitarian work in South Sudan</a></strong></li><li><strong>Read the new report: <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/hungry-peace-exploring-links-between-conflict-and-hunger-south-sudan" rel="nofollow">Hungry for peace: exploring the links between conflict and hunger in South Sudan</a></strong> - it provides recommendations for the international community and warring parties on what they can do to stop the violence, increase access to humanitarian aid and allow the people of South Sudan to recover.</li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>After harvests fail and thousands flee homes, famine looms again in South Sudan</h2></div> Mon, 05 Mar 2018 18:25:39 +0000 Tim Bierley 81426 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-05-after-harvests-fail-and-thousands-flee-homes-famine-looms-again-south-sudan#comments Silent starvation in Chad's Lake Region http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-10-16-silent-starvation-chads-lake-region <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>Oxfam media officer Maria Jose Agejas Santamaria visited Chad last month with photographer <a href="https://twitter.com/PavlobskiRoisen" rel="nofollow">Pablo Tosco</a>. The stories they returned with are harrowing. On this World Food Day, please pause a minute to read and share.</em></p><p>In one corner of the world, in the region of Lake Chad, millions of people have, for 8 years, been suffering the consequences of Boko Haram attacks and the military response. Except for notorious episodes such as the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chibok_schoolgirls_kidnapping" rel="nofollow">kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls</a>, the tragedy is treated with indifference by almost everyone. This is even more the case in Chad where this indifference translates into a serious lack of the funding which would enable people, such as those who have spoken to us, to escape from this dire situation. This is what the people there say.</p><p><strong>“We used to live like lords.</strong> We could buy whatever we wanted. We used to eat nice things.” Sitting at the door of his hut, Ibrahim remembers how his former life was like paradise. He remembers when he used to fish with one of his sons. “One dealt with the nets, the other steered the canoe. Then we grilled the fish at home and it was there and then ready to sell.” The women looked after the vegetable plots and the goats. Collections of fruit and plants from the woods were additional jobs and supplemented their diet.</p><p><strong>"Until one day we heard the name Boko Haram,</strong>" he continues. Behind the name came the men who embody it. "We managed to get away safe and sound with our (nine) children, but we lost some of our relatives."</p><p><strong>Ibrahim now goes hungry.</strong> He lives more than three hours away from the lake and his sole link with water is to carry it for people and animals in order to get a few cents with which he tries to cover his needs.</p><h3>The "disease" of hunger</h3><p><strong>Hunger was precisely</strong> what carried off Mohamed when he was six years old, in a camp for displaced persons a few kilometers from where the fisherman lives. "His stomach made noises. He had diarrhea," says his father Adoum Hassane. "When we took the child to the health center, the nurse said: 'It is not a disease, it is hunger'."&nbsp; The worn out and emaciated bodies of Adoum and Hadija, his wife, are alone sufficient to explain how tough the twelve months have been since they fled their home.</p><p>Haoua is a neighbor of Adoum’s. They live in a barren camp where there are no services except a well repaired by Oxfam. They came here from the same site a year and a half ago, after Boko Haram men plundered their village and killed 18 people.</p><p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O1e_CRb0Gg8?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" height="360" frameborder="0" width="640"></iframe></p><p><strong>“They came during Ramadan.</strong> There was hardly a moment for a drink of water when we heard the noise of weapons.”&nbsp; “Tac,” she imitates, without a muscle of her face moving. Without giving it a thought, she grabbed her children, put four things on her head, and walked for a month. On the way, people in the villages she went through gave her mats to sleep on, pots and cups.&nbsp;</p><h3>Life was good</h3><p>Haoua tells us what life was like before Boko Haram: "We had goats, donkeys, cultivated plots… Life was good."</p><p>"I had never thought that one day I would find myself in this situation," says Fatima for her part when we asked if she had ever imagined that she would be a displaced person, who would flee empty-handed from her home in search of safety. Neither is she able to explain what motivates the members of Boko Haram to attack the civilian population: "They kill their fathers, their mothers and their children. We don’t know why."</p><p><strong>The war has ruined the lives of millions</strong> of people. We talk about 17 million people in the basin of the lake in Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad. More than 10 million people depend on humanitarian aid, because they cannot cultivate, sell, fish, or produce anything at all.</p><h3>A devastating conflict</h3><p>Despite living in a forgotten region, Lake Chad - in one of the poorest countries on earth - Adoum, Ibrahim, Haoua, and Fatima had economic activities that allowed them to survive, thanks to the fish in the Lake and the fertility of the islands and the land around it.</p><p>It was not a wonderful life: well before the war, all this basin was experiencing an already challenging environment, with the effect of a changing climate (and the resulting shrinking of the lake) and the lack of infrastructure and basic services. But the conflict has had an even more disastrous effect on the fragile stability of these people.</p><p>Attacks by Boko Haram and military operations have meant that they can now only dream of that lost world. A world that now, stranded as they are in the middle of nowhere, they remember as a lost paradise.