Ed Cairns

Senior Policy Adviser, Research

Ed Cairns

Edmund currently leads on Oxfam GB's humanitarian advocacy research, and has been involved in Oxfam's advocacy on most of the biggest humanitarian crises since the early 1990s.

He has worked as Oxfam's Head of the Humanitarian and Security Issues Team from 2000 to 2005, Emergencies Manager in the Humanitarian Department, and Oxfam's first Programme Officer in Moscow in 1992, amongst other roles.

His key publications include A Safer Future (1997) and For a Safer Tomorrow (2008) as well as numerous Oxfam briefing papers on humanitarian, peace and security issues, including Oxfam's Genocide in Rwanda paper in April 1994, one of the first condemnations of the genocide and calls for international action to halt it.

His latest paper, Crises in a New World Order: Challenging the Humanitarian Project is a call to build Southern capacity to respond to humanitarian need.

All posts by Ed Cairns

Malakal IDP camp, South Sudan. Fighting has forced more than a million people from their homes, and up to 50,000 children are at risk of dying from malnutrition if they don't receive adequate humanitarian aid. (Credit: Simon Rawles/Oxfam)

The inequality of crises

Whether it is hidden or visible, it is through crises that inequality can become the most apparent. As a part of Blog Action Day, Ed Cairns looks at how disasters hit the marginalised the hardest...

In Mafraq City in Northern Jordan children light candles to show their solidarity with the people of Syria. Credit: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

British foreign policy: where's the vision for 2015?

As Oxfam releases our new paper: British Foreign Policy in an Unequal World, and with humanitarian and diplomatic crises in east Ukraine, Syria and the Central African Republic, our senior policy...

People gather around destroyed buildings following an attack of jet fighters in Al-Wakalat street, the Al-Sukkari quarter, Aleppo, Syria, 07 April 2013. EPA/LUAY ABU AL-JOUD

Syria: the world must unite

The human cost of Syria's conflict has risen beyond all expectations. There are already more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. Inside Syria itself, 6.8 million people...

All stations to aid: Global Humanitarian Assistance’s new interactive guide

Senior policy adviser Ed Cairns casts his eye over the latest resource for making sense of humanitarian funding.  ...

Information board updated by Government officials following typhoon Bopha. Credit: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

So, what was 2012’s worst humanitarian disaster?

Ed Cairns, an Oxfam senior policy adviser, looks back on a very mixed year in humanitarian crises. ...

Gaza during a bombing raid. Credit: Karl Schembri/Oxfam

‘I really hope that the future of Gaza will be different.’ Time to lift the blockade.

Two weeks after the ceasefire. Six days after Palestine became a UN 'non-member observer state'. Where are we now? As Jabr Qudeih, a local aid worker in Gaza says: There's a truce, but...

Women and girls spend several hours a day collecting water often standing in baking heat. They then carry the heavy jerry cans home, either on their heads or tied to the end of poles.

Oxfam responds to The Human Security Report 2012

Ed Cairns Oxfam's Senior Policy Adviser on humanitarian advocacy research responds to The Human Security Report 2012 from Canada's Simon Fraser University. ...

Oxfam/SCF food supplies leaving Dessie, Wollo, Ethiopia, November 1987. Credit: Jenny Matthews/Oxfam

70 years of change – Oxfam and the evolving nature of humanitarianism

Humanitarianism has evolved in the 70 years since Oxfam was first formed in response to famine in war-torn Europe. Ed Cairns traces this change and  notes that it must continue to change...

Flag and 'no guns' logo on one of the Oxfam vehicles in Kitgum town. Credit: Geoff Sayer/ OXFAM

Arms control – will the UK government push for an effective Arms Trade Treaty?

Ed Cairns, Oxfam's senior policy adviser on conflict and author of a new paper, Stay on Target, lays out the case for governments to hold out for a top quality Arms Trade Treaty as negotiations...

Evacuation in Bangladesh following Cyclone Aila

Crises in a new world order: challenging the humanitarian project

Ed Cairns, Oxfam's senior policy adviser on this kind of thing, introduces a big rethink of Oxfam's humanitarian work. ...