Humanitarian preparedness and response

young south Sudanese refugee boys taking water at  an Oxfam setup tap stand. credit:  Julius Kasujja/Oxfam

In Uganda, the humanitarian context is characterized by conflicts (internal and external), food insecurity, natural disasters, and epidemic outbreaks. These are due to both internal and external factors.

For instance, across the whole country, climate change is increasingly making weather patterns harder to predict, drying out some regions and soaking others, leading to suffering from chronic droughts and food insecurity as well as calamities such as floods and landslides.

Externally, the instability in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and South Sudan have caused the movement of refugees into the country, putting a strain on already fragile communities and resources.

These conditions are a result of several underlying factors, notably power imbalances (Geo-political-local, national, regional and international); changes in environmental trends; corruption and poor implementation of humanitarian and resilience policies; negative social beliefs and structures; lack of proper infrastructure; limited capacities to predict, mitigate and cope with disasters; poor land governance policies; gender inequalities; and inadequate political will.

In poverty and in humanitarian situations, women are affected most yet it is women who carry the most burden of providing domestic labour and household survival.

Oxfam works to empower vulnerable women, youth and men with skills and knowledge so that they are able to mitigate and cope with shocks and enjoy their rights to a life with dignity. In cases of disaster, Oxfam works together with partners to provide life saving assistance that meets that needs of those affected. 

Oxfam also believes that besides saving lives, it is imperative to strengthen humanitarian capacity at local level. This would ensure better, quicker and cost effective preparedness and response to humanitarian situations. We have taken actions to strengthen the capacity of local humanitarian actors in all our areas of work.

Oxfam’s humanitarian work aims

To ensure that humanitarian disaster is timely anticipated, prevented, planned for by partners, governments and other relevant actors.

To effectively and efficiently respond to shocks and change with active involvement of partners, Oxfam staff, affected populations (women, girls, boys as well as men) and relevant authorities/stakeholders.

To support women to meaningfully engage in decision-making processes for humanitarian response in order to address women’s unique needs.

To strengthen community capacities to cope with shocks and change through disaster risk reduction initiatives.

To influence the resilience and humanitarian policies and practices nationally, regionally and internationally utilizing Oxfam networks and resources at various levels.

Projects

South Sudanese refugee response

Empowering Local and National Humanitarian Actors (ELNHA) in Uganda

Disaster Risk reduction and response.

Geographical Coverage

The geographical coverage of our humanitarian work is determined by the nature and magnitude of disaster risks experienced and this is guided by the Oxfam humanitarian response policy.