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Returnees go back to their destroyed villages in region of Masisi, west of Goma, DRC. Photo: Tineke D'haese/Oxfam

How we help in times of crisis

In times of crisis, long before help arrives from the outside world, people act to protect themselves from hunger, disease and harm. But sometimes the scale of the crisis means they are unable to cope.

We believe men, women and children must get the help they need, when they need it, for as long as they need. No matter who or where they are. This means providing life-saving emergency assistance as well as immediate protection from violence and intimidation.

Responding to emergencies

Oxfam is a world leader in disaster response, renowned for providing clean water and sanitation in times of emergency as well as food, shelter and basic necessities.

We recently responded to the Tsunami in Indonesia and the Bangladesh Rohingya Refugee Crisis. In the past, we have responded to the Earthquake in Nepal and the El Niño Food Crisis. See the full list of past emergencies.

Disaster preparation and conflict prevention

We’re making every effort to ensure that crises don’t happen in the first place, by tackling the factors that increase the risk of conflict and disaster such as:

We work around the world, helping communities prepare for future natural disasters.

Pushing for change

Millions of lives could be saved every year if more governments took action to protect and assist civilians caught up in war and disaster.

We lobby for improvements in the quality of humanitarian assistance provided by the international community; in terms of how hunger is addressed, how funding mechanisms work and how well relief is coordinated.

As champions of justice and equality, we seek to ensure that the systems and laws designed to protect people in times of conflict are upheld and functioning properly. Often this means putting pressure on governments to respect and act according to their obligations.

Learn more


Every second counts in times of crisis. By donating to our International Crisis Fund, you’ll ensure we can respond quickly with life-saving essentials when an emergency strikes.

Australia’s overseas aid budget has suffered from successive cuts. Join the movement of Australians standing up for Australia’s life-changing and life-saving aid program.

A Nepal earthquake survivor stands in the rubble of her home

By making a monthly donation to Oxfam Emergency 365, you’re helping our response teams save lives by providing food, water and shelter every day of the year.