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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.

12 December, 2018

Somalia: The country is 'between droughts'. Last June-July's rains were good and food security levels improved, but the October rains were poor which has affected the outlook for 2019. Oxfam's programme in Somaliland has increased considerably over the last year, in the regions of Sool and Sanag and more recently through a partner organisation in Puntland. Our water desalination unit - the first of its kind in the country - is up and running, we are working on a drought early warning system via mobile phones, and giving people cash so they can afford to buy clean water. We are looking to further expand our work in Somalia but need additional funding to do it.

Afghanistan: The country is experiencing three simultaneous crises - the ongoing conflict, a year's worth of drought, and the steady return of Afghans from Pakistan. Over the last year about 500,000 people have been displaced. Official food security figures have now estimated that 10 million people are facing severe food shortages across the country, and that figure is rising. Oxfam is working in six provinces, of which the central province of Daikundi is especially seriously hit. So far our efforts have been quite small-scale (supporting about 70,000 people with cash, animal fodder, seeds, fertilisers…) but this will increase to 200,000 before the end of March 2019 and we hope to scale up even more next year. We acknowledge though, that this emergency reflects a failure of development and no purely humanitarian response can address the underlying causes of people's vulnerability - longer term efforts are needed.

Jordan: The Government of Jordan has agreed to give permission for Syrian refugees to operate home-based businesses. For the first time since they arrived they will be officially allowed to earn an income and have legal status, which is a good step forward. Oxfam's team in Jordan has launched a blog site to promote stories from our work that show the challenges people face and the creative ways they are finding to help themselves. The first is the story of Huda, a Syrian refugee trying to build her livelihood selling homemade soap on an online platform called Souq Fann, run by Oxfam's local partner Leaders of Tomorrow, which helps the most vulnerable artisans by providing them with this space to sell their products online. See the story on Huda's soaps.