Oxfam International Blogs - NGO http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/ngo en Oxfam 2020 - Why the International Secretariat must move south http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-04-24-2020-secretariat-moving <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Earlier this month - on Sunday evening, April 6 to be exact - Nigeria suddenly became Africa’s largest economy. Using new data, Nigeria recalculated its GDP and overnight its wealth shot up by 90% to $509 billion, in the process leap-frogging South Africa’s. At the stroke of a pen, a Nigerian’s average income went from $1500 to $2688 a year. Nigeria’s movie industry alone became worth more than $7 billion a year, its oil industry ten times that. What didn’t change was the fact that most of its 170 million people still live below the poverty line.</p> <h3>Geopolitical and economic power is shifting</h3> <p>This development illustrates that geopolitical and economic power is shifting. Fast. Poverty is shifting too, and so is our capacity to fight it. Today, most poor people live in middle-income countries. At Oxfam, we are focusing more on the worsening gap between the rich “haves” at the top and the billion “have-nots” at the bottom. This is not just about who has more cash in their pocket. <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/dc/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Inequality</strong> </a>is all about access to political power, good jobs, justice, security, food, land and other valuable resources, to health and education, to life opportunities. For me, “inequality” is an interesting lens through which to re-analyze the misuse of power and its implications for global security and development. Aid, too, is no longer about North-to-South giving; new actors and new technology are re-writing all the rules.</p> <p>I believe our world revolves ever more tightly around a triangle of powerful relationships between political leaders, ordinary people – including organized civil society – and the private sector. Each one needs to check and balance the other for the common good. Governments and donors are now looking more toward the private sector to fund business opportunities in poor countries. In the past four years, for instance, the World Bank has lent nearly twice as much to the private sector ($36 billion) than for health ($22 billion) and three times more than on education ($12 billion). This is a terribly risky strategy. The private sector has a key role to play in global development and there are many examples of genuinely progressive and mutually beneficial behavior. But unless properly regulated and policed, the private sector can be an incredibly destructive competitor. Smart NGOs need to be constantly reevaluating their relationships with the private sector, as we do with political decision-makers.</p> <h3>We must change to remain relevant</h3> <p>NGOs that don’t read these signs of transformation and that keep operating in the way they always have will become less relevant and have less impact. At Oxfam we cherish our 70 years of history. We bring a lot of knowledge and experience to the table – and we’ll continue to. We don’t change because it’s fashionable; we change because the global dynamics of power and poverty are now so different than before. Oxfam has made a strategic decision to use its work in fighting poverty to concentrate on one over-riding priority: to strengthen our ability to influence the political and corporate dynamics that keep people poor. By influencing the systems of power and decision-making, Oxfam can help more poor people than we could simply by providing them with more services. </p> <p>This realization means a <a href="http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/17343/oxfam_international_to_relocate_hq_abroad#.U1g0ENq9KSM" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>new-look</strong> <strong>Oxfam</strong></a>, changes to how we organize our international family. We are going to have more Oxfam affiliates in southern countries that can raise their own funds, run their own programs, make their own alliances with local people’s movements, and lobby their own governments and businesses. These new Oxfams will have access to all the “central” knowledge we’ve built up over the years about development work, policy analysis, humanitarian delivery and campaigning. Eventually we’ll share resources and services such as HR and technology too.</p> <h3>Transforming into a genuinely international organization </h3> <p>I think NGOs need to do more than simply “adapt” to changing global dynamics. We need to transform ourselves into genuinely international organizations, that share power more democratically and that are more accountable to poor communities because we’re closer to them. We need to be smarter about how (and where) we influence the political and political systems that carry the most power, and in forging innovative new partnerships and collaborations. None of this means we have to abandon all that went before. On the contrary, we need to understand from our histories about how ordinary people have successfully struggled to uphold their rights and improve their lot, and how NGOs can help them to do that today too. </p> <p>I want Oxfam to be part of a stronger, global movement for a values-driven society that treats people more equally and preserves the planet. In our own way, within the Oxfam world, that will mean devolving power to the south.</p> <p><em>The entry posted on 24 April 2014, by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International.