Oxfam International Blogs - food security http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/food-security en Man-made hunger stalks North East Nigeria http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-11-01-man-made-hunger-stalks-north-east-nigeria <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Let’s just get this over with: famine grabs your attention. Unfortunately for aid organizations, it’s difficult to convey the extreme hunger that just falls short of famine.</p> <p>While, to the best of our knowledge, what is currently happening in north-eastern Nigeria does not quite meet a formal definition of famine, it is <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2016-09-23/hunger-stalks-ne-nigeria-governments-and-donors-lake-chad-basin" rel="nofollow">nothing short of a disaster</a>. For the UN to declare a famine 20 percent of families in a state or province face extreme food shortages, over 30 percent of the population must be acutely malnourished and hunger causes two out of every 10,000 people to die every day.</p> <h3>Millions cut off from aid</h3> <p>When Médecins Sans Frontières alerted the international community of a “<a href="http://www.msf.ca/en/article/nigeria-msf-witnesses-catastrophic-humanitarian-situation-in-bama-borno-state" rel="nofollow">catastrophic humanitarian emergency</a>” in June, they were encountering rates of malnutrition and mortality rates in young children that were consistent with famine conditions in newly accessible towns. And this is likely to be just the beginning. About 2.1 million people in Nigeria remain completely cut off from any external assistance because of the conflict.</p> <p>We don’t know what their conditions are like, but the conditions in these newly accessible towns raise grave concerns.</p> <h3>Mass displacement</h3> <p>The ongoing war with Boko Haram that stretches across Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon has displaced 2.6 million people, both within national borders and across them. It has also left 6.3 million without enough food.</p> <p>Military forces of each of the affected countries have been mounting military operations against Boko Haram, pushing the insurgency back from the territory it had gained since 2009. It is the violence that is driving food insecurity in north-eastern Nigeria, and the consequent insecurity and displacement. The lack of food is the cumulative impact of three years of lost farming seasons, or of crops and livestock left behind, or looted. It is a consequence of towns and villages cut off by fighting, preventing people from leaving or food from coming in.</p> <p><img alt="An Oxfam food security officer talks to a family at a camp for displaced people in the Kushari neighborhood in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on September 17, 2016. Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam" title="An Oxfam food security officer talks to a family at a camp for displaced people in the Kushari neighborhood in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on September 17, 2016. Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/101908lpr-oxfam-food-distrib-1240.jpg" /></p> <h3>Insecurity prevents aid getting through</h3> <p>For the aid organizations in Borno State, the epicenter of the conflict, insecurity is the greatest single barrier to delivering emergency assistance, and there is precious little we can do about it. People still in inaccessible areas are hardly going to cultivate their way out of hunger: even if people could plant crops, the next harvest is more than 12 months away. So aid supplies and the populations we suspect are in the greatest need remain cut off from one another.</p> <p>Sudden, mass hunger of the scale we’re seeing in North East Nigeria is only possible because of actual and threatened violence. To be sure, there are other long standing factors, but it is the violence that has caused a level of hunger in these areas that is not currently present in the rest of northern Nigeria.</p> <h3>Oxfam is there</h3> <p>In the meantime, we are slowly attempting to push into new areas. We remain completely cut off from other areas, only able to guess at the conditions there.</p> <p>We don’t currently have a famine here in the north east, but it’s hardly the point.</p> <p>We have 65,000 people already experiencing famine conditions, people cut off by violence and more than a million people with severe hunger, and we’re only meeting a fraction of the need.</p> <p><em>This entry was posted by Steve Purbrick, Oxfam’s Emergency Food Security Coordinator in Nigeria, on 31 October 2016.</em></p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/west-africa-crisis" rel="nofollow"><strong>Please donate</strong> </a>- Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed</p> <p>Download the report:<strong> </strong><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bn-lake-chad-refugees-idps-190816-en.pdf" rel="nofollow">Lake Chad’s unseen crisis - Voices of refugees and internally displaced people from Niger and Nigeria</a></strong></p> <p><em>Photos: </em></p> <ul><li><em>Amina*, 20, holds her son who has been suffering from fever and diarrhea at a clinic in a part of the town of Banki that has been set aside as a camp for people displaced by the conflict with Boko Haram. Credit: Sam Tarling/Oxfam</em></li> <li><em>An Oxfam food security officer talks to a family at a camp for displaced people in the Kushari neighborhood in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on September 17, 2016. Credit: Sam Tarling/Oxfam</em></li> </ul><p><em>*Name changed to protect identity.