</p><h3>Oxfam is there</h3><p><strong>Chad</strong> is ranked 186th out of 188 countries in terms of wealth. Within its own territory, the Lake region is one of the poorest. There are only 10 doctors in the area providing health services. Illiteracy is high and the schooling rate is at 37%. Well under five out of every ten people don’t have clean drinking water. In addition, to its own conflict and developmental challenges, Chad has also to cope with refugees from its neighbors, Sudan and Central African Republic.</p><p>Oxfam works in the Daboua area in the<strong> Lake Chad</strong> region and so far we have supported more than 50,000 people with potable water or cash to cover their most basic needs. Our work also focuses on finding long-term solutions for the displaced population, and on getting them to have access to birth certificates and other documentation.</p><p>In northeast <strong>Nigeria</strong> we have helped about 350,000 people affected by the crisis in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states since May 2014. Our intention is to help up to 500,000 people in 2017.</p><p>We provide people with emergency food support and cash and vouchers so they can buy food from local markets, clean water and better sanitation, including constructing showers and toilets. We are distributing food and cooking equipment, as well as providing seeds and tools to help traders and farmers.</p><p>In <strong>Niger</strong>, we are installing water systems to make sure people have clean water to drink and distributing essential items such as cooking pots, buckets and water purifying tablets. We are providing food assistance and support to income generating activities for IDPs and refugees.</p><p><em>Oxfam is calling for the Chad Government to ensure that the safety, security and protection of civilians is made a more important part of its military operations. It should support communities in finding new economic activity in their current location and in returns areas.</em></p><p><em>International donors must immediately fully fund the <a href="https://fts.unocha.org/appeals/532/summary" rel="nofollow">2017 Humanitarian Response Plan</a>.</em></p><p><em>This entry posted by Maria Jose Agejas Santamaria, Oxfam Media Officer, on 16 October 2017, based on her trip to Chad last month.</em></p><h3>What you can do now</h3><p><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/west-africa-crisis" rel="nofollow">Support Oxfam's response to the West Africa Food Crisis</a></strong><br><br><br></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Silent starvation in Chad&#039;s Lake Region</h2></div> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:34:21 +0000 Maria Jose Agejas Santamaria 81251 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-10-16-silent-starvation-chads-lake-region#comments The lean face of drought in Wajir county, northern Kenya http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-08-29-lean-face-drought-wajir-county-northern-kenya <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>By Blandina Bobson – Oxfam Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Wajir, KENYA</em><br><br>The face of drought in Wajir County, in Kenya’s north is ugly. The land is bare and expansive, multiple whirlwinds sweeping across every now and then, which local myths call ‘the devil’. It is emaciated animals feeding on what seems like invisible grass on the ground or camels browsing on thorny remains of what used to be green leafy bushes. Masses of evidently emaciated livestock hurdling to quench their thirst around water points, after hours-long treks in search of the same. Women will wait patiently in line to fill their jerry cans to take back home.</p><p>Families have been sunk into increasing vulnerability. Men are struggling to provide for their families, their faces are sad and strained as they stare into the unknown future, while the eyes of women and children dart about in hope whenever ‘visitors’ drop by their villages.</p><p>In July, an assessment of the drought crisis in the country revealed that <strong>3.4 million people in Kenya are now <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/food-insecurity-infographic" rel="nofollow">severely food insecure</a></strong> and need urgent food assistance. Of these, 800,000 will likely be in a more serious food situation by September.</p><p>“I used to buy my children milk but I can’t afford it anymore because business is really down. The livestock owners who used to be my customers have migrated with the little livestock they have left,” said Rukia, a widow and a mother of 5 children who runs a small business in Dambas village.</p><p><strong>Oxfam, supported by the humanitarian arm of the European Union (<a href="https://ec.europa.eu/echo/" rel="nofollow">ECHO</a>), is providing cash assistance</strong> for food, water and other essentials to 3,000 families in parts of Wajir. This assistance complements that of the Kenya government through the National Drought Management Authority (<a href="http://www.ndma.go.ke/" rel="nofollow">NDMA)</a> which is now over 54,000 families with similar assistance. But really this is only a drop in the ocean given the fast deteriorating situation.</p><p>Despite offering reprieve, this assistance does not come without its fair share of challenges. Oxfam has spoken with families who have been forced to share part of their monthly cash assistance of KES 2,700 (25 Euros) with those in their communities not directly targeted by the program, yet are in critical need of help. This is a strong indication that even those that were thought to be less vulnerable have also lost the little muscle they had to deal with the effects of the drought.</p><h3>Helping the most vulnerable</h3><p>“We are illiterate and vulnerable, if we raise complaints we might not get our cash,’’ said Kasim Makala, 46 – year old mother of eight, who has previously received similar help.</p><p>While we must recognize the efforts of different actors in the response, there is certainly more that should be done now to ensure that affected communities get the help they need. More resources are urgently needed to reach the ever growing scale of need.</p><p><strong>Everyone must play their part.</strong> Local, national and international actors must complement the efforts being undertaken by the government and humanitarian agencies and ensure that affected communities are able to cope with the effects of the prolonged drought.