</em></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/about/how-oxfam-fights-poverty" rel="nofollow">How we fight poverty</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Oxfam 2020 - Why the International Secretariat must move south</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/14-04-25-2020-why-international-secretariat-must-move-south" title="Horizonte 2020: por qué el secretariado Oxfam Internacional debe trasladarse al Sur global" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/14-05-05-horizon-2020-secretariat-oxfam-international-deplace-sud" title="Horizon 2020 : pourquoi le Secrétariat d&#039;Oxfam International se déplace vers le Sud" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:22:50 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10659 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-04-24-2020-secretariat-moving#comments Donner les moyens aux populations de lutter contre la pauvreté ? Les ONG internationales doivent lâcher prise http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10515 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Les organisations non gouvernementales (ONG) internationales de développement sont à juste titre très fières de leur histoire : elles ont sauvé des vies, aidé les gens à traverser des moments extrêmement difficiles, et montré aux personnes qui se sentent seules que d’autres se soucient d’elles. Mais si les ONG veulent contribuer à un avenir meilleur, elles vont devoir changer.</strong></p> <p>Le travail traditionnel par projets a souvent été utile pour répondre aux besoins pratiques et immédiats des communautés les plus pauvres. Mais souvent, il ne repose pas sur une stratégie claire visant plus largement les problèmes sous-jacents, dépassant le cadre d’un village, voire d’un sous-district précis. Il ne pourra jamais, à lui seul, éradiquer la pauvreté et les inégalités. De même, comme je l’ai vu si clairement lors d’une récente visite en Zambie, les activités d’influence ciblant Londres et Washington ne suffiront jamais à transformer la vie des gens en Zambie, sauf dans le cadre d’un effort coordonné ciblant Pékin, New Delhi, Pretoria, et, surtout, la Zambie elle-même.</p> <h3>Mieux ensemble</h3> <p>De plus en plus, les ONG internationales cherchent à étendre leur influence afin d’obtenir des changements beaucoup plus importants, pas seulement pour des milliers, mais pour des millions de personnes. Cet effort peut prendre différentes formes, de la création de partenariats à des campagnes de mobilisation en passant par le plaidoyer, et naît de la conviction commune qu’en influençant ce que font les gouvernements, les entreprises et les autres acteurs, les ONG peuvent accomplir beaucoup plus que ce qu’une seule, même de grande envergure, pourrait jamais accomplir.</p> <p>Les ONG ne peuvent mettre fin à la pauvreté à elles seules, mais elles peuvent aider à renforcer le pouvoir qu’ont les citoyennes et citoyens d’interpeller les personnes en situation de pouvoir. Par exemple, tout en aidant les petits agriculteurs à accroître leurs revenus, Oxfam soutient les campagnes menées par des personnes qui ont perdu leurs terres, comme les familles de la vallée du <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/campaigns/government-guatemala-will-compensate-158-polochic-families-thanks-your-support" target="_blank" title="The Government of Guatemala returns land to 140 Polochic families, thanks to your support" rel="nofollow">Polochic au Guatemala</a></strong>, dont certaines se sont maintenant vu attribuer un lopin de terre. De même que nous apportons de l’aide humanitaire et de l’aide au développement en Somalie, nous soutenons des groupes qui font campagne pour empêcher que les banques, comme la <strong><a href="/en/blogs/13-10-15-somali-campaigners-call-barclays-back-pedal" target="_blank" title="Somali campaigners call for Barclays back-pedal" rel="nofollow">Barclays</a></strong>, n’arrêtent leurs activités de transfert des <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/keeping-somalia-lifeline-open-uk-remittances" target="_blank" title=" UK remittances and markets in Somalia" rel="nofollow">fonds envoyés par les Somaliens</a></strong> à leurs familles, fonds qui représentent de véritables bouées de sauvetage pour celles-ci.</p> <h3>Le monde change</h3> <p><strong>La nécessité pour les ONG de changer est accélérée par l’évolution du monde.</strong> Les pays que l’on qualifie encore parfois de « puissances émergentes » ont maintenant dépassé le stade de l’émergence. Dans beaucoup de pays du Sud, les <strong><a href="http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/world-2050/the-brics-and-beyond-prospects-challenges-and-opportunities.jhtml" target="_blank" title=" prospects, challenges and opportunities (PWC)" rel="nofollow">chiffres de la croissance continuent à augmenter</a></strong>. Mais les inégalités se creusent rapidement tant dans <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/inequality-matters" target="_blank" title=" BRICS inequalities fact sheet" rel="nofollow">le Sud</a></strong> que dans<strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/policy/piege-austerite" target="_blank" title=" l'Europe s'enlise dans les inégalités" rel="nofollow"> le Nord</a></strong>, et sont au cœur d’une crise économique et sociale exacerbant l’instabilité et sapant la démocratie. Les <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/pressroom/pressrelease/2013-01-19/revenu-annuel-100-plus-riches-eradiquerait-pauvrete-4-fois" target="_blank" title=" Le revenu annuel des 100 personnes les plus riches suffirait à éradiquer quatre fois la pauvreté" rel="nofollow">300 personnes les plus riches possèdent autant que les 3 milliards les plus pauvres</a></strong>.