Oxfam warns of unprecedented humanitarian pressures

5 Jan 16

An already stressed global humanitarian system will come under unprecedented strain this year as it struggles to cope with the fallout of extreme weather and war, Oxfam has warned.

The NGO said that pressures on the humanitarian system from conflicts will be compounded by the effects of a super El Niño weather pattern which has already caused major crises in some areas last year. Oxfam said millions more people will be affected in 2016 unless early action is taken.

Jane Cocking, Oxfam’s humanitarian director, explained that aid agencies are already stretched in responding to the conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and elsewhere and the crises caused by El Niño in Ethiopia, Haiti and Papua New Guinea, where millions of people are feeling the effects of drought and crop failure.

“Aid agencies are already stretched. We cannot afford to allow other large-scale emergencies to develop elsewhere. If the world waits to respond to emerging crises in southern Africa and Latin America we will not be able to cope,” she said.

This year’s cyclical El Niño weather pattern is the strongest ever on record, and Oxfam estimates tens of millions of people could face hunger, water shortages and disease next year. Erratic rain and floods across Latin America are also likely to worsen the situation.

The charity urged governments and donors to immediately take steps to people cope with drought or flooding, such as water and soil conservation, reducing herds of livestock to more manageable sizes and ensuring the early treatment of malnutrition.

  • Emma Rumney

    Emma is a reporter at Cooking Recipes International. She also writes for in the UK.

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