From waste to value: using solid waste for good sanitation in Uganda’s refugee settlements

Parvin Ngala Refugees and IDPs, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

WASH Advisor Parvin Ngala explains how Oxfam is working with others to turn solid waste into valuable energy in some of Uganda’s refugee settlements.  In any densely populated area, good sanitation is bound to be a challenge. More so in a refugee settlement where essential facilities are often inadequate considering a rapid influx of people and massive populations. In 2016, …

No hope of earning an income for Syrian women in Jordan

Aisha Shtiwi Humanitarian, Refugees and IDPs, Women's Economic Empowerment

As decision makers meet in Brussels to discuss the situation of Syrian refugees, Aisha Shtiwi shares the story of Ghozlan, one of millions of women refugees who can’t access work. “Our suffering started when we arrived. I went to every single place to find work in the camp, but no one hired me”, said Ghozlan, a young Syrian woman we …

Questioning the use of biometric technology in humanitarian response

Anna Kondakhchyan Humanitarian, ICT4D, Protection, Refugees and IDPs

Anna Kondakhchyan shares the findings of new research, Biometrics in the Humanitarian Sector, which looks into the benefits and risks of using biometric technology to register people to receive humanitarian aid. How would you feel if refusal to submit your biometric data meant you were excluded from the provision of humanitarian assistance? Biometrics, the measurement of human characteristics through technology such …

Afghanistan: the tragedy of return

Dr. Jorrit Kamminga Conflict, Refugees and IDPs

Are the returnees to Afghanistan safe in what is still a conflicted and fragile state? Dr. Jorrit Kamminga introduces a new report which explores this.  With headline news carrying stories about a string of bloody attacks in Afghanistan, it’s important to remember that there is another side to the Afghan tragedy that is not making the headlines. In addition to the …

Reaching refugees and boosting small businesses in Bangladesh

Corrie Sissons Emergency, Food & livelihoods, Humanitarian, Refugees and IDPs

By providing emergency cash or vouchers Oxfam can help people in crisis to get desperately needed food and other items, while boosting local businesses at the same time. Corrie Sissons explains what this looks like in Oxfam’s Rohingya Crisis response. At Oxfam we help those in crisis to meet their emergency needs in a way which does no harm. This …

Speaking out about the Rohingya crisis

Ed Cairns Emergency, Humanitarian, Protection, Refugees and IDPs, Research

Oxfam has interviewed Rohingya refugees about their needs, hopes and fears for the future, and published their responses in a new briefing paper. Here Ed Cairns reflects on the responsibility to speak out. More than 626,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since 25 August, one of the fastest movements of people in history. By November, the world’s interest had largely moved …

All these unused toilets – who are we building them for?

Julie Lafrenière General, Protection, Refugees and IDPs, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Going to the toilet is one of the most dangerous things you can do as a woman living in a refugee camp. That’s why we’re conducting research into the use of lighting to promote safety around latrines and wash facilities, for World Toilet Day Kerry Akers and Julie Lafrenière share the key findings so far. These shocking quotes are from people …

What kind of evidence might persuade people to change their minds on refugees?

Ed Cairns Influencing, Refugees and IDPs

Humanitarian Policy Adviser Ed Cairns reflects on using evidence to influence the treatment of refugees.  Ed presented on this subject at our recent Evidence for Influencing conference organised by the Oxfam Research Network.  Who thinks that governments decide what to do on refugees after carefully considering the evidence? Not many, I suspect. So it was an interesting to be asked …

Turning waste into work in Za’atari refugee camp

Alixandra Buck Refugees and IDPs, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

As Za’atari refugee camp continues to hosts a large amount of Syrian refugees, new recycling initiatives are offering opportunities for work. Soman Moodley and Alixandra Buck, introduce a new case study on the ‘cash for work’ initiative.  Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan is home to nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees. With no immediate prospect of returning home and limited opportunities to …

How recycling helped me regain my purpose

Jasem Al-Wrewir Refugees and IDPs, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

As a Syrian refugee living in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, Jasem Al-Wrewir’s opportunities to work are very limited. However, Jasem is using his skills and expertise, developed over a 15 year career in waste management, to improve camp conditions for refugees and minimize environmental impact. Here he reflects on the opportunities and limitations of cash-for-work programmes, as well as …