</p> <p>Prenez la Zambie. Elle est devenue un pays à revenu moyen, mais le nombre de personnes pauvres y a augmenté. La Russie, la Chine et l’Inde ont enregistré une forte hausse de l’écart entre les riches et les pauvres. Environ 5 % de la population indienne possèdent 50 % de la richesse du pays. Aux États-Unis,<strong><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/15/news/economy/income-inequality-obama/" target="_blank" title="Obama admits 95% of income gains gone to top 1% (CNN)" rel="nofollow"> le président Obama a reconnu</a> </strong>que « presque toutes les augmentations de revenus, au cours des dix dernières années, ont bénéficié au pour cent le plus riche. Cette inégalité croissante n’est pas seulement moralement répréhensible ; c’est une mauvaise politique économique. » En Grande-Bretagne, on s’attend à ce que les inégalités se développent plus vite que dans <strong><a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/governments-welfare-benefits-and-tax-changes-amount-to-speededup-thatcherism-8723079.html" target="_blank" title="Government's welfare benefits and tax changes amount to 'speeded-up Thatcherism' (The Independent)" rel="nofollow">les années 1980</a></strong>.</p> <p>Les questions nationales de distribution contribueront de plus en plus à déterminer si, la situation des pays s’améliorant, celle des populations s’améliore aussi. Dans un même temps, l’Occident demeure le siège de bon nombre de <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/pressroom/pressrelease/2013-05-22/la-moitie-des-milliards-prives-caches-dans-les-paradis-fiscaux" target="_blank" title=" La moitié des milliards « privés » cachés dans les paradis fiscaux pourrait permettre d’éradiquer l’extrême pauvreté" rel="nofollow">paradis fiscaux</a></strong>, des plus grands <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/campaign/health-education/taxe-robin-des-bois" target="_blank" title="La taxe Robin des bois - Oxfam" rel="nofollow">marchés financiers</a></strong> et des grandes multinationales qui contrôlent plus de richesses que n’en possèdent de nombreux pays. Quant au <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/cultivons/enjeux/changement-climatique" target="_blank" title="Changement climatique - campagne CULTIVONS" rel="nofollow">changement climatique</a></strong>, qui aura un effet profond sur le niveau de vie, il ne respecte aucune frontière. Donc, pour changer la donne, les ONG devront se développer en réseaux d’influence à la fois ancrés au niveau national et fortement interconnectés sur la scène internationale.</p> <h3>La transformation nécessaire des ONG internationales</h3> <p>Les ONG internationales qui souhaitent demeurer pertinentes et utiles aux personnes vivant dans la pauvreté devront faire plus que de s’adapter. Nous devrons nous transformer en organisations du monde dans lesquelles le pouvoir est partagé de manière plus démocratique et la responsabilité envers les communautés pauvres plus affirmée. À Oxfam, pendant de nombreuses années, presque tous les « <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/contact" target="_blank" title="Coordonnées des Oxfam nationaux" rel="nofollow">affiliés</a></strong> », qui gèrent ensemble l’organisation, étaient basés dans le Nord. Nous avons commencé à changer cela avec la création d’<strong><a href="http://www.oxfamindia.org/" target="_blank" title="Oxfam India" rel="nofollow">Oxfam Inde</a></strong>. Nous avons maintenant l’intention de transférer beaucoup plus de pouvoir à d’autres pays.</p> <p>Nous devrons intégrer <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/about/why" target="_blank" title=" notre engagement - les droits humains au coeur de notre action" rel="nofollow">les valeurs qui nous sont chères</a></strong> – la solidarité, l’égalité, l’inclusion et la diversité – dans la gouvernance et les structures de nos organisations. Nous devrons continuer à évoluer pour de plus en plus favoriser l’action « par » et « avec » plutôt que « pour ». Les ONG internationales n’ont pas pour vocation de « développer » les gens : nous sommes là pour les accompagner dans leurs luttes pour un monde plus juste. Cela ne signifie pas la fin des ONG internationales, mais plutôt leur renaissance.</p> <p>Les ONG internationales de développement peuvent jouer un rôle important dans le cadre d’un vaste mouvement pour une société fondée sur des valeurs, qui traite tous les hommes et les femmes sur un pied d’égalité et ne détruit pas la planète. Mais cela implique de renoncer à une partie du pouvoir sur les autres que procurent l’argent et la bureaucratie. C’est la seule façon de renforcer la plus importante forme de pouvoir : le pouvoir, avec les autres, de changer le monde.</p> <p><strong>D'accord, pas d'accord ? Poursuivez la discussion en postant votre avis et vos commentaires ci-dessous !</strong></p> <p><em>La version originale de cet article, en anglais, a été publiée sur le blog <strong><a href="http://newint.org/blog/internationalists/2013/10/25/ngos-give-up-power-internationalism/" target="_blank" title="NGOs must give up power - New Internationalist Blog" rel="nofollow">New Internationalist</a></strong> le 25 octobre 2013. Cet article a été traduit en français avec l'aide bénévole de Véronique Haour via <strong><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Translators Without Borders</a></strong>.