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Disaster Relief

Our emergency work in disasters and crises


As climate-related disasters, protracted conflicts and crises increase in the world, more and more people are forced into vulnerability, poverty and displacement. Their lives are being disrupted through no fault of their own, and those who are already most vulnerable are hit hardest. Oxfam's disaster relief saves lives and is a vital part of the drive for a fairer and more equal world.  

In crises, wars and disasters, our experienced disaster teams save lives and help people regain their livelihoods. We are known for our ability to to provide food, shelter and shelter for those affected and we are world leaders in water and sanitation. When disaster strikes, we are there quickly and nthe emergency phase is over, we're there. to support people so they can rebuild their lives.


World situation today 

  • More than 132 million people around the world are in need of humanitarian aid and protection.
  • One third of the world's poor live in fragile and conflict-affected countries.
  • By the end of 2021, the number of people forced to flee war, violence, human rights abuses and persecution was 89.3 million - more than double the number a decade ago.
  • 345 million people live in acute hunger, a figure that has more than doubled since 2019, and one person is estimated to die from hunger every four seconds.
  • 20 million people a year are forced to flee their homes due to disasters caused by extreme weather. Over the last ten years, it has been the biggest cause of displacement. According to UN estimates, 1.23 million people have died and 4.2 billion have been affected by drought, floods and forest fires since 2000.
  • 720 miljoner människor riskerar att falla ner i extrem fattigdom på grund av klimatförändringarna mellan år 2030 och 2025. Ett liv i extrem fattigdom innebär att leva på under 20 kronor om dagen och tvingas välja mellan mat, boende och medicin. Extremväder orsakar redan idag omfattande hunger och svältkatastrofer, visar Oxfams rapport Hunger in a heating world.  





How we work  

Our disaster response are comprehensive and adapted to the current situation and where we are in the world. We work with local organisations, with local knowledge and expertise. Below are some examples of how we work.

Emergency package 

We distribute food parcels so people don't starve to death and hygiene parcels so they can take care of basic hygiene needs and avoid the spread of disease. We distribute food vouchers and cash grants, so people can decide for themselves what they need to buy in the way of basic food, hygiene products and medicines. This allows them to take some control over their situation, and because the money is spent locally, it is also an effective way to support communities and economic recovery. 

Water and sanitation

Access to clean water is essential for human survival, but water and sanitation systems often fail in emergencies. When people are traumatised, hungry, dehydrated and exhausted, they are also more vulnerable to serious diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera. That's why we focus much of our emergency response on ensuring a safe water supply. We are also setting up hand-washing stations and toilets, for example. Internationally, we are known for our ability to provide large-scale water supply systems and essential sanitation facilities quickly and efficiently, even in the most difficult circumstances.

Women's and girls' rights

The needs and rights of women and girls are often neglected and their situation is further exacerbated in acute crises, which is why they are a priority in our work. We take a feminist approach in everything we do.

Prevention work

Together with local authorities and partner organisations, we develop contingency plans to better equip communities for future crises, and work on concrete actions to strengthen local people's own capacity to cope with disasters. 

A strong voice for people at risk

We use our influence to ensure that the rights of women, men and children are respected and that they get the help they need. We draw attention to how political systems and social structures create inequality, poverty and vulnerability - and we put pressure on governments and companies to take responsibility for people and the environment. We are a voice for people in vulnerability when needed, but we always work to ensure that their own voices are heard and that they themselves can make a difference to their situation and create a good life.

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