A cash transfer from Oxfam helped Fawzia buy livestock and build a livelihood.. Photo: VFX Aden / Oxfam

Fawzia in Abyan, Yemen, with one of the goats that her Oxfam cash grant allowed her to purchase.
Fawzia in Abyan, Yemen, with one of the goats that her Oxfam cash grant allowed her to purchase.

Donate to the Christmas appeal

Looking to donate to charity for Christmas? Donate to the 2022 Christmas appeal. This winter, Oxfam is working with local partners in the areas worst affected by the global food crisis.

Together we can face the injustice of a food crisis

Families across the world are facing the injustice of a food crisis caused by forces beyond their control.

In East Africa, climate change has caused years of drought and pushed 23 million people into hunger. And in Yemen, multiple factors have combined to create the perfect storm for even the most resilient families. A brutal conflict – fuelled by weapons and politics from outside Yemen – has seen 4.5 million people displaced, some of them repeatedly. Families are forced to flee to wherever it’s safe, which often means overcrowded camps with no opportunity to settle, find regular work or start rebuilding their lives.

In countries including Yemen, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia people are doing all they can, but outside forces have plunged them into extreme hunger. This is a global crisis and a terrible injustice.

Ibaado Mohamed (wearing dark red) is an Internally Displaced Persons representative and coordinator working with Oxfam in her community in Somalia. Image: Petterik Wiggers / Oxfam Novib

I am doing this work because I can sympathise with those who are affected by drought and other disasters. I know what it feels like to lose everything. It is important to get support. Especially for women and vulnerable people, they are in need of extra support.”

Ibaado Mohamed, Internally Displaced Persons Representative and Coordinator, working with Oxfam in her community in Somalia.

Together we can choose how we stand against challenges

In addition to conflict and instability, many communities lack essential services like healthcare and education. Climate-change-induced floods and droughts make life even harder. And now, global events mean that Yemeni families are facing price rises which have made basic food unaffordable.

Mofadal is an internally displaced person in Yemen. He has two young children. Image: Jehad Al-Nahary/Oxfam

We used to work the land. We were happy and stable. That all changed when we were displaced.”

Mofadal with his two children in Yemen.

Christmas donations for things like cash transfers offer choice and help people build resilience against multiple challenges – including the global food crisis. A cash transfer for a family this winter will not only help them buy food and essential supplies – like winter clothes and nappies for babies – but will also help to boost small businesses and local economies.

Kaff Media / Oxfam

How do cash transfers help?

Quite simply, cash transfers put power into people’s hands. And when they spend the money locally, often at stores run by people surviving on very little themselves, a cash transfer can support several people in one community.

Together we can create solutions

When a family like Mohamed’s receives a cash transfer, they have the power to choose the solutions that are right for them.

I can go directly to purchase several food items like rice and milk for my children. I’ll also try to pay part of the debt I owe.”

Mohammed, Yemen.

They can meet their immediate needs – whatever they might be – and build a future free from extreme hunger.

And by enabling people to buy from local traders, cash transfers also help support local businesses and supply chains.

Together we mean business

Once a family is out of immediate danger, parents can think about how to support themselves and their children for the long term. Cash transfers can help to start businesses that give a stable income.

Razigah used to run a small shop, but was forced into bankruptcy. A cash transfer helped her to restart her business. She keeps prices low and margins tight, but can live independently. Image: Kaff Media / Oxfam

I feel good and secure and happy even if I only earn a little. It helps if we need to pay for food or medicine.”

Razigah, shopkeeper, Yemen. Cash transfers are spent locally, at shops like Razigah's. Each cash transfer can have an impact across a whole community in Yemen.

Together we build resilience

Starting one business can support many more. With a cash transfer, Fawzia was able to buy goats to breed. The goats and feed were bought locally. And anything Fawzia earns is also spent in her community, ensuring several businesses can be supported through hers.

Fawzia and her goats in Yemen. Image: VFX Aden / Oxfam

I purchased four female goats and a male goat. Thankfully, over time they reproduced as I cared for them.”

Fawzia, Yemen.

Together we face the future

For many families, stability means a return of normal life and things that many of us take for granted – like sending children to school.

Aryam (name changed) with her two children in Yemen.

[Before the transfer] I had taken two of my children out of school so they work and help me provide food and medicine for our family. [Now] I will buy food... flour and vegetables... medicine for my mother and my daughter. The rest of my children are still enrolled in school, and I do not think I will take them out from it. Also I had a lot of debt in the past, but now I was able to pay a big portion of it.”

Aryam (name changed to protect her identity) Yemen.

Cash transfers mean parents don’t have to sacrifice their children’s education. Instead, they can protect and build their children’s futures.