</em></p> <h3>En savoir plus</h3> <p><strong>Vidéo : <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/fr/about/comment" target="_blank" title="Comment nous luttons contre la pauvreté" rel="nofollow">Comment Oxfam lutte contre la pauvreté - une stratégie à six facettes</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Donner les moyens aux populations de lutter contre la pauvreté ? Les ONG internationales doivent lâcher prise</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_en first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-11-01-empowering-people-fight-poverty-ngos-must-let-go" title="Empowering people to fight poverty? International NGOs must let go" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> </ul> Tue, 19 Nov 2013 08:31:12 +0000 Ben Phillips 10515 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10515#comments Empowering people to fight poverty? International NGOs must let go http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-11-01-empowering-people-fight-poverty-ngos-must-let-go <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>The international development Non Governmental Organizations (INGOs) are rightly very proud of their history: they have saved lives, helped people get through the toughest moments, and shown those who feel alone that others care. But if NGOs are to help contribute to a better future, they will need to change.</strong></p> <p>Traditional project work has often been helpful in responding to the immediate practical needs of the poorest communities. But it hasn’t often enough had a clear strategy to tackle the underlying issues more widely; not just in that village, or even sub-district, but beyond. On its own it can never eradicate poverty and inequality. Likewise, as I saw so clearly on a recent visit to Zambia, the type of influencing work that targets London and Washington DC can never on its own help to transform the lives of people in Zambia except as part of a coordinated effort that targets Beijing, New Delhi, Pretoria, and, most importantly, Zambia itself.</p> <h3>Better together</h3> <p>More and more, INGOs are seeking to expand their influence, to secure far greater changes for millions of people, not just thousands of people. It takes many forms, from brokering partnerships, through to advocacy and campaigns, united by the recognition that by influencing what governments, business and others do, much more can be achieved than even large NGOs can ever achieve alone.</p> <p>NGOs can’t end poverty by themselves, but can help strengthen the power of the people to challenge the people with power. So as well as supporting small farmers to earn more, Oxfam – for example – also supports campaigns by people who have lost their land, like the <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/campaigns/government-guatemala-will-compensate-158-polochic-families-thanks-your-support" rel="nofollow">families in Polochic in Guatemala</a></strong>, some of whom now have been provided with land. And as well as providing humanitarian and development support to people in Somalia, we also support <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-10-15-somali-campaigners-call-barclays-back-pedal">groups campaigning to stop banks like Barclays</a></strong> from closing down the <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/keeping-somalia-lifeline-open-uk-remittances" rel="nofollow">lifeline of remittances sent by Somalis to their families</a></strong>.</p> <h3>The world is changing</h3> <p><strong>The need for NGOs to change is hastened by the changing world.</strong> What are still sometimes called ‘emerging powers’ are now fully emerged. In much of the South, growth figures <strong><a href="http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/world-2050/the-brics-and-beyond-prospects-challenges-and-opportunities.jhtml" rel="nofollow">continue to rise</a></strong>. But inequality is rising fast both in the <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/inequality-matters" rel="nofollow">South</a></strong> and in the <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/cautionary-tale-austerity-inequality-europe" rel="nofollow">North</a></strong>, and is at the heart of a <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/cost-of-inequality-oxfam-mb180113.pdf" rel="nofollow">social and economic crisis</a></strong> exacerbating instability and undermining democracy. The 300 richest people <strong><a href="http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/indiaatlse/2013/04/11/global-wealth-inequality-what-you-never-knew-you-never-knew/" rel="nofollow">have the same wealth</a></strong> as the 3 billion poorest.</p> <p>Take Zambia. It has become a middle-income country, but the number of poor people has increased. Russia, China and India have all seen steep rises in the gap between rich and poor. Around 5 per cent of Indians own 50 per cent of the country’s wealth. In the US, President Obama has <strong><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/15/news/economy/income-inequality-obama/" rel="nofollow">acknowledged</a></strong>, ‘nearly all income gains of past 10 years flowed to the top one per cent. This growing inequality isn’t just morally wrong; it’s bad economics.’ In Britain, inequality is set to grow <strong><a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/governments-welfare-benefits-and-tax-changes-amount-to-speededup-thatcherism-8723079.html" rel="nofollow">faster than it did in the 1980s</a></strong>.</p> <p>Domestic questions of distribution will increasingly determine whether, as countries become better off, their people do too. At the same time, the West remains home to many of the world’s tax havens, the largest financial markets, and the large multinationals who control more wealth than many countries. And climate change, which will have a profound effect on living standards, respects no boundaries. So, to make a difference, NGOs will need to develop into influencing networks that are both nationally rooted and strongly connected internationally.