</p><p>Across East Africa, Yemen and north-east Nigeria, some 30 million people are experiencing alarming hunger, surviving only on what they can find to eat. Famine is already likely happening in parts of northern Nigeria, while Yemen and Somalia are on the brink. This is the largest hunger emergency in the world.</p><h3>Oxfam is there</h3><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/famine-and-hunger-crisis" rel="nofollow">Oxfam is on the ground</a> in all areas, reaching the most affected with the emergency help they need to survive. We are:</p><ul><li>Working with local partner organizations who provide emergency food distributions and work with vulnerable people to produce their own food and other income.</li><li>Providing emergency water and sanitation, to stop the spread of diseases like cholera and diarrhea</li><li>Providing cash and vouchers so people can purchase the food they need to survive</li><li>Trucking in urgently needed water to the worst drought affected areas</li><li>Constructing showers and toilets for those who have been forced to flee their homes.</li></ul><h3>What you can do now</h3><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/famine-and-hunger-crisis" rel="nofollow"><strong>Donate to Oxfam's hunger crisis appeal</strong></a></p><p><em>This entry posted by Blandina Bobson,&nbsp;Oxfam Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Kenya, on 29 August 2017.<br></em></p><p><em>Photo: Dead livestock are a common sight in many parts of Wajir, in northern Kenya, which is in the grip of a severe drought that is expected to last until October 2017. <em>Katie G. Nelson/Oxfam</em></em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The lean face of drought in Wajir county, northern Kenya</h2></div> Tue, 29 Aug 2017 09:33:46 +0000 Guest Blogger 81188 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-08-29-lean-face-drought-wajir-county-northern-kenya#comments Helping a Yemeni village fight hunger http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-08-17-helping-yemeni-village-fight-hunger <div class="field field-name-body"><p>We drive west through steep rocky terrain, dotted with ancient mountaintop fortresses studded with tall circular towers of rough-hewn stone. Rural Yemen is serene, isolated and medieval. We are heading from Oxfam’s emergency humanitarian office in Khamer, in the northern tribal heartland of Amran governorate, to Othman village on its western edge. <br><br>Othman’s 200 families are battling hunger, like many others across Yemen.</p><p><strong>A perilous drive</strong></p><p><img alt="Osman village in Amran governorate, A ‘Lord of the Rings’ village where 200 families are fighting hunger. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam" title="Osman village in Amran governorate, A ‘Lord of the Rings’ village where 200 families are fighting hunger. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam" height="600" width="900" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/yemen_dry_landscape.jpg" /><em>Osman village in Amran governorate,&nbsp; A ‘Lord of the Rings’-looking village where 200 families are fighting hunger. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam</em></p><p>The drive is nerve-wracking. Our driver Abdullah says pointedly he has been driving for 10 years around these hairpin turns and vertical cliff-face drops. I think he’s noticed how scared I am. <br><br>We wave to some men and women working the tiny cultivated terraces, and to curious child shepherds moving goats and sheep through the sun-baked mountains.<br><br>We lose mobile phone reception and modern-day communication. After one and half hour of perilous ride over 27 kilometers, we descend into a valley dotted with fields of sorghum, and to a hamlet of scattered stone dwellings in the cliffs high above the valley floor. <br><br>This is Othman village.&nbsp; <br><br><strong>Food is scarce</strong><br><br>Othman’s people eke out life in stricken conditions. Food is mostly homemade bread and a boiled wild plant known locally as Cissus or Hallas. We’re here to measure how Oxfam’s cash assistance project of $98 per month for each extremely poor family has helped put food on their tables and avert starvation.</p><p><img alt="Boiled, the wild plant Cissus or Hallas as locally known, is the main food along with homemade bread that people eat in Osman village. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam / Oxfam" title="Boiled, the wild plant Cissus or Hallas as locally known, is the main food along with homemade bread that people eat in Osman village. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam / Oxfam" height="600" width="900" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/hallas_plant_food_yemen.jpg" /><em>Boiled, the wild plant Cissus or Hallas as locally known, is the main food along with homemade bread that people eat in Osman village. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam</em><br><br>There were 80 severely malnourished children in Othman. Oxfam set up cash assistance projects around the Khamer district, with other agencies, to buttress their battle against starvation. The children got health treatment from our partners, while Oxfam gave cash to the most desperate of the families here. We also ran a program to raise their awareness about malnutrition and good hygiene.<br><br><strong>No teachers for the schools</strong><br><br>At Othman school, a frail old man whirls black prayer beads through his fingers, leaning against the wall of a classroom. The school rooms are used for community meetings only now. There are no teachers in Othman.<br><br>The village announcer shouts out over the loudspeaker: “Oxfam is here to monitor the conditions of the malnourished children.” Curious folk join us. Parents have dressed their children, who before had been on the brink of death, in their very best clothes. They seem well on the mend. Over the four-month duration of our cash assistance project in Othman we’ve reduced malnutrition by 62%.</p><p>Though pale, these children are no longer on the verge of starvation.</p><p><strong>You’ve saved our lives</strong></p><p>Nine-month-old Mohamed Amin, the youngest of five siblings and still tiny, is cradled by his father. He has certainly been saved from an early unnecessary death, by a small assistance.