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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.

4 July, 2018

Horn of Africa: The Horn of Africa has been affected by extremely heavy rains across the region, as well as a cyclone, creating severe flooding and considerable damage to infrastructure, agriculture and homes. 1.8 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have been affected.

  • Somalia: Oxfam is planning to support our local partner Havoyoco to reach 7,000 people with better access to water points (for animals, humans, and irrigation), seeds and access to tractors to help them prepare fields for the next season's planting, plus giving a month's cash to help people afford the basics.
  • Ethiopia: Torrential rains have resulted in the worst floods in 30 years, increasing further the vulnerability of people who have been hit by recent severe droughts. The floods have damaged standing crops, contaminated drinking water, and filled up latrines so they cannot be used. We are distributing cash, hygiene kits, jerry cans, plastic sheeting and solar lamps, providing health workers with water treatment chemicals, and improving water sources, toilets, and waste management pits. We plan to support about 37,000 people in three of the worst-affected areas.
  • Kenya: 300,000 people have been made homeless by floods this year, having received four times the normal average rainfall. We are supporting 50,000 people (in the provinces of Turkana, Wajir, and Tana River) with supplies of drinking water, building additional toilets and bathing areas, giving cash and essential hygiene items, and organising mass public health campaigns.

Central African Republic: The situation remains volatile - the national government only controls about 30% of the country, with the rest changing hands repeatedly between various armed groups. Oxfam has 4 bases - in Bangui (the capital), Bria to the north-east, Batangafo, and Paoua near the Chad border. Our teams have added an ebola prevention campaign in Bangui because of the risk of the disease being transported from DRC via the Ubangi river.

Syria: After long planning and negotiation, Oxfam staff have just carried out the first cash distribution in a Syrian community. A few hundred households received one month's worth of money through a local money transfer system. It was a pilot scheme to see how well it worked, and could lead to further cash distributions for more people. And we have been able to open an office in Aleppo which is a significant success as it will bring us closer to the people we have been supporting (we supplied much of the water supply infrastructure to Aleppo a couple of years ago now). In Dar'a following the more recent conflict our public health team got authorisation to proceed with some small-scale support to newly displaced people, including the installation of latrines and water tanks at the Jbab transit site.

Yemen: The battle for the port of Hudaydah caused many people to leave the city if they had the wherewithal, although most were unwilling or lacked the transport to escape. Those who did leave dispersed around several towns, and we have been able to help those who went to Hajjah and Turba. In Hajjah we already run a solar-pumped water supply and we're laying on trucks to carry additional water supplies to those in need. We are also distributing hygiene kits from stocks, and giving people emergency cash grants. Security remains a major stumbling block in accessing Hudaydah city itself - we are hoping to get clearance to open an office there so we can conduct a technical assessment of damage to the water system (cholera is a high risk if the supplies are contaminated).