</p> <h3>How international NGOs need to transform</h3> <p>INGOs that wish to continue to be relevant and useful for people living in poverty will need to do more than adapt. We will need transform ourselves into truly international organizations in which power is shared more democratically, and accountability to poor communities is stronger. For many years in Oxfam, almost all the ‘<strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/contact" rel="nofollow">affiliates</a></strong>’ who together manage the organization were in the North. We started to change this with the establishment of <strong><a href="http://www.oxfamindia.org" rel="nofollow">Oxfam India</a></strong>. Now we plan to shift much more power in this way, to more countries.</p> <p>We will need to bring our <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/about/why" rel="nofollow">cherished values</a></strong> – of solidarity, equality, inclusion, and diversity – into the governance and structures of our organizations. We will need to go further along the journey from ‘for’ to ‘by’ and ‘with’. International NGOs are not here to ‘develop’ people: we are here to accompany people in their struggles for a fairer world. That doesn’t mean the end of international NGOs, rather it means their renaissance.</p> <p>International development NGOs can play an important role as part of a broad movement for a values-driven society that treats people equally and doesn’t trash the planet. But this will mean mean giving up some of the power over others that comes with money and bureaucracy. That is the only way to strengthen the most important form of power: the power, with others, to change the world.</p> <p><em>Orginally posted by <a href="http://newint.org/blog/internationalists/2013/10/25/ngos-give-up-power-internationalism/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>New Internationalist</strong></a>, 25 October 2013</em></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-05-28-fight-against-poverty-inequality-we-are-all-together">The fight against poverty and inequality – we are all in this together</a></strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-05-28-fight-against-poverty-inequality-we-are-all-together"></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/about/how-oxfam-fights-poverty" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>How Oxfam fights poverty</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Join the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/signup" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">GROW Campaign</a> to help fix the broken global food system</strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Empowering people to fight poverty? International NGOs must let go</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-11-19-donner-moyens-populations-lutter-contre-pauvrete-ong-internationales" title="Donner les moyens aux populations de lutter contre la pauvreté ? Les ONG internationales doivent lâcher prise" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 16:49:50 +0000 Ben Phillips 10494 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-11-01-empowering-people-fight-poverty-ngos-must-let-go#comments Haiti, two years after the earthquake: “A better future for everyone” http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/12-01-12-haiti-two-years-after-earthquake-better-future-everyone <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Here we are, already marking the second anniversary of the deadly earthquake of January 2010. Nonetheless, I remember the events as if it were yesterday. I had only been in the classroom for 45 minutes as part of my Master’s degree program in History, Memory and Heritage when misfortune hit an already destitute country. I could not quite appreciate at the time how this event would become closely intertwined in the history and memory of our country.</strong></p> <p>The collapse of the building where our class was held killed my friend; he and I had the same surname, were the same age and lived about 500 meters away from each other. The most superstitious would say that the dark, cloudy sky that day foretold a catastrophe.</p> <h3>The shock of 12 January</h3> <p>Until 12 January, I had been working for a news agency and a radio station. The tears and deep sighs, however, gave me a sudden desire to become a doctor or engineer; I simply wanted to help. When Oxfam offered me a job in its humanitarian program using my skills, I felt useful to the community again. Telling people how to access humanitarian aid from Oxfam – what to do and what not to do – can give hope to people who have lost everything.</p> <h3>When there is no tomorrow</h3> <p>Trying to make the most of each day as it comes is my new way of thinking. We do not know if tomorrow will come. We do what has to be done today. I think of my friend Jimmy Charles who had so much to look forward to and so many dreams, with a degree in law, 25 years old, studying for a Master's degree and yet he died without any warning: he and more than 250,000 others.</p> <h3>International mobilization</h3> <p>Today, it is clear that the situation which prevailed after 12 January has changed. Most of the debris has been removed. <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blog/10-05-06-haiti-saving-sewers-cite-soleil">Oxfam also invested in this action</a></strong> with technical support from Disaster Waste Recovery in the Carrefour Feuilles community. The debris was removed and then crushed before being reused for paving, as the quality of the materials prevented them from being reused in construction.