</em></p> <p> </p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Man-made hunger stalks North East Nigeria</h2></div> Tue, 01 Nov 2016 16:16:06 +0000 Guest Blogger 68304 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-11-01-man-made-hunger-stalks-north-east-nigeria#comments Drought stings Southern Africa: The region’s leadership must act now as millions face food crisis http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-03-15-drought-stings-southern-africa-regions-leadership-must-act-food-crisis <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Dyna is a farmer in Malawi. She is afraid for her future. And she is certainly not alone, according to the stories that Oxfam is hearing daily across southern Africa. She says: “From the looks of things this year, I am scared. I have never witnessed such a poor rainfall pattern since I was born. There have been times in the past when the rains would be problematic, but this year’s dry spell is beyond our comprehension.”</p> <p>Dyna relies solely on nature’s rainfall to grow her crops and feed her family. But this year her crops are failing. She is losing hope that she will be able to harvest anything at all because she lives in one of the parts of Malawi that is suffering an extended drought and in some areas- severe flooding had a severe impact on the 2014-2015 harvests in Southern Africa. El Nino, an ocean-warming phenomenon that triggers erratic and extreme global weather patterns, has compounded this year. This El Nino, super charged by climate change, is one of the strongest since records began. It is playing havoc with farmers around the world, with 60 million people now affected by crop failures and facing hunger. Southern Africa has been hit particularly hard.</p> <p><strong>Crop failures in southern Africa</strong> mean that maize prices are already high and still climbing. 28 million people in the region were already “food insecure” as of late 2015. If the next harvests are poor or fail – and is very likely to be the case – and no action is taken, this number will certainly rise significantly because people will quickly exhaust the ways they would ordinarily cope.</p> <p><strong>Around 28 million people in Southern Africa</strong> now face alarming levels of hunger and food insecurity. If no action is taken this could rise quickly to 49 million. Crops have failed after two consecutive bad harvests, driven this year by a “super” El Nino bringing with it erratic weather and less rainfall.</p> <p>This week, the Southern African Development Committee (<a href="http://www.sadc.int/"><strong>SADC</strong></a>) host a ministerial meeting in Gaborone, Botswana. You may not have heard about this meeting – but it is a crucial one. To tackle this crisis and help the millions of people who need it, regional cooperation is going to be vital. Many SADC Ministers have already acknowledged the scale of the crisis in their own countries and are responding to their people’s needs. These different responses now need to be joined up. SADC can send a strong signal to outside donors more quickly and strongly than they otherwise might.</p> <p>“<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2016-03-16/oxfam-save-children-and-care-call-donor-intervention-southern"><strong>SADC’s declaration of a regional emergency</strong></a> must be a clarion call for donors, national governments and the humanitarian community to act faster. A lot of work is already happening to ensure affected people, especially women and children, can access enough food over the coming weeks and months. But more still must happen as this crisis threatens to overwhelm both governments’ ability to respond and people’s ability to cope.”</p> <p>Last month SADC convened meeting where it outlined a plan, including increasing the supply of cereals and improving coordination to ensure that food is moved more easily around the region. It also spoke about longer-term action to build people’s resilience against future droughts and other climate events. This was all helpful. SADC can now build upon this base.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">At today's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SADC?src=hash">#SADC</a> meeting, <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam">@Oxfam</a> calls for strong regional leadership &amp; coordination in response to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/elnino?src=hash">#elnino</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/DrTaxs">@DrTaxs</a> <a href="https://t.co/Sw8um14UMb">pic.twitter.com/Sw8um14UMb</a></p> <p>— Oxfam In Zimbabwe (@OxfaminZim) <a href="https://twitter.com/OxfaminZim/status/709264164863221760">March 14, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>SADC must use this moment</strong> to signal donors to bring forward resources and boost national funding allocations immediately. SADC’s leadership could help introduce the flexibility and speed needed to tackle the new realities that people across the region are facing. The longer governments and international aid agencies wait, the more people will suffer, the costlier the response, and the worse it will hit the region’s development</p> <p><strong>In Southern Africa, <a href="https://elninooxfam.org/">Oxfam is responding to these serious food crises</a></strong> in Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and are planning to increase our support. In Malawi and Zimbabwe, we are supporting rural livelihoods, including by repairing and rehabilitating boreholes and irrigation programs, supporting water harvesting structures, and supporting climate smart agriculture promotion, including drought tolerant small grains. This is expected to reach more than 60,000 people in southern Zimbabwe alone. In Malawi, we are transferring cash to people from around 39,000 households, so they can access food in local markets, which stabilizes the local economy while also acting as a ‘safety net’. In Mozambique we are working in Gaza and Inhambane - two of the most drought stricken areas - helping around 35,000 households to get better access to clean water and providing vouchers for agricultural inputs.