humanitarian aid

A water point in Simbili settlement, Arua district, Uganda. Photo: Petterik Wiggers/Panos Pictures London UK

Blog: South Sudan's young refugees in Uganda: a hope for peace

A lanky boy wearing torn shorts and ill-fitting black sandals adorned with pink plastic hearts emerged from a grass-thatched hut and walked towards me.

In perfect English, Jacob explained how he had come to live in this remote refugee settlement, one of scores of camps being carved out of the forest across several districts of Uganda bordering South Sudan. 18 months ago he had been one of the privileged few South Sudanese attending high school in Uganda’s capital Kampala. But then a few months ago he received the call that would change his life.  

Sunrise dans le camp de déplacés internes de Mingkamen, Sud Soudan. Photo : Aimee Brown/Oxfam

Blog: Soudan du Sud : quelques lueurs d'espoir entre la violence

« Même si la paix venait, nous ne pourrions pas rentrer chez nous. Nous n’y serions pas en sécurité. »

Ces mots, prononcés par une grand-mère que j’ai rencontrée dans un camp de déplacés internes au Soudan du Sud, montrent la profondeur des divisions dans ce jeune pays. Ils témoignent aussi de l’ampleur des difficultés à surmonter pour que le pays puisse retrouver sa situation d’avant le 15 décembre dernier – voire même, avec plus d’optimisme encore, retrouver le chemin d’un développement stable.

Sunrise at Mingkamen IDPs camp, South Sudan. Photo: Aimee Brown/Oxfam

Blog: South Sudan: Signs of hope amongst the violence

“Even if peace would come, we cannot return home. We are not safe.” 

These words, spoken by a grandmother who I met at an IDP camp in South Sudan, demonstrate the depth of the rifts that exist in this young nation.  It also gives an indication of the challenges that need to be surmounted to get this country back to where it was before 15 December last year – and even more optimistically, on a path to steady development.

A sign of the incredible resilience of the Philippines, after Typhoon Haiyan.

Blog: The art of saying "Thank you"

We might feel aggrieved when we’ve gone out of our way to do something for someone and receive no word of thanks afterwards. I’m sure most of us have felt that way and have been equally guilty of failing to say ‘thank you’ at some time. But working as part of Oxfam’s emergency response team my colleagues and I don’t expect to receive any thanks from the people we work with. It’s our job and it’s their right to receive help during the worst of times - when a disaster has devastated their lives, families, homes, communities, countries. 

Missing from Geneva II talks: The illicit arms fueling Syria’s conflict

Blog: Missing from Geneva II talks: The illicit arms fueling Syria’s conflict

A conflict that began almost four years ago in the political turmoil of the Arab Spring has morphed into a multi-sided war, fuelled by guns, bombs, and ammunition from far beyond Syria’s borders.

Floods and a harsh winter in Gaza, but hope is still alive

Blog: Floods and a harsh winter in Gaza, but hope is still alive

Recent floods in Gaza drove thousands of people from their homes in the harshest winter in years. Outgoing Oxfam media officer Karl Schembri, has shared with us this piece, his final blog at the end of four years in Gaza. He finds that hope is still alive and people just want to provide a future for their families.

Montreux readies for the Geneva II peace talks on Syria. Photo: Nick Bryer/Oxfam

Blog: Syria peace talks: A time for hope

Things are hotting up in Montreux, on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, where Oxfam campaigners are among the hundreds of diplomats, journalists, civil society and solidarity groups gathering for the beginning of the long awaited ‘Geneva II’ peace talks for Syria.

In South Sudan, escalating violence again ensnares citizens

Blog: In South Sudan, escalating violence again ensnares citizens

Not yet three years old and only beginning to know what peace feels like, the world’s newest country—South Sudan—is again in the throes of extreme violence. Since fighting broke out in Juba, the capital, on December 15, close to 10,000 people have been killed and almost 400,000 others have fled their homes.

Oxfam is working with the UN and other agencies to help families get food, clean water, and sanitation facilities. But the needs of displaced people are increasingly dire.

The simple saw helps the Philippines recover the ‘tree of life’

Blog: The simple saw helps the Philippines recover the ‘tree of life’

Typhoon Haiyan caused widespread damage to livelihoods. Among the worst affected, was coconut farming with millions of trees being uprooted, damaged or destroyed.

One coconut farmers association estimated the damage to be around 98%. Dubbed as the “tree of life”, it takes between five to seven years for a coconut tree to become productive so recovery will take a long time.

One month after Typhoon Haiyan: Rebuilding a just and resilient society

Blog: One month after Typhoon Haiyan: Rebuilding a just and resilient society

This post was written by Lan Mercado, Oxfam’s Deputy Regional Director in Asia. She served as Oxfam’s Country Director in the Philippines from 2001-2009. It was written with contributions from Shaheen Chugtai, Deputy Head of Oxfam’s Humanitarian and Security Issues Team, and research from Paht Tan-Attanawin, Oxfam Project Officer.

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