</p> <p>My job as media officer at Oxfam allowed me to see how humanitarian aid changed lives. Whether it was through <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/haiti-earthquake/financing-community-canteens" rel="nofollow">community canteens</a></strong>, programs to give money to the most vulnerable and to individuals wanting to <strong><a href="/en/blog/11-01-10-haiti-life-hope" rel="nofollow">restart their small businesses</a></strong>, programs for rehousing, <strong><a href="/en/blog/10-03-10-water-arrives-impasse-fouget" rel="nofollow">building water and sewage infrastructures</a></strong> and particularly <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/video/2010/hygiene-haiti-peepoo-bags" rel="nofollow">promoting good sanitary practices</a></strong> in around 123 camps to <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/video/2011/video-haiti-after-quake-oxfam-working-prevent-disease" rel="nofollow">prevent the spread of waterborne diseases</a></strong> and those linked to poor hygiene conditions, Oxfam's staff stood out and it is always a pleasure to talk about them to my journalist friends.</p> <h3>Hope is reborn in the country</h3> <p>All the same, there is still much that is needed in day-to-day life. <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/haiti-slow-road-reconstruction" rel="nofollow">The physical reconstruction is slow</a></strong> and the construction of a Haitian identity has not started either. However, the positive energy which is evident in the speech of every Haitian in spite of the difficult conditions they face every day provides a ray of sunshine and a better future for everyone.</p> <h3>Read more</h3> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/development/haiti/economic-lifeline-women-rural-haiti" rel="nofollow"><strong>An economic lifeline for women in rural Haiti</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/haitiquake" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam's response to the Haiti earthquake 2010</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Haiti, two years after the earthquake: “A better future for everyone”</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blog/12-01-12-haiti-deux-ans-apres-seisme-avenir-meilleur-pour-peuple" title="Haïti, deux ans après le séisme : &quot;Un avenir meilleur pour tout un peuple&quot;" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blog/12-01-12-haiti-dos-anos-terremoto-futuro-mejor" title="Haití, dos años después del terremoto: &quot;Un futuro mejor para todos y todas&quot;" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Thu, 12 Jan 2012 06:53:00 +0000 Peleg Charles 9726 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/12-01-12-haiti-two-years-after-earthquake-better-future-everyone#comments Climate deal fails poor people http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-12-11-climate-deal-fails-poor-people <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Negotiators at the UN climate talks have narrowly avoided a collapse, agreeing to the bare minimum deal possible as the UN climate talks in Durban went well beyond the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth hours.</strong></p> <p>There were two key issues that they debated, drafted, discussed and dissected over two long weeks of talks. Firstly, how to increase the ambition of emissions cuts and ensure a legal framework – the bedrock of which was a second commitment period of the<strong> <a href="http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Kyoto Protocol (KP)</a></strong>– with a separate fair, ambitious and binding agreement covering all major emitters. Secondly, how they raise the money needed to fill the <a href="http://www.iol.co.za/mercury/we-can-raise-finance-for-green-climate-fund-1.1195514" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Green Climate Fund</strong></a> – the instrument that is designed to pay for developing countries to adapt their economies to a greener path and help their people mitigate against the affects of a changing climate.  </p> <p>The plan that was finally agreed, as the talks overran into a second night, gets the Fund up and running without any sources of funding, preserves a narrow pathway to avoid 4 degrees of warming and gets a second commitment period of the KP without key members. </p> <p>Let’s be clear, as the delegate say as a precursor to most speeches, the deal that has been done in Durban is not good for the future of the planet, or the poorest and most vulnerable people. Negotiators have sent a message to the world’s hungry: ‘Let them eat carbon.’ </p> <p>The ‘<strong>Durban Platform</strong>’ can only be described as a major disappointment. But the blame for this delay lies squarely on the shoulders of the US and other countries like Canada, Japan and Australia who dragged their feet from start to finish, mainly over how to cut emissions in line with keeping warming below 2 degrees. </p> <p>If more ambitious action is not taken soon, farmers in parts of Africa could face a drop in crop yields of more than fifty percent within this generation or that of their children.  Food prices could more than double within the next two decades, up to half of this caused by climate change. This makes delivering real concrete assistance to ensure the most vulnerable people can protect themselves from a changing climate even more vital. </p> <p></p> <p>We cannot allow the Green Climate Fund to wither on the vine. Governments must identify significant and predictable sources of money for the Fund without delay, such as a tiny tax on financial transactions and a fee on emissions from international shipping.</p> <p>Governments must bank the pennies won here in Durban and immediately turn their attention to raising the ambition of their emissions cuts targets and filling the Green Climate Fund. If countries don’t ratchet up their emissions cuts urgently, it will be the poorest and most vulnerable communities around the world who pay for this inaction with their lives.</p> <p>People who care about the fate of the world’s poor and their own economic future should be angry that governments have failed to take adequate action here in Durban.  