Humanitarian Response and DRR

India is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Oxfam and its partners provide humanitarian assistance during a crisis. We also enable people to be better prepared for disasters.


@Oxfam's humanitarian work often incorporates programmes to rebuild livelihoods or to empower people.

@OxfamIndia and its partners have designed risk reduction and management programmes across 300 villages in four states.


India is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Disasters and poverty are closely linked to each other. The greater the severity and frequency of crises in India, the greater the humanitarian need.

Experience has shown that disasters drive poor people further into a spiral of poverty, and undermines their capacity to recover from social and economic losses.

Moreover, given their weaker social and economic status women are much more vulnerable during disasters. In almost all emergencies there is widespread destruction of livelihoods, and women and children generally bear the brunt of the suffering, being more frequently displaced, and generally least consulted as to their needs.

Oxfam India and our partners provide humanitarian assistance during crises. We also enable people to be better prepared for disasters.

About 57% of land in India is vulnerable to earthquake, 28% to drought, and 15% to floods. In an average year, five to six tropical cyclones make landfall in India. Recurring floods, due to climate change and other causes have increased in intensity and frequency.  These affect millions of people, and those affected most happen to be the marginalised.

Each year thousands of people are displaced or forced to flee their homes.. 

Events in 2008 to 2013 only served to prove the increase in frequency and scale of natural disasters across India.

In 2008, there were 4.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) mostly as a consequence of the Kosi floods in Bihar, another two million affected by floods in Assam and a quarter of a million hit by floods in Odisha.

In 2013, Cyclone Phailin affected an estimated eight million people, and severely impacted livelihoods of one million, while the Uttarakhand flash floods caused 10,000 deaths an affected one million.

The year 2013 was a notable year for Asia with the continent experiencing 88% of all disaster-related mortality, as compared to the decadal average of 62% (

Find out more about Oxfam’s humanitarian work in India.

Disasters and poverty  are closely linked. Read more about Oxfam’s Disaster Risk Reduction work.


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