</p><p>Crammed into a classroom, we ask about Oxfam’s work. How many times do you eat a day? How is the baby’s condition?&nbsp; What do you do for a living?&nbsp; And so on.</p><p><strong><img alt="Rabee Qassem holds his young daughter while worrying for her future. He&#039;s one of thousands that used to receive Oxfam&#039;s cash assistance in Amran governorate. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam / Oxfam" title="Rabee Qassem holds his young daughter while worrying for her future. He&#039;s one of thousands that used to receive Oxfam&#039;s cash assistance in Amran governorate. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam / Oxfam" height="600" width="900" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="3" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/yemen_family.jpg" /></strong><em>Rabee Qassem holds his young daughter while worrying for her future. He's one of thousands that used to receive Oxfam's cash assistance in Amran governorate. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam<strong> </strong></em></p><p>Children smirk at my Arabic as their parents take turn in answering. Others nod along. <br><br>“Your assistance saves our lives,” says Rabee Qassem, holding his young daughter. <br><br><strong>The effects of war</strong><br><br>Many of these villagers used to work on small farm plots along the valley but their incomes were so meagre they could no longer afford their essential needs when the price of basic commodities skyrocketed due to the conflict and the de-facto blockade of Yemen. &nbsp;<br><br>Since the war exploded open in March 2015, more than <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-38646066" rel="nofollow">10,000 Yemenis have been killed</a> and 17 million people – 60 percent of the population – do not now have enough to eat. More than <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/mar/16/yemen-conflict-7-million-close-to-famine" rel="nofollow">7 million of them</a> are a step away from famine.<br><br>As they were here in Othman.<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/crisis-yemen/yemen-brink-conflict-pushing-millions-towards-famine" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong></strong></a><br><br><strong>Hope for peace</strong><br><br>I ask the mother of 10-months old Marwan about her hopes. She takes a deep breath, a moment of silence and as she gathers her thoughts, and tears well up. “Peace! My only hope is peace,” she says. Others nod. <br><br>At the end of our meeting, I had to announce the news. “We have run out of money to continue the cash assistance.”<br><br>Their banter dies down to silence. “But why? Our situation is still miserable,” Mohamed Amin’s father says. <br><br>“The cash assistance project was funded by donors for only a specific period of time, which has come to an end. We are still looking for more donor funds but we haven’t secured any yet,” I explain. “We know your situation and we are doing our best.”<br><br>“Thank you. God will help,” says the old man with the beads.</p><p><strong><img alt="IDPs collecting water from the water distributions point at Al-Manjorah IDP&#039;s camp, Yemen. Photo: Moayed Al.Shaibani/Oxfam" title="IDPs collecting water from the water distributions point at Al-Manjorah IDP&#039;s camp, Yemen. Photo: Moayed Al.Shaibani/Oxfam" height="600" width="900" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="4" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/105265_ogb_yemen.jpg" /></strong><em>Oxfam water distribution point. Photo: Moayed Al.Shaibani/Oxfam</em><br><br>It is a wretched time. Our program was funded for four-months and – although this was made clear at the start – the people of Othman are dismayed now and afraid. It’s my job to start winding-down this part of our work now that we only have a month left of funding toward it.<br><br>We hoped to maintain it. We tried. It saved their lives. But the cruel truth is that earlier this year, the big aid donors made the tough decision to triage their money only to goverornates that were at “level 4” emergency status – that is, one level below famine. <br><br>Although still itself in an emergency situation as a village, Othman is part of a goverornate – Amran – that is classified overall as “level 3”. Therefore, there are other goverornates which are, overall, in worse straits. <br><br>Othman no longer makes the cut.<br><br>This is exactly what we mean when we say Yemen is an “<a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21496&amp;LangID=E" rel="nofollow">overwhelming</a>” crisis. Our unconditional cash transfer projects are immediate life-savers; last year Oxfam ran cash transfer projects worth nearly $4m, to more than 7,100 families in Yemen (the Othman project cost about $32k, by way of example). <br><br>But these are typically short-term and irregular projects, and with the constant funding pressure we’re forced to keep tightening our criteria of people we can help to only the most desperate.</p><p><strong>Stand with Yemen</strong><br><br>Over the last two years, <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Oxfam has provided humanitarian assistance to more than 130,000 people</a> in the most dire humanitarian needs in Khamer and in three other neighboring districts. We enable vulnerable communities to access water through rehabilitation of rural and urban water networks.<br><br>We’ve invested in rain-water harvesting, repaired water networks, and provided fuel, sanitation services, solid waste management and hygiene promotion. We’ve given out winter clothes to families living in open displacement camps, helping their children to survive freezing weather. <br><br>With heavy hearts, we leave Othman and its children and their parents. <br><br>Oxfam is still running a cholera response project there, including distributing hygiene kits, but our cash assistance work in Othman is done – at least for now – decided for us, because there are "worse" priorities elsewhere.<br><br>I hope Othman’s people survive. I hope they can eventually thrive. I hope that donors can find more funding and expand the humanitarian work to the scale it needs to be, including back into the pockets of desperation like Othman. <br><br>I hope Yemen can achieve peace.