But anger alone won’t solve climate change. There is still an opportunity to push forward in Rio to raise the level of ambition and cut the kind of deal we need. Those who are unable to negotiate for this kind of outcome should simply stay home.</p> <p><em>Follow us on Twitter<strong> <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/Oxfam" rel="nofollow">@Oxfam</a></strong> and like us on <strong><a href="http://www.facebook.com/GROWgarden" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a></strong> to keep up to date.</em></p> <p><em>More on <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/climate" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam's work at the COP17</strong></a> UN climate talks in Durban.</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Climate deal fails poor people</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blog/11-12-11-accord-climat-laisse-populations-pauvres-carreau" title="L&#039;accord sur le climat laisse les populations pauvres sur le carreau" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blog/11-12-16-el-acuerdo-climatico-decepciona-personas-mas-pobres" title="El acuerdo climático decepciona a las personas más pobres" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Sun, 11 Dec 2011 17:00:10 +0000 Ian Sullivan 9700 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-12-11-climate-deal-fails-poor-people#comments Tweet a leader: let’s get some action going at COP17 http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-12-07-tweet-leader <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>The <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/climate" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">climate negotiations in Durban</a> are stuttering.</strong> There is little progress on agreement on the emission reductions needed to keep warming below 2 degrees. There is also a rumbling debate about how to fill the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/gender-and-green-climate-fund" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Green Climate Fund</strong></a>.</p> <p><strong>We need you to urge our leaders along the path to a sustainable planet.</strong> Together with Oxfam members across the world you can tweet at a range of the key players here at the <a href="http://www.cop17-cmp7durban.com/" rel="nofollow"><strong>Durban UN Climate Summit</strong></a>. So, if you’re on Twitter, here are some suggestions for you to tweet:</p> <p>In terms of the USA: To <a href="http://twitter.com/home?status=To%20%40StateDept%20Stop%20blocking%20%23COP17%20support%20for%20shipping%20pollution%20charges.%20Step%20up%20or%20step%20aside%21%20%23GROW" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>@StateDept Stop blocking #COP17 emissions cutting initiatives. Step up or step aside! #GROW</strong></a><strong>Here’s why they need to hear your messages.</strong> </p> <p><strong>Increasingly the fate of the talks</strong> rests on discussions over the timeline for countries to increase their emissions cuts in line with the overwhelming scientific consensus. In the negotiations there has been a lot of scary talk about doing nothing until 2020 – which gives us little chance of keeping warming under 2 degrees. Large emitters, including the US, are pushing this distressing narrative. With just a few days left of COP17, the stakes are high.</p> <p><strong>On the financing side</strong>, talks are ongoing about ways to fill the Green Climate Fund.  One exciting area that is emerging as a genuine possibility is a tax on shipping pollution, called a bunkers tax. <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/out-bunker-shipping-emissions" rel="nofollow"><strong>We’ve estimated</strong></a> that this could raise in the region of $10 billion a year for the fund. We’re delighted to see that Bloomberg have reported <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-05/shipping-fuel-charges-may-fund-climate-aid-un-document-shows.html" rel="nofollow"><strong>Shipping Fuel Charges May Fund Climate Aid, UN Document Shows</strong></a> and today the UK based Daily Telegraph also highlighted this source of income as a realistic outcome. </p> <p>We need to ensure that this makes it to the final agreement. Here you can also play your part. Tweet the messages below and ask that our leaders don’t let vested interests talk them out of taking this strong action. </p> <p><a href="http://twitter.com/home?status=To%20%40StateDept%20Stop%20blocking%20%23COP17%20support%20for%20shipping%20pollution%20charges.%20Step%20up%20or%20step%20aside%21%20%23GROW" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> <strong>To @StateDept Stop blocking #COP17 support for shipping pollution charges. Step up or step aside! #GROW</strong></a></p> <p> <a href="http://twitter.com/home?status=To%20%40SApresident%20maximise%20%23COP17%20presidency.%20Support%20shipping%20pollution%20charges%20now%20to%20fill%20the%20Climate%20Fund%20%23GROW%20%23southafrica" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>To @SApresident maximise #COP17 presidency. Support shipping pollution charges now to fill the Climate Fund #GROW #southafrica</strong></a></p> <p>There is still plenty of discussion to be had in the final days of COP17. With your support we’ll be fighting hard to secure money for the Climate Fund and more action on emissions reductions.</p> <p><em>More on <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/climate" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam's work at the COP17</strong></a> UN climate talks in Durban.