</p> <p>Civil society and aid organizations will benefit from a strong message by SADC governments of urgency and a commitment to collectively respond to the crisis. This will help to sustain an environment of coordination, strong partnerships and short; medium and long term investments that will benefit the people affected the most.  To help Dyna and millions of others, the time to act is now.</p> <p><strong>Interactive map: </strong><a href="https://www.elninooxfam.org/"><strong>See how Oxfam is responding to climate change and El Niño around the world.</strong></a></p> <p><em>This entry was posted by Daniel Sinnathamby, Oxfam's Regional Humanitarian Coordinator in Southern Africa, on 15 March 2016.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Farming in Zimbabwe. Credit: Oxfam</em></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Drought stings Southern Africa: The region’s leadership must act now as millions face food crisis</h2></div> Tue, 15 Mar 2016 11:13:41 +0000 Guest Blogger 41620 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-03-15-drought-stings-southern-africa-regions-leadership-must-act-food-crisis#comments Experts say inaction on climate change is top global risk for the next decade http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-01-15-experts-say-inaction-climate-change-top-global-risk-next-decade <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>This entry posted by Celine Charveriat (@MCcharveriat), Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, and Tim Gore (@tim_e_gore), Head of Policy for Food, Land and Climate Change, on 15 January 2016.</em></p> <p>For the first time, the flagship <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GRR/WEF_GRR16.pdf" rel="nofollow">Global Risk Report of the World Economic Forum</a> has found that insufficient action on climate change is the greatest threat to societal stability the world faces. Whilst large-scale migration is identified as the most likely risk for the next 18 months, the top risks of highest concern for the next ten years are (in this order) water crises, failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, extreme weather events and food crises. The timing could not be better.</p> <p>The report is essential reading for anyone – including those attending this year's gathering in Davos – that hoped the adoption of an historic global climate agreement in Paris last December would mean that world leaders can tick climate change off of their to-do lists for the next years. The Paris conference sealed a landmark deal, but unless and until its commitments are implemented in full – and  surpassed – the risk of climate chaos only grows.</p> <p><strong>The report echoes the warnings </strong>Oxfam has been sounding in <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/growing-disruption" rel="nofollow">recent years</a> that runaway climate change is at the center of a web of global food and water insecurity, with ripple effects that touch us all, whether through <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/extreme-weather-extreme-prices" rel="nofollow">extreme food price hikes</a> or mass migration flows. As the report states, “without food, people have only three options. They riot, they emigrate, or they die.”</p> <p>For evidence, leaders need look no further than the <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/el-nino-case-urgent-action" rel="nofollow">unfolding emergency</a> spurred by the current super-charged El Niño weather pattern. Countries needing international assistance include <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/ethiopia/el-nino-strikes-ethiopia-without-water-we-are-no-more" rel="nofollow">Ethiopia</a>, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Madagascar, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea and many Pacific Islands. This is one of the strongest El Niñosever recorded with impacts on a huge global scale. Tens of millions of people are facing hunger, water shortages, and disease as droughts and floods exacerbated by the El Niño effect have devastated harvests and livelihoods. In Ethiopia alone, 10.2 million people require international assistance, and this is on top of the 8 million people that will be supported in 2016 by the national food safety net program.</p> <p>Warming seas could <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/entering-uncharted-waters-el-nino-and-threat-food-security" rel="nofollow">double the frequency</a> of the most powerful El Niños, and as global warming creates more and more sea-surface temperature ‘hot spots’ in the world’s oceans, and wind systems change as a result, extreme weather and greater climate disruption may be what a ‘normal’ future looks like without hugely scaled-up climate action.</p> <p>The response to this crisis<strong> </strong>is the first test of the resolve of those who signed the Paris deal last month. After all, the new agreement establishes a global goal on adaptation, recognising that dealing with the effects of climate change is a global challenge faced by all, and “strongly urges developed countries to scale-up their level of financial support... significantly increasing adaptation finance from current levels” by 2020.