Food Security & Sustainable Livelihoods

Rebecca in her vegetable farm in Bor, South Sudan. Tim Bierley/Oxfam

The struggle to find food

Over the years, abilities of the rural poor in the Horn, East, and Central Africa (HECA) region, to provide their own food have been steadily eroded as a result of chronic conflict and insecurity as well as effects of prolonged droughts. With reduced production, food prices at local markets skyrocket becoming too expensive for families to afford. People are then forced to resort to negative coping mechanisms such as skipping meals or selling household items to put food on the table.

Taking a market-based approach, our activities focus on saving and sustaining lives as well as helping people recover and rebuild their livelihoods. Our Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) aims at giving people the dignity to make their own food choices during a crisis.

Helping people get back on their feet

Post-crisis, we give farmers seeds and tools to improve their production for subsistence and commercial use. We also help pastoralists to reduce livestock losses through activities such as commercial destocking, provision of animal feed and veterinary services.

We also strongly advocate for the Early Warning, Early Action initiative to reduce risk and vulnerability to shocks. Responding to the serious ElNino induced drought in Ethiopia, Somaliland, and Kenya Oxfam has been able to reach thousands of families with timely cash assistance to reduce the risk of hunger and famine.

At the regional level, we work closely with the Cash Learning Platform (CaLP) to coordinate and share best practices in cash transfer programming.