<br><br><em>This entry posted by Mohamed Farah Adam, Oxfam Yemen’s Program Manager in Khamer, Amran governorate, on 17 August 2017.</em></p><h3>What you can do now</h3><p><a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen"><strong>Please donate to Oxfam's Yemen Appeal</strong></a></p><p><strong><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/yemen">Read more blogs on Yemen</a></strong><em><br></em></p><p><em>&nbsp;</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Helping a Yemeni village fight hunger</h2></div> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:11:43 +0000 Guest Blogger 81174 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-08-17-helping-yemeni-village-fight-hunger#comments Yemen: Resilience in the face of starvation http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-05-29-yemen-resilience-face-starvation <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>A shocking humanitarian situation in Yemen is unfolding in front of our eyes.</strong></p><p>Two years ago, no one predicted that the conflict and war would continue, leaving millions in acute and severe malnutrition, lacking access to safe and clean water and without shelter.</p><p>Yet today Yemen is <a href="http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/un-security-council-must-act-end-man-made-humanitarian-crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises</a> and our own ground experience indicates that slowly but certainly, if the situation continues, extreme starvation will not be a mirage anymore, but a life and death reality.</p><p>A <a href="http://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2017/03/oxfam-warns-possible-attack-on-yemen-hodeidah-port-will-push-country-into-near-certain-famine" rel="nofollow">possible attack against Al-Hudaydah port</a>, the entry point for an estimated 70 per cent of Yemen's food imports, and in the absence of any clear viable alternative, would also severely impact the humanitarian situation and put millions further at risk.</p><h3>Millions of people are suffering</h3><p>The victims of this crisis are the millions of people who were forced to flee their homes and are now displaced in their own country. They are the ones who suffer the most and who will continue to suffer if the war is prolonged. Facing starvation, malnutrition, fear, insecurity, lack of opportunities, income, and <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-05-16/yemen-swift-injection-funds-needed-after-capital-hit-surge-new" rel="nofollow">disease outbreaks such as cholera</a>, their daily lives have become miserable. Droughts, floods and extreme weather add further misery.</p><p>Every time we visited displaced families, we felt completely lost, speechless and blank. How did they and many others managed to come this far with the extraordinary difficulties they have been facing for the last 24 months. How did they move forward while living under gusts of wind that shatter their shelters which are made of plastic bottles, leaves, and bush trees? The heavy rains ultimately swamp everything, forcing them to pick up the pieces and reconstruct new shelters from scratch.</p><p>Fateema,* a 12-year-old girl takes care of three siblings younger than her. Their father died during the conflict and their mother no longer lives with them. There are many families like Fateema’s, where children head the household.</p><p><img alt="Water trucking distribution in Al-Manjorah camp, Hajjah, Yemen. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaibani/Oxfam, February 2017" title="Water trucking distribution in Al-Manjorah camp, Hajjah, Yemen. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaibani/Oxfam, February 2017" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/water-camp-yemen1240x680.jpg" /></p><h3>Rampant hunger</h3><p>Food insecurity is very high among these people. The challenge to survive and thrive is an enormous burden on these young children. Securing meals everyday is their top priority where there is hardly any unskilled or appropriate job available.</p><p>Crisis can make someone very strong but to be resilient in these circumstances reveals some extraordinary courage. Fateema, like many others, has that courage to stay in the open field in a makeshift tent along with her siblings. She also stitches clothes and sells them to nearby families to get money for food.</p><p>The recent release of <a href="http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/IPC_Yemen_AcuteFI_Situation_March-July2017_ENversion.pdf" rel="nofollow">IPC report</a>, though famine was not declared, clearly shows that the situation is worsening by the day. Of all life-threatening issues displaced people are facing, the most alarming one is that people eat less and less food, in many cases only one meal a day.</p><p>In Hajjah and Al-Hudaydah, girls and women are in a more precarious situation than other household members. Sometimes, women and girls’ only meal also has to be sacrificed due to a cultural practice where men and boys will eat first, leaving only leftovers for the women and girls. This is an example of how malnutrition is increasing at a household level.</p><p><img alt="Farah*, 8, collects water from the Oxfam water distribution point at the Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah, Yemen. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam *Name changed." title="Farah*, 8, collects water from the Oxfam water distribution point at the Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah, Yemen. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam *Name changed." height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/105268lpr-girl-water-1240-moayed.jpg" /></p><h3>Collapsing economy</h3><p>The situation in the host communities is equally bad where the head of the household earns less because of the crisis, while sometimes around 15 to 20 people have to share the food that is available.</p><p>On the ground, local markets still function and basic foods items such as wheat flour, cooking oil, vegetables, and rice are available. However, people’s decreasing daily income limits their affordability. On their other hand, except for bread, the prices of others food items kept increasing for the past two years – they are on average 22 percent higher than before the war.