</p> <p><strong>Urgent life-saving resources are needed now</strong> to respond to this El Niñocrisis, particularly in Ethiopia, including the delivery of food or financial support, ensuring access to clean water and sanitation and treating malnutrition. Elsewhere, where there is not yet a crisis but the situation is alarming and deteriorating, urgent action is needed to build resilience to protect lives and livelihoods, such as rehabilitating water points, developing new water sources, improving weather information for farmers and providing training on alternative means of making a living.</p> <p>Alongside this emergency response, we need to support communities to become more resilient to the changing climate and address inequality and other structural causes of food insecurity. Investing in adaptation and resilience is not cheap, but it will save much greater costs and loss of life down the line. <a href="http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/el-nio-the-case-for-urgent-action-583920" rel="nofollow">Investing in interventions and programs</a> that contribute to the building of resilience of households and communities consistently outweigh the costs, yielding gains ranging from $2.3 to $13.2 for every dollar invested.  </p> <p>Yet in many ways, money for adaptation is the unfinished business of Paris. Quantified targets to scale-up adaptation funding were on the table, but didn't make it into the final text. While the nature and scale of the global challenge in moving away from fossil fuels is increasingly understood and accepted by governments and private sector actors alike, few have yet to really grasp what adapting the world to the climate change we can no longer avoid means. As Oxfam highlighted in 2014, the world's food system is <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/hot-and-hungry" rel="nofollow">woefully unprepared</a> for the risks climate change pose as highlighted in the WEF report.</p> <p><strong>By the time the new Paris agreement </strong>enters into force from 2020, <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/oxfams-initial-analysis-paris-agreement" rel="nofollow">we anticipate</a> that adaptation and resilience will be the major issues of contention in the UN climate negotiations. Private sector actors that are now starting to make bold commitments on mitigation, we predict will by then be making them on adaptation in their operations and supply chains. Stranded assets will not only be an issue for the fossil fuel industry, but any sector that has failed to adapt to the changing climate. This year's Global Risk Report only confirms our view that addressing climate risk, and especially its impacts on food, water and migration, will be at the top of the political agenda for years to come.</p> <p><em>Photo: Fatuma Roble Maidane, of Fadeto IDP center, Ethiopia. Fatuma has seven children. Fatuma has lost 190 sheep and goats and 23 cattle because of the drought. She now has 10 goats and sheep and 2 cattle. Credit: Abiy Getahun/Oxfam</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/about-grow" rel="nofollow"><strong>Read more how climate change is fuelling hunger</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Experts say inaction on climate change is top global risk for the next decade</h2></div> Fri, 15 Jan 2016 17:51:48 +0000 Celine Charveriat 35074 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-01-15-experts-say-inaction-climate-change-top-global-risk-next-decade#comments European Parliament finally scrutinizes flawed G8 “food security” initiative http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-12-04-european-parliament-finally-scrutinizes-flawed-g8-food-security-initiative <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>This blog entry posted by Hanna Saarinen, Oxfam EU Policy Advisor for Investment in Agriculture, on 4 December 2015.</em></p> <p>Good intentions but poor execution: while small-scale farming is a key model for improving food security and a more sustainable economy in Africa, the implementation of an EU-backed aid initiative is prioritizing the interests of big business in ways that can undermine the livelihoods of local communities. The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is now in its third year and is finally being scrutinised by the European Parliament. It is high time to fundamentally revise or reject this skewed development scheme which is co-financed by the European Union.</p> <p><strong>In 2012, G8 leaders announced the launch of the</strong> <a href="http://new-alliance.org/" rel="nofollow"><strong>New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition</strong></a><strong>. </strong>This program’s stated aim is to tap the development potential of private-sector led growth in the agricultural sector by encouraging investment to promote inclusive pro-poor growth. The promise of the New Alliance is that this market-based approach could lift 50 million people out of poverty in its ten partner countries in Africa.</p> <p>The scheme’s rationale is that its incentive for private investment will foster public-private partnerships in agriculture, which are set to increase production and market opportunities, thereby improving food security and reducing poverty. Under the New Alliance, African governments have promised substantial policy changes in the areas of land, trade policy, taxation, and seed laws, among others. A problem arises however, when these policies threaten to radically shift the power balance away from local communities and over to private interests, including multinational companies.</p> <p>The European Parliament has recently taken action. In an important hearing on 1 December, the Parliament’s <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/deve/home.html" rel="nofollow"><strong>Committee on Development</strong></a> (DEVE) focussed on the detrimental effects which the New Alliance has on farming communities. Yet this hearing came only after extensive mobilisation earlier this year, when over 100 farmers’ organisations, social movements, and <strong>civil society groups from around the world called on G8 and African governments to withdraw their support for the <a href="http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/resources/statement_on_the_new_alliance.pdf" rel="nofollow">New Alliance</a></strong>.