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Violence Against Women in Central America is a Powerful Factor in the Migration Crisis

By Fatema Z. Sumar, Vice President of Global Programs, Oxfam America

Asylum seekers

Asylum-seekers listen to a Mexican official explain the procedures they will be asked to follow. Credit: Elizabeth Stevens/Oxfam America

As stories of the migrant caravan dominated U.S. headlines this fall, I found myself in a woman’s shelter in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa listening to stories of extreme violence and heartbreaking courage.  I heard the story of a 7-year-old girl named Valeria who was given a choice between staying safe in this shelter or going back to her abusive father who could pay her school fees – Valeria chose to go to school.  Now, my 7-year-old daughter will never have to choose between her education and her safety. But millions of girls in Central America do not have that choice.

As I traveled last month with Oxfam throughout the Northern Triangle – to the countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador – I heard gut-wrenching stories of gender-based violence and poverty, hunger, and gangs. It became clear to me the migrant caravan is more than a humanitarian crisis or an immigration issue. Read More

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By Arielle Dreher

World hunger is on the rise again, despite quantifiable efforts in the last decade to stem the increase of undernourished people worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that nearly 821 million people face chronic food deprivation today.

In Africa and South America specifically, hunger and food insecurity is getting worse, UN statistics show, due to conflicts, changing weather and economies slowing down, a recent UN report says. When people cannot access food, the chances of malnutrition heighten, too, compounding the problem. If this trajectory is not reversed, the world will not meet the UN Sustainable Development Goal of eradicating hunger by 2030. Read More

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One Civilian is Dying Every Three Hours in Yemen Fighting – Oxfam

One civilian has been killed every three hours in fighting in Yemen since the beginning of August, with many more people succumbing to disease and hunger, Oxfam said today.  The Saudi-led coalition and the internationally-recognized government are battling with the Houthis to control key ports and cities in the country.

Germany has halted arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the wake of the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, and has called on all EU States to do the same. Oxfam is calling on the US, UK and other governments to suspend arms sales to the Saudis because of their disregard for civilian lives in the war in Yemen.

Yemenis face the triple threat of war, disease and hunger. Between August 1and October 15, 575 civilians were killed in the fighting, including 136 children and 63 women. There have been more than 1.1 million cases of cholera in the last 18 months, with over 2,000 of those proving fatal. And there have been over 100 deaths from diphtheria over a similar period.  The UN warned this week that more than 14 million could die from starvation if the war continues.

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