</p><h3>Humanitarian access</h3><p>The de-facto blockade and access impediments inside the country have also impacted the imports and deliveries of food but small and local traders in Hajjah and Al-Hudaydah have been able to kept selling staple foods in an unhindered manner. In these circumstances, in order to afford daily meals, displaced families resort to selling their only valuable asset which is livestock.</p><h3>The wish for peace</h3><p>The <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/16-12-05-finding-hope-yemen-i-witness-never-ending-war">resilience of Yemeni people</a> cannot be expressed in words. The hardship is unbearable for children like Fateema who will become invisible in the days and years to come due to the loss of her childhood.</p><p><strong>We wish for peace in Yemen</strong> to be restored so that the future generation can grow with the dream to become what they want and not what war and conflict wants them to be.</p><p><em>This entry posted by Arvind Kumar, Oxfam Yemen’s Humanitarian Program Coordinator, on 26 May 2017.</em></p><p><em>*Name changed.</em></p><p><em>Photos:</em></p><ul><li><em>Fatima, in Al-Manjorah IDP camp, in Hajjah governorate. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaibani/Oxfam, February 2017</em></li><li><em></em><em>Water trucking distribution in Al-Manjorah camp, Hajjah. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaibani/Oxfam, February 2017</em></li><li><em>Farah*, 8, collects water from the Oxfam water distribution point at the Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah, Yemen. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam *Name changed.</em></li></ul><p></p><h3>What you can do</h3><p></p><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow"><strong>Donate to Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</strong></a></p><p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/yemen"><strong>Read more blogs on Yemen</strong></a></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Yemen: Resilience in the face of starvation</h2></div> Mon, 29 May 2017 12:30:15 +0000 Guest Blogger 81075 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-05-29-yemen-resilience-face-starvation#comments The facts behind the man-made famine threatening Yemen http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-26-facts-behind-man-made-famine-threatening-yemen <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Two years ago conflict escalated in the Middle East’s poorest country: Yemen. Now today 7 million people are one step away from famine.</strong></p> <p>Oxfam has been able to reach 1 million people so far. And governments are meeting at the end of April to pledge more aid money. But this isn’t enough.</p> <p>Peace is the best way to avert famine in Yemen. So we’ve set a date for UN Peace Talks to happen and we need your help. Can you join this <a href="http://oxf.am/ZE4U"><strong>Yemen Peace Talks Facebook Event</strong></a>, invite your friends and your government and post why you want peace talks to happen?</p> <p> </p><h3>Airstrikes continue</h3> <p>The facts are cruel but true. Over the past 24 months, airstrikes and fighting have killed more than 7,600 people and resulted in an average of 70 casualties per day.</p> <p>The conflict involves among others, the Government of Yemen backed by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, and the Houthis, aligned with Yemen’s former president.</p> <p>You can find out more on our interactive map below:</p> <iframe src="//www.thinglink.com/card/901798902439608321" type="text/html" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" width="100%" height="588" frameborder="0"></iframe><p>The situation in Yemen is part of the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations, with more than <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/famine-and-hunger-crisis">20 million people facing starvation</a></strong> and famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. </p> <p> </p><h3>Yemen needs peace</h3> <p>It’s not enough just to pay for aid to Yemen. We need peace – it’s the best way to avert famine.<br /><br />Together let’s make this <a href="http://oxf.am/ZE4U"><strong>Facebook event</strong></a> into a reality – join up, invite your friends and your government, and leave a comment there to what peace means to you, or tell us why you want it to happen.<br /><br />You can also <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen"><strong>donate to Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</strong></a>.</p> <p><em>Photo: Farah*, 8, collects water from the Oxfam water distribution point at the Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah, Yemen. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam</em><br /><br /></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The facts behind the man-made famine threatening Yemen</h2></div> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 14:08:04 +0000 Guest Blogger 80988 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-26-facts-behind-man-made-famine-threatening-yemen#comments There was a time in Yemen... http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-22-there-was-time-yemen <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>This entry posted by Sylvia Ghaly, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam Yemen, based in Sana’a, on 22 March 2017.</em></p><p><strong><em></em>There was a time when</strong> hearing airplanes flying used to put a smile on my face. It was a reminder of the good memories from a holiday that had just ended or of the plans I was making for my next trip. <br><br>Now, when I hear airplanes hovering in the sky, I get scared of what might come next. I pay attention in case there is an airstrike to follow and I start counting the number of airstrikes, even those far away: One… Two… and with the third strike we are herded to the basement, usually in the middle of the night. Sometimes there are only two strikes, but that is even worse as I cannot go back to sleep, waiting for the third to come.