Humanitarian Assistance

When disaster strikes, women are hit the hardest

Every year, millions of people are displaced from their homes. Almost half are women.

Disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes and droughts, as well as conflict, wars and the current global pandemic, put millions in urgent need of clean water, soap, food and shelter. The crises caused by these events also threaten women's safety and health in unique ways.

During emergencies, women are often left out of critical decisions that affect them, like how food, water, hygiene kits and medicine are distributed​, and even where to build the toilets.​ It's time to change that. Oxfam meets urgent needs to save lives as part of our emergency response, but we also look at long-term solutions for women's livelihoods, health, safety and leadership.

Why Focus on Gender During Humanitarian Emergencies?

25.7 M
From 2020 to 2021, Oxfam provided life-saving assistance to 25.7 million people in response to emergencies and other crises.
2 x
Refugee women and girls are twice as likely to experience sexual violence during disasters and emergencies.
Around the world, women only make up 3 percent of UN peacekeepers, who work to prevent conflict and violence and strengthen security.

What is Oxfam Doing?

We work with local partners to listen to and meet the unique needs of women and girls.

Women-Led Design

Oxfam and our partners design programs for women, in consultation with women and women's rights organizations.


We break down the barriers that stand in the way of women having power over their lives and decisions in times of crisis.

Local Knowledge

We consult with local humanitarians and the people receiving aid to tell us what is needed to rebuild effectively in the long-term.

Three Steps You Can Take Now

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Join Us

Join Oxfam Canada's email list to learn more us and find out how you can further our work around the world.

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Start a fundraiser to support women during both natural and human-made disasters.

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Contribute to our fight for equality and protect women from natural and human-made disasters around the globe.

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