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Caroline Gluck
Caroline Gluck works as a field-based press officer for Oxfam's humanitarian team, responding to media needs when humanitarian crises develop.
Before joining Oxfam in September 2008, she worked in Asia for more than a decade as a correspondent for BBC Radio, Television and Online. She's also written for a variety of other media publications, including the Times and the Economist.

Entries by Caroline Gluck

After Typhoon Haiyan -- Moving in the Right Direction?

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 12:06 PM

When typhoon Haiyan hit the central Philippines last November, killing more than 6,000 people and destroying millions of people's houses and livelihoods, people like fisherman Lionel Advincula, from Barangay Bislig in Tanauan municipality, Leyte province, found themselves having to make some tough choices.

One of the most pressing priorities for...

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Climate Shocks Hitting the Poorest Farmers and Fisherfolk Hardest in the Philippines

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 4:46 AM

As governments meet in Japan to hear new evidence from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which expected to show that the impact of climate change on food will be far more serious than previously thought, a new report from Oxfam warns that the impact of climate change could...

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Life as a Syrian Refugee

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 8:05 AM

This week, World Refugee Day will be marked. It's easy to forget, among the statistics, that refugees are ordinary people like you and me, often unwittingly caught up in events beyond their control. More than one million Syrians have now been forced to leave their country because of conflict; with...

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Happiness in Times of Hardship

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 2:35 AM

The wedding dance

Life is tough for Syrian refugees living in Jordan's sprawling Zaatari refugee camp in the desert. Most have lost everything they once had: their homes, possessions, their jobs and many loved-ones.

In the crowded camp, home to more than 100,000 who've...

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Helping the Disabled to Live With Dignity in Jordan's Zaatari Refugee Camp

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 4:00 PM

Adapting to life in Jordan's sprawling desert refugee camp, Zaatari, is hard for all refugees, but especially so for those with disabilities and special needs.

I met 12-year-old Sidra, who'd arrived just two days earlier, with her mother and brother on the main street near the camp entrance. They'd...

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Approaching Summer and Syrian Refugee Influx Adding to Jordan's Water Worries

(1) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 1:38 AM

Just a short distance from Zaatari, Jordan's sprawling refugee camp, which officially hosts more than 160,000 people who've fled conflict in Syria, lies a road full of small nurseries growing vegetables and olive trees.

One of them is run by Khaled. But these days he's not at all happy. "There...

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Working to Help Syrian Refugees in a Male-dominated Environment

(1) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 10:16 PM

Amid a sea of male construction and site workers in Jordan's sprawling Zaatari desert camp, Oxfam's female engineer, Farah Al-Basha stands out from the crowd.

The energetic 27-year-old Jordanian joined the Oxfam team earlier this year, quitting her job at a private engineering company to work for the aid agency.

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Syria's Humanitarian Crisis -- Dramatically Deteriorating

(16) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 7:24 AM

Syria's humanitarian crisis is dramatically deteriorating. The UN estimates 2.5 million people displaced by conflict inside the country need help, while there are now more than 800,000 refugees who've fled to neighbouring countries, including Jordan -- with record numbers arriving in January. Oxfam is among the many agencies responding to...

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Love in a Hard Place

(0) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 9:18 AM

On St. Valentine's evening, the families of Aya and Mohammed gathered in a tiny prefabricated building in Jordan's Zaatari camp, a vast sprawling place in the desert housing an estimated 90,000 refugees who fled Syria, and agreed on their engagement.

Aya, 17, and Mohammed, 21 are cousins and both originally...

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A Refuge From Syria Conflict Still Brings Misery for Thousands in Lebanon

(6) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 1:46 AM

Take a look at the hands of married women who've fled Syria to take refuge in neighboring Lebanon and you'll notice that almost all aren't wearing any jewellery. Many families fled the fighting in Syria with little more than the clothes on their backs. Desperate, traumatized, and in severe need,...

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Don't They Know It's Christmas?

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 9:44 PM

Christmas is coming

In the Philippines, a strongly Catholic country, the first signs of Christmas appear months before the actual event: shops playing Christmas carols on their audio loops, brightly decorated trees, neon Santas and reindeers are colourfully displayed outside shops and plazas. It...

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Typhoon Bopha: Families Struggle to Recover

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 2:04 AM

More than a thousand people have been killed in the destruction left by Typhoon Bopha in Mindanao, the southern island of the Philippines. Thousands are still living in evacuation center -- their homes totally destroyed. They face an uncertain future since the typhoon wrecked huge plantations of crops and it...

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Typhoon Bopha -- Death Toll Rises

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 11:46 PM

The death toll from Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines continues to rise; 906 people are now confirmed dead; with more than 900 missing.

Aid agency, Oxfam, and its humanitarian partners in the Philippines, the Humanitarian Response Consortium, are responding to help the worst-hit communities in Mindanao, setting up water...

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Huge Challenges Lie Ahead for Typhoon-affected Communities in the Philippines

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 3:03 AM

Travelling to New Bataan, in Compostela Valley on the Philippines island of Mindanao, is a depressing experience. It's one of the areas most devastated by Typhoon Bopha.

Destruction wrought by typhoon Bopha

The drive takes us through dramatic scenery. Destroyed houses,...

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Learning Lessons From the Past

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 8:07 AM

Construction worker, Francis Abuhan, his family and some neighbours were sitting on bamboo mats in the road. Their precious belongings lay around them: a television set, video recorder, rice and some cooking equipment, clothes and other personal possessions. Their damaged homes stood in a muddy flooded field next to them.

