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Rights in crisis

More than 43 million people have had to abandon their homes because of war, crime, political unrest, and natural disasters.  Poor countries are four times as likely as rich ones to experience major conflicts. And people living in poverty are the most vulnerable to all kinds of disasters.

In times of crisis the poorest often struggle to make their voices heard. We campaign for political solutions to conflict, and safety and dignity for those in emergency situations.


When disasters strike, we provide emergency assistance to those affected, particularly focusing on access to clean water and latrines.

At the same time we work with policy makers to ensure more is done to avert disasters in the first place. This can be achieved by building people's resilience to weather shocks like floods and droughts. We also support people to rebuild their lives and stand up for their rights.

Case study: Typhoon Haiyan, The Philippines

In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan - the biggest storm to ever make landfall - Oxfam worked to provide clean drinking water, latrines and food to hundreds of thousands of people. 

As the situation began to stabilise, we started providing small cash payments for work, so people could still make ends meet as they began picking up their lives. 

While we're still focussing on the immediate impact of the typhoon, we're also working to amplify the voices of affected Filipinos and their politicians, especially Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Saño who spoke to the UN on the impact of global warming on his homeland.

Oxfam's response to Typhoon Haiyan


2,000 people die every day from armed violence, while 26 million are currently displaced within their own countries by conflict. Around the world, roughly 30 conflicts continue to disrupt lives and livelihoods today.

The voices of these people are not often heard, so we work to amplify the first hand experiences of refugees, displaced peoples, and anyone affected by conflict, so their right to self determination continues even in the most difficult circumstances.

Case study: The Democratic Republic of the Congo

The crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is often forgotten about by the rest of the world. Yet in the last five years as many people have been killed there as died in the whole of the Second World War. People continue to be attacked and displaced.

For more than 20 years the people of central Africa have suffered attacks from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group responsible for widespread human rights abuses. Since 2008, they have killed over 2,300 people and abducted over 3,000 - and the numbers are increasing.

Millions of people in the DRC are vulnerable to attacks by the brutal LRA. With no phone coverage it is extremely difficult for them to warn each other of danger and ask for help. 

Issues we work on: Conflict

Curbing the arms trade

There are currently no legally binding, international rules regulating the arms trade.

This trade has catastrophic results - in an average year, small arms kill around a third of a million men, women and children - leaving hundreds of thousands more injured, disabled, and traumatised.

Oxfam is part of the Control Arms coalition, working to secure an international treaty to prevent the illegal trade in weapons which fuel atrocities.

Explore campaigning with Oxfam