</p> <p>During the hearing, findings of a new <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2015/535010/EXPO_STU(2015)535010_EN.pdf" rel="nofollow"><strong>report </strong></a>commissioned by the DEVE committee were presented. The research, completed by former UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food Professor Olivier de Schutter, concludes that the G8 and EU-backed aid initiative is “seriously deficient”. Among other aspects, the report criticises the scheme’s disregard of the “need to favour a shift to low input, sustainable agriculture.” The report also underlines the inherent risks which the initiative in its current form bears for small scale food producers in developing countries: policies passed under the scheme seriously risk facilitating land grabbing. If seed policy reforms are enacted seed privatisation will accelerate, marginalizing local seed systems and undermining locally adapted varieties.</p> <p>The conclusions of this report add onto the findings of an <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/may/21/uk-aid-watchdog-dfid-public-private-partnerships-icai" rel="nofollow"><strong>audit by the United Kingdom’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact</strong></a> (ICAI) from early 2015. It singled out the New Alliance as being particularly ineffective. The audit suggested that the 600 million pounds which the UK had poured into the scheme were effectively subsidising the PR campaigns of the large firms involved. This raises serious questions about EU development aid as well.</p> <p>The hearing at the beginning of December formed an excellent starting point for the European Parliament and the European Commission to comprehensively revise the EU’s commitment in the New Alliance. The Parliament is now proceeding to draft a follow-up report in which it will clarify its position on the New Alliance, and its expectations on the European Commission. Further debate on these issues is expected to take place in the Parliament in February 2016.</p> <p>It is important that the European Union finally scrutinizes the scheme, to which it contributes 1,2 billion euros. Additional funding has also been provided by EU member states: as G8 members, Germany, France, Italy and the UK have all co-funded the scheme, underscoring the need to ensure this EU aid money is well spent.</p> <p>While private sector-led growth can play a significant role in complementing traditional development programs in the agricultural sector, the shortcomings of the New Alliance show that such schemes must observe the highest standards of transparency along with environmental, social and human rights safeguards.</p> <p><strong>Family farmers grow the biggest share of agricultural produce across Africa, feeding over a billion people on the continent</strong>. The communities which they cater depend on the locally-produced, affordable food, and many families rely on the income they generate through farming. Empowering small-scale farmers and supporting their efficient and environmentally sustainable approaches to agricultural production is the long-term solution to reducing hunger and poverty, and is therefore placed at the heart of EU’s own <a href="http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0127:FIN:EN:PDF" rel="nofollow"><strong>policy framework for food security</strong></a>.</p> <p>However, unless the EU successfully works towards realigning the New Alliance with its own sustainable, inclusive approach to food security, it not only contradicts itself but seriously risks pitting small-scale producers against big agriculture corporations. As <a href="http://www.actioncontrelafaim.org/fr/espace-jeunes-enseignants/content/hunger-just-another-business" rel="nofollow"><strong>illustrated by earlier research</strong></a>, policy changes proposed or adopted under the scheme are likely to benefit large companies while side-lining the rights of local communities and threatening their livelihoods. As a consequence, local communities across the initiative’s ten partner countries potentially face deepening inequality and significant environmental degradation.</p> <p><strong>The New Alliance and other public-private partnerships should promote the development of local small and medium-sized enterprises – not just on paper but in practice</strong>. Inclusive agricultural development in Africa fundamentally depends on the equal involvement of small-scale producer cooperatives, women’s organizations and civil society groups in the design of policies which concern their livelihoods. Power imbalances between these local actors and large companies need to be sufficiently considered when shaping <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/oxfam_moral_hazard_ppp-agriculture-africa-010914-en_0.pdf" rel="nofollow"><strong>public-private partnerships</strong></a>. Only this way such schemes achieve concrete, positive outcomes for smallholders.</p> <p>In 2014, <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-10-06-leaving-leadership-council-new-alliance-food-security-and-nutrition"><strong>Oxfam stepped down from the Leadership Council of the New Alliance</strong></a>, after its calls for significant improvement of transparency and accountability of the initiative went largely unheeded. Without proper accountability mechanisms and safeguards protecting small-scale farmers, large-scale private sector investments