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Experiencing Typhoon Bopha

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2012 | 12:09 AM

For decades, people in Kadiwa village, Laak municipality, a picturesque farming village in Compostela Valley province, on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, had watched the damage that typhoons could cause from afar -- on their television sets only.

Despite the many typhoon warnings in the past, the area remained...

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A Cash Lifeline in Yemen

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2012 | 10:55 AM

Today marks World Food Day. But millions of people in Yemen don't have enough food to eat; and five million people are severely food insecure, needing emergency assistance.

Aisha tells me she's 100 years old and things have never been so bad. Deep lines etch her weathered face and I...

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Surviving Yemen's Hunger Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 7:59 AM

Yemen is in the midst of catastrophic hunger crisis with 10 million people -- almost half the population -- without enough food to eat and five million people needing urgent assistance. In the northern districts of Haradh and Abss in Hajjah governorate, one of the poorest areas of Yemen, families are fighting for survival and resorting to desperate measures to cope and feed their families.

Aid agencies have warned that the crisis threatens to derail Yemen's crisis threatens to derail Yemen's development and stability.

The hunger crisis in Yemen, which affects almost one out of every two Yemeni citizens, and is putting nearly one million children at risk of severe malnutrition, must be addressed immediately to put the fragile country on the path to a better future, eight international and Yemeni aid agencies said today.

The call for more targeted emergency funding came as foreign ministers from the U.S., UK, Saudi Arabia and other countries are set to meet with the Yemeni government at the Friends of Yemen donor conference in New York.

The aid agencies -- Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Islamic Relief, CARE International, Merlin, International Medical Corps, Yemen Relief and Development Forum (YRDF) and the Humanitarian Forum -- said that despite generous pledges of $6.4bn made at a conference in Riyadh, the humanitarian response was still dangerously under-funded with the majority of pledged funds being allocated to infrastructure and macro-economic stability.

This year's UN appeal for $585 million for Yemen's emergency needs is still less than half-funded. This shortfall could be closed with a fraction -- just over 4 percent -- of the funds promised in Riyadh. There is no reason for an under-funded humanitarian response, say the agencies.

Recent surveys have uncovered high malnutrition rates in Lahj in the south and Hajjah in the north, and agencies are now responding to needs in Abyan, which until recently was a no-go area wracked by fighting between the Yemeni government and insurgents. The aid agencies said that although longer-term funding was essential, it would not help Yemen achieve development and stability unless matched with immediate funding to tackle the worsening humanitarian crisis.

Colette Fearon, Country Director of Oxfam in Yemen, said:

With each passing day, the crisis gets tougher. Children's futures are at risk with some of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world. Women tell Oxfam that their lives have got worse since last year's political upheaval. They can't afford food or find work. Parents are pulling children out of school to beg, marrying their daughters early and selling what little they have just to get food today. They know this will make life harder in the future, but have little choice. People cannot survive on promises, however generous. It would take a fraction of the money already promised to fully fund the UN appeal.

The aid agencies urged donors not to repeat the mistakes of the past where funds were pledged to Yemen, but did not materialize. In 2006, five billion dollars was promised to Yemen, but in early 2010 less than 10 percent had been disbursed. They called on the Friends of Yemen to ensure a comprehensive strategy and accountable and transparent plan detailing how the money would be spent and by when, with clear indicators that national and international civil society could monitor. They said this would help ensure that humanitarian funding was quickly followed by investment to tackle the root causes of Yemen's hunger crisis.

Mohammed Qazilbash, Mercy Corps Yemen Country Director, said:

The humanitarian crisis is staggering and Yemen needs immediate assistance to help the millions of Yemenis who are hungry right now. As world leaders gather to discuss Yemen's future, we urge them not only to meet pressing needs on the ground, but to ensure that there is a plan in place to address the root causes of the crisis. Unemployment and high food prices mean that people cannot afford food today. By investing in the private sector, supporting market development, job training and youth employment programs, donors can give Yemenis a better future and break the cycle of hunger.

The UN is expected to request another £92 million to address needs in Abyan in the coming months. The agencies said this could be covered with just over one percent of the 6.4bn pledged.

"Malnutrition rates in Hodeidah have exceeded the emergency threshold by 100 percent, so Islamic Relief is launching a health, nutrition and livelihood programme there, it's aim is to save life," said Islamic Relief Country Director Hashem Awnallah, adding that the agency is also targeting Abyan and Lahj, but "more resources are needed to keep current operations in place and reach out further."

The call of the international aid agencies is echoed by Yemeni civil society. In a recent civil society conference in Riyadh, over 100 civil society representatives from across Yemen agreed that the humanitarian crisis should be a key priority for funding. The Yemeni diaspora is also campaigning for recognition of the hunger crisis through its Hungry4Change...

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Ramadan in Yemen - The Hardest Year Ever

(7) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 4:01 AM

As Yemen is gripped by its worst-ever humanitarian crisis, with 10 million going hungry and more than five million in urgent need of assistance, this year's Ramadan is proving harder than ever.

In better years, Yemenis would traditionally stock up with food as the Muslim fasting month Ramadan approached. Special...

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Behind (Prison) Walls in the DRC

(3) Comments | Posted May 21, 2012 | 12:23 PM

I've often had to document Oxfam's hygiene promotion activities in communities, schools, markets and other public places. But never a prison. Until now.

Bunia prison

In Bunia town, Ituri district, in Congo's Orientale Province, Oxfam's health and emergency response teams have been tackling...

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