Interview with a Syrian refugee

Samira. Photo: Luca Sola Samira is a Syrian refugee. She arrived three days ago. She’s living in a self-made shelter with just one room, which she shares with 12 other people. Because she is not Palestinian, Samira can’t register with the local Palestinian NGOs giving out much-needed blankets and heaters near where she’s living. She has made an appointment to register …

Mali’s conflict refugees: time to step up our aid effort

Caroline Baudot, humanitarian policy advisor, describes her experiences working with Oxfam in camps in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger, hosting refugees fleeing Mali’s conflict. To many in Europe, the conflict in Mali and hostage crisis in Algeria seemed to come out of nowhere. I’ve been working in the countries around Mali for months. The events of recent weeks shocked me …

A refuge from Syria conflict still brings misery for thousands in Lebanon

Take a look at the hands of married women who’ve fled Syria to take refuge in neighbouring Lebanon and you’ll notice that almost all aren’t wearing any jewellery. Many families fled the fighting in Syria with little more than the clothes on their backs.  Desperate, traumatised, and in severe need, families were forced to sell off whatever they had with …

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. You might not have noticed it from the headlines, but this year Oxfam has responded to more crises than ever before. Not megadisasters like Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, but the daily struggle for survival that has just got worse in places like the West …

Typhoon Bopha’s terrible blow to Philippine seaweed farmers

Typhoon Bopha (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pablo) has devastated the seaweed farmers of Hinatuan, who were only just starting to recover from 2011’s Typhoon Washi (local name Sedong). Dante Dalajaban draws a parallel with the recent knockout of celebrated Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao. “Our preparation proved to be no match against Bopha.” In one devastating blow, Typhoon Bopha …