</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Tweet a leader: let’s get some action going at COP17</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blog/11-12-08-twitea-los-politicos-un-poco-de-accion-en-la-conferencia-climatica-de-durban-cop17" title="&#039;Twittea&#039; a los políticos: hagamos que se muevan en la conferencia climática de Durban COP17" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blog/11-12-08-twitter-cop17-climat-envoyez-tweets-responsables-politiques" title="COP 17 sur le climat : envoyez vos tweets aux responsables politiques" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Wed, 07 Dec 2011 15:52:52 +0000 Ian Sullivan 9692 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-12-07-tweet-leader#comments Thousands call for climate justice while countries prepare their blindfolds http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-12-05-thousands-call-climate-justice-while-countries-prepare-their-blindfolds <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Saturday 3 December was not a normal day for the population of Durban, South Africa. A climate march wound around the streets of the centre as somewhere between 10, 000 to 15,000 people called for – in fact demanded – action on climate change. They brought the city to a colourful, vibrant and peaceful standstill.</strong></p> <p></p> <p>Walking with, and sometimes carrying our gorgeous puppets – Mama Mhlaba (Zulu for Mother Earth) &amp; Baba Manzi (Father Water) – I saw groups as diverse as the Rural Women’s Assembly and the Airport Workers Union marching side-by-side. All for the same ultimate goal – climate justice through urgent, fair and effective action on climate change.</p> <p>Sadly however, it seems like our governments are not listening. As we enter week 2 of the negotiations here in Durban, there are very real fears that countries are blindfolding themselves to the reality of climate change. It seems like some powerful countries – <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/top-civil-society-executives-issue-warning-call-us-step-or-step-aside" rel="nofollow"><strong>led by the USA</strong></a> – are preparing to call a decade long ‘timeout’ on climate action. <strong>They want to have no new targets to lower emissions, or agreement on a legally binding deal, until 2020</strong>. This isn’t good enough.</p> <p>We know that in order to prevent the most disastrous impacts, we need to increase our targets on emissions reduction, and quickly. So why are politicians and leaders turning in the other direction? There are many countries and groups that are asking their leaders to open their eyes to climate change, show courage and take effective action. Our great fear is that these people will be ignored. The next 4 days are critical.</p> <p><strong>Countries must respond to climate change today</strong>. As well as emissions reductions they need to provide money for the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/gender-and-green-climate-fund" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Green Climate Fund</strong></a>, that they set up at last year’s <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/climatechange/cancun-climate-summit" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">conference in Cancun</a></strong>. The sources of money are there, a proposed <a href="http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/dec2011/2011-12-02-01.html" rel="nofollow"><strong>tax on shipping emissions</strong></a> (bunkers tax) or a <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/health-education/robin-hood-tax" rel="nofollow"><strong>financial transaction tax</strong></a> (FTT) are two ways to raise the income needed to help the poorest people to better respond to the realities of climate change. </p> <p>Having said all this, it is important to remember that people are taking action on climate change in their everyday lives. The amazing women we’ve met through the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imyEDnBRUBk" rel="nofollow"><strong>Rural Women’s Assembly</strong></a>, the farmers, artists and activists who travelled on the <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blog/11-11-30-climate-change-campaigning-artist-farmer-and-caravan"><strong>Caravan of Hope</strong></a>, along with millions of others, aren’t waiting for our leaders.</p> <p>The march on Saturday was a noisy reminder that people aren’t going to sit idly while our leaders close their eyes to climate realities. </p> <p><em>Watch a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPVkJnIiUaM" rel="nofollow"><strong>video of the COP17 climate march</strong></a>.</em></p> <p><em>Follow us on Twitter<strong> <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/Oxfam" rel="nofollow">@Oxfam</a></strong> and like us on <strong><a href="http://www.facebook.com/GROWgarden" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a></strong> to keep up to date.</em></p> <p><em>More on <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/climate" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam's work at the COP17</strong></a> UN climate talks in Durban.</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Thousands call for climate justice while countries prepare their blindfolds</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blog/11-12-06-thousands-call-climate-justice-while-countries-prepare-their-blindfolds" title="Miles de personas exigen justicia climática mientras los políticos se tapan los ojos" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blog/11-12-06-justice-climatique-milliers-manifestants-appellent-etats-lever--oeilleres" title="Justice climatique : des milliers de manifestants appellent les États à lever leurs oeillères" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Mon, 05 Dec 2011 17:59:51 +0000 Conor Costello 9688 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-12-05-thousands-call-climate-justice-while-countries-prepare-their-blindfolds#comments