Blog: 40 years of broken promises… 40 days to make our voices heard!

I was born in 1970; the year the Beatles announced they were breaking up, the year after man landed on the moon for the first time. In the same year rich countries promised to give 0.7% of their national income as foreign aid to support poor countries in providing vital services, such as health and education, to their people.

It is estimated that 40% of India’s poor pay for hospitalisation expenses by taking loans or selling assets. Photo: Oxfam

Blog: The cost of a life: the ultimate dilemma

Imagine the ultimate dilemma: if you cannot pay for health care, it costs you your life; and if you do pay, it still costs you your life because it pushes you into poverty and indebtedness. This is the decision faced by poor people when they are forced to pay for health services. This implies that the right to health is only a right if you can afford to pay for it. 

Collecting water provided by Oxfam in Padangalai. Credit: Laura Eldon/Oxfam

Blog: Preparation saves lives in Padang

I’ve been thinking a lot today about preparing for disasters. It’s something we talk about a lot at Oxfam, but seeing it in action here in Padang after this earthquake has really made me realise just how essential it is.

Getting aid into a disaster zone quickly is incredibly difficult. Even getting immediate information about what’s happening is a challenge. In the hours after this earthquake, phone lines were down, roads were cut off and even though Oxfam and others were working flat out to try to respond, we all struggled to work out what had happened, and what was needed.

2010 is a date with fate for G8

Blog: 2010 is a date with fate for G8

Canada in 2010 is a date with fate. When the G8 leaders meet in Muskoka next June they come face to face with a long list of commitments – on aid, on Africa, on health and education, water and sanitation, on women and children, on AIDS, on climate change and now, on support for small farmers.

Blog: Natural disasters will hurt 50% more people by 2015. Why? Climate Change + Inequality

There has been some striking progress in reducing the death toll from natural disasters in recent decades. While Cyclone Sidr killed around 3,000 people in Bangladesh in 2007, similar or weaker storms killed 100 times that number in 1972 and 45 times more people in 1991, largely because governments and local communities have since taken action to reduce risk.

Blog: After the horse-trading….

The term horse trading is an Americanism that dates back to early 19th century and refers to intricacies of assessing, bargaining and trading of horses. Apparently one had to be a shrewd dealer in order to obtain the best horse for the best price or vice versa.

Blog: Accra Aid Forum: People’s voices missing

Donors and aid recipient’s countries are not the only group interested in development aid. Again and again, civil society organizations from all over the world have been demanding a right to a say in the aid industry.

“Governments from developing countries are shamefully more accountable to donors than to citizens that have queued in poll stations to cast their votes to elect their leaders” – described some of the groups I met with during the civil society for better aid event in Accra.

Blog: One nation with one destiny

"We are one people; we are one nation; we have one destiny," sang a group of musicians at the opening of the Civil Society Forum on Aid Effectiveness taking in place in Accra, Ghana from August 31 through September 1st.

Blog: Hug a nurse

Oxfam's Health & Education For All campaign is active in over 15 countries around the world.

This week, we take a look at the campaign in the Netherlands, where signing a petition means hugging a nurse.

Curious what this looks like? Watch this video...

Blog: Oxfam on tour with Coldplay

I’ve just come back from Quebec, Canada and America, where I’ve been organising Oxfam’s presence at Coldplay’s concerts. We’ve been campaigning on the For All campaign, asking the crowd to sign up to the For All Pledge.


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