</p><p>Some of the airstrikes are so strong that they shake the house, we can feel it even when we are in the basement. The truth is no matter how much we would like to think that we are safe, we never know if and when we will end up to be counted as ‘collateral damage’ or just ‘a mistake’ of those well trained jetfighters! <br><br><strong>There was a time when</strong> seeing armed people was a rarity, a novelty. I remember when I was in the US post 9/11 and the country was dotted by armed forces. Going to the State Library, I snapped a shot of a tourist posing with smiling members of the armed forces protecting the public spaces. Here in Yemen, the second most armed country in the world, seeing armed people is becoming normal for me.</p><p>Even though I haven’t been out much because of the security restrictions, just from the airport to the guesthouse, you can see the number of people in arms. They don’t look violent: they carry their arms the way guys in other countries wear a man-purse these days. That is, of course, not taking into account the famous Yemeni dagger, the ‘jambia’, which I personally count as decorative accessory rather than a weapon!<strong> </strong></p><p><img alt="Shahd and Fatima*, both three years old at the time, fled from Sada&#039;a to Khamir in Amran to look for safety. Credit: Hind Aleryani/Oxfam, August 2015" title="Shahd and Fatima*, both three years old at the time, fled from Sada&#039;a to Khamir in Amran to look for safety. Credit: Hind Aleryani/Oxfam, August 2015" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/94002lpr-girls-smiling-1240x680.jpg" /><br><strong><br>There was a time when</strong> the idea of child soldiers was an academic concept, a topic of research that stemmed from my strong belief in children’s rights and the need to protect children from harm. But here in Yemen, it is a daily reality when you pass one of the many checkpoints along the road that are ‘manned’ by child soldiers.<br><br>There was a time when seeing children of this age would have been followed by a casual conversation about which school they attended and what grade they were enrolled in. The encounter would have culminated with me emptying my pockets of pens, sweets or chocolates to share with them.</p><p>Today, when I see these children with their firearms weighing on their shoulders I say nothing, I pretend not to understand the language, and I hide behind my sunglasses waiting for the moment to pass. While waiting, I continue to wonder what future can these children hope for and what future does the country have when its children are deprived of education and a childhood.</p><p><strong><img alt="Hassan, 11, and his family are displaced from Harad city, now living in Almnkorh camp for displaced people in Abs District. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam" title="Hassan, 11, and his family are displaced from Harad city, now living in Almnkorh camp for displaced people in Abs District. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam" height="751" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/hassan-donkey-1240.jpg" /></strong></p><p><strong>There was a time when</strong> the concept of war was a theoretical one, it was shaped by what I saw on TV, in a movie or in the news and we all know that the news are always bias and things were never as bad as portrayed by the media. But they are, maybe even worse in the parts that the media cannot reach. War is a dirty ugly business and to my greatest surprise, here in Yemen there is no denying that the countries that pioneered the concepts of freedom, democracy and human rights are the same countries profiting from the war in Yemen and in the region. <br><br>There was a time when I thought that our ethical and moral compasses were strong enough to protect the vulnerable and to defend their rights, but now I know that these ideals are just that, ideals that can be part of presidential election speeches or academic lectures, but in reality, war will continue to exist for as long as human life is not the most valuable commodity and the value of one’s life is not the same around the world. <br><br>I hope for a time when I will be able to explore Yemen the way I did in many other countries around the world, when I will be able to visit Sana’a’s Old City and Socotra in the south without fear of kidnapping, violence or war. <br><br>Sooner or later that time will come, but unfortunately the more peace is delayed the more innocent people pay the price. <br><br><strong>There will be a time… for peace in Yemen.</strong><br><br><em>This entry posted by Sylvia Ghaly, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam Yemen, based in Sana’a, on 22 March 2017.</em><br><br><em>Photos:</em></p><ul><li><em>Boys of Khamer, Yemen. Credit: Sylvia Ghaly/Oxfam, August 2016</em></li><li><em></em><em>Shahd and Fatima*, both three years old at the time, fled from Sada'a to Khamir in Amran to look for safety. Credit: Hind Aleryani/Oxfam, August 2015</em></li><li><em>Hassan*, 11, and his family are displaced from Harad city, now living in Almnkorh camp for displaced people in Abs District. He travels daily on his donkey to collect water and firewood. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam, June 2016</em></li></ul><p><em>*Name changed to protect identity</em></p><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow"><strong>Please donate to Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>There was a time in Yemen...</h2></div> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:13:33 +0000 Guest Blogger 80986 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-22-there-was-time-yemen#comments How we're scraping by through the Yemen war http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-11-how-were-scraping-through-yemen-war <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><img alt="Mujeeb Al-Jaradi" title="Mujeeb Al-Jaradi" height="293" width="220" style="float: right;" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/mujeeb-aug-2015-khamir-220.jpg" />This entry posted by Mujeeb Al-Jaradi, Deputy Program Manager in Oxfam Khamer Office, on 11 March 2017.</em></p><p><strong>Two years since the escalation of the conflict, life continues to get worse in <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Yemen</a>.