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Emergencies headlines from around the world

These headlines give the most recent updates from the current work, and areas of concern, of the whole Oxfam confederation. For further information on any of Oxfam's emergency response programmes around the world please contact the Humanitarian HelpDesk in the first instance. Please note, this page represents the latest updates where available and not a list of current activities.

16 June, 2017


Uganda: There are now 910,000 South Sudanese refugees in the country - with over a quarter of a million arriving since the start of the year. Some estimates suggest as many as 2,000 are arriving on a daily basis in the West Nile region alone - and with the volatile situation in South Sudan, there's the real and worrying possibility this number may rise.

Oxfam's providing water trucking and working to install water storage tanks, as well as conducting hygiene awareness sessions and distributing seeds and tools. Our priorities over the coming weeks include building additional emergency latrines in the Imvepi settlement - to cope with new arrivals - and training hygiene promoters on cholera preparedness. So far our emergency response has reached 280,000 people.

Somaliland: Following reports of around 10,000 suspected cholera cases in the Togdheer region, we've had a team on the ground carrying out an assessment. We're now planning a water and sanitation response to start in the coming days. We've already been working in the territory on our drought response which has reached 42,000 people.

DRC: The already dire situation in the country continues to deteriorate. Along with our ongoing responses in the Kivu regions, and in Tanganyika (where half a million people were displaced following intercommunity violence) we're now also establishing a field office in the Kasai province. Previously stable, there's no humanitarian presence in the area where recent fighting has led to large-scale displacements. And this is in an area where food security was already at emergency levels.

There are serious problems accessing many in need, making any response very challenging. Because of this, we're beginning our response with quick 'drop and go' food distributions. We're then aiming to provide water, sanitation, livelihood and protection support to 50,000 affected people in the province.


Nigeria: In the north east of the country, returnees continue to cross the border from Cameroon - seemingly under the impression that farm land is safe to work again. The inadequate security situation in rural areas means this isn't the case, and people instead have been forced to seek shelter in camps and informal settlements in towns. For the vast majority of people, the main agricultural season has now been missed.

We're planning on extending our response into 2018, and anticipate that for this period many in Borno state will require ongoing, life-saving support. As areas become newly accessible, we also have a rapid response team on the ground ready to support water and sanitation needs. We've already reached 500,000 people with our response, and aim to increase this to 850,000 in the next year.

Central African Republic: We continue to work in several sites around the town of Bria after 40,000 were forced to flee from fighting. So far our response has included the distribution of 1,500 hygiene kits, water trucking, and food distributions to almost 6,000 affected households. We're also running several awareness campaigns to promote good hygiene practices.


Yemen: On top of the existing conflict and food crisis, Yemen's now facing a cholera epidemic of unprecedented scale. There are 135,000 suspected cases with 82% of areas affected. More than 8 million people lack access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation.

Oxfam has been training health workers to support water authorities in water chlorination as well as supplying oral rehydration sachets to treat mild and moderate cases of diarrhoea. We also continue to improve access to water alongside running health promotion campaigns. Some predict cholera cases may rise to 300,000 in the next 6 weeks.

12 June, 2017


Ethiopia: The spring rains have underperformed, severely affecting livestock and decimating the country's milk source. There's a concern that cow herds may not fully recover for several years with more unusual weather predicted over the coming seasons. 7.9 million people have officially been declared as requiring food assistance, though some suspect this number may be significantly higher. Food's increasingly becoming less available and, as such, more expensive. Along with our cholera response and water sanitation work, we're now also assisting by providing cash grants. We have 10,000 households registered for these, with plans to roll out to 26,000.

You can learn more about cash transfers in humanitarian responses in our recent podcast: Are cash transfers the answer to humanitarian aid?


Central African Republic: Recent fresh violence has increased the total number of displaced people to over half a million across the country. There's also a risk of further destabilisation as violence flares up in new areas. As mentioned in last week's update, we continue to work around Bria - in the Haute Kotto prefecture - after 40,000 fled the town in the last few weeks. We've been focussing our advocacy work on increasing access to affected civilians. With many different armed groups operating in the country - and often moving around - negotiating access has been difficult.


Yemen: The cholera crisis in the country is escalating. Since late April there've been more than 82,000 reported cases, and in the last week alone we've seen almost 2,800 new cases each day - many more than anyone had anticipated. 19 of the 23 provinces have been affected. To date we've reached more than 100,000 people with our response, including chlorination of water and the distribution of hygiene materials to help stop the spread of the epidemic. In Abbs we're also providing 8,000 litres of water a day to the Cholera Treatment Centre. Working against the backdrop of increased shelling, and the challenges this brings, we've called upon all parties to agree to a 'cholera ceasefire'.

You can keep up to date with our work by following @OxfamYemen


Bangladesh: Severe rains at the end of March and through April caused major flooding in Haor region in the north east of the country. The damage has meant 90% of local harvests have been lost, along with livestock. Rotting rice is also killing fish, a main food staple in an area where food poverty is already high. 4.5m people have been affected. We're now planning the recovery phase of our response, analysing local market systems and collecting information through focus groups. These findings will help how we move forward and best serve those in need. We're also planning to assist with cash grants for effected households with the support of our local partners.

You can keep up to date with our work via the Oxfam in Bangladesh Facebook page.

Philippines: Following on from recent updates - and the breakout of fighting in Marawi, Mindanao - more than 200,000 people remain displaced. Some are also still trapped in conflict areas with their locations difficult to determine. We're working with local government groups and partners to see how we can reach these. Our main areas of support include water and sanitation facilities, as well as protection concerns with women and girls particularly vulnerable. As many who fled weren't able to carry anything, we've also supported one of our local partners in providing basic items such as kettles and kitchen utensils.