Locally led disaster response

Members of a civil protection committee on the outskirts of San Salvador, El Salvador, meet to discuss emergency preparedness plans. Their community is located on the edge of a deep and ever-widening ravine; when rains threaten to trigger landslides, they carry out life-saving evacuations. Photo: Claudia Barrientos / Oxfam

Oxfam is responding to major emergencies around the world, and we are also helping lead a movement to shift more power, skills, and funds into the hands of local humanitarians.

Across the globe, armed conflicts are triggering crisis after crisis, with no end in sight, and climate-related disasters are on the rise.  The UN and international agencies like Oxfam are working hard to keep pace, but the needs are outstripping our capacity to respond. 

But there is a vast human resource that, given the right support, could make all the difference: local humanitarian leaders.

When emergencies strike, everyone from community leaders to the mayor’s office to national organizations and government agencies may spring into action, but in too many places in the world, they are drastically short of resources. Yet, it is these groups that are best positioned to save lives: they can reach disaster zones quickly, and they understand the languages, cultures, geography, and political realities of the affected communities far better than outsiders.

With your help, Oxfam has been working to ensure that local leaders get the funds, training, and influence they need to protect their communities. Meanwhile, we are continuing to respond to the most catastrophic emergencies—the disasters that overwhelm the capacity of local leaders. We install water and sanitation facilities and distribute hygiene materials like soap to guard against disease outbreaks; we help ensure access to food and other essentials; and through our advocacy work, we help disaster-affected communities stand up for their rights.

Saving lives 24/7

Some disasters can’t be prevented—or imagined in advance. But as soon as they strike, Oxfam and local responders need to be ready to act. Lives depend on it.

Your gift to Oxfam’s Saving Lives 24/7 Fund will go directly toward our emergency work, present and future, so that when crises erupt, we're ready to spring into action.