</strong> After a short pause last summer, daily airstrikes have intensified across the country, accompanied by intense fighting between in many areas. Malnutrition is on the rise, cholera had been spreading until only recently, and the number of people in need continues to increase.<br><br>Our daily reality remains bleak. Every morning, I face the uncertainty as I step out to go to work that I will return that evening, or if I do, that I will still find my home and family alive.</p><h3>No electricity</h3><p>Perhaps another way to describe the condition of daily life in Yemen is to say it is like having travelled 400 years back in time. We have now got used to living without electricity, not even hopeful that we will have it. Generators are too expensive for the majority, and few have solar energy. I only have access to electricity when I am at work in the Oxfam office.</p><p>We have managed to go without power in our homes for so long now that it is almost hard to remember how life was with electric lights, refrigerators or television. Very few people use cars because of the prohibitive fuel price. There aren't even taxis or public transport to speak of. Instead people have gone back to using that ever-dependable beast of burden, the donkey.</p><h3>Healthcare disappearing</h3><p>More significantly, we no longer enjoy the benefits of modern medicine: more than half of all health facilities in Yemen are closed or partially functioning and drugs are no longer readily available because they just do not get to Yemen. Last year my cousin passed away after recovering from a kidney transplant she had travelled to Egypt to receive.</p><p>As the airstrikes and blockade continued, the drugs to stop organ rejection became harder to come by and eventually couldn't be found. I appealed on Facebook and within hours more than 70 people offered to help. They managed to get the drugs to me within about four or five days, but by then my cousin was in decline and even with the drugs, she died after a week.</p><h3>People are barely scraping by</h3><p>Money is still king, but many people have sold most of their assets and have nothing left to sell. Few people have jobs and government salaries haven’t been paid in months. In addition to my wife and children, I also support an extended family of about 50 people with my sole salary. In the villages, my relatives are now growing cash crops to earn a bit of cash, but they no longer have the financial resources to cope with difficult periods or family emergencies.<br><br>People with money can still get food, despite occasional shortages in the market. But even the food seems like something from the past, with very few imports and a very different diet from what we were eating before the war. <strong>Many families are living on one meal a day</strong> and others prioritise food for children to cope with its scarcity. For those without money including those who had to flee their homes because of the bombings and the fighting, many have only managed to survive due to the kindness of strangers.</p><p><img alt="Collecting water from the Oxfam water distribution point, , Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah. Credt: Moayed Al.Shaibani" title="Collecting water from the Oxfam water distribution point, , Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah. Credt: Moayed Al.Shaibani" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/img_1126-water-trucking-boys-hind-1240.jpg" /></p><h3>Oxfam is there</h3><p>Oxfam and other humanitarian agencies are providing basic essentials including food and water and sanitation as well as cash for work. By paying those in need to repair the water and sanitation infrastructure, we are giving them not only the chance to choose which food they want to buy but also giving them back their dignity.</p><p>To date, Oxfam has helped over 57,000 people in Amran governorate where I work, and more than one million across the country. It is however a small number compared to the millions on the brink of starvation in Yemen.</p><h3>Our lives have diminished</h3><p>The only thing that we still have to remind us that we haven't travelled four centuries back in a time machine is the mobile phone. With these, we can still keep in touch with family and friends, and with the outside world. But these only work thanks to the few people who have generators and who provide what has become an essential community service, the charging of our mobile phones.</p><p>Even with intermittent use of phones and the internet, my social life has been reduced to family and friends where I live: I no longer travel for weddings or funerals or other big social gatherings. Many of those have been targeted by warring parties. Our lives have diminished in an ever decreasing circle.</p><h3>Don't forget Yemen</h3><p>Currently, the international media focus on the war in <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-syria" rel="nofollow">Syria</a>, its’ devastating impact and the huge number of <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/refugee-and-migrant-crisis" rel="nofollow">refugees flooding</a> into different parts of the globe. The Yemeni crisis is largely forgotten, with the country under total blockage and few journalists allowed to enter. With all the borders blocked, there is also no exit for the people suffering due to the conflict, so they are forced to stay and find a way to survive as best they can.<br><br>Let’s continue to work so that Yemen doesn’t become a forgotten crisis.</p><h3>What you can do now</h3><h3><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/donate" rel="nofollow">Donate to Oxfam's humanitarian work</a></h3><p><em>Photos:</em></p><ul><li><em>Nemah Ahmed, 42, has been displaced with her husband and five children to Bir Alhasee village in Abs district because of the war. Credit: Hind Aleryani/Oxfam</em></li><li><em>Collecting water from the Oxfam water distribution point at the camp for displaced people, Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah. Oxfam provide water tracking for the camp as there is no water source nearby. Credt: Moayed Al.Shaibani</em></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>How we&#039;re scraping by through the Yemen war</h2></div> Sat, 11 Mar 2017 09:52:57 +0000 Guest Blogger 80979 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-11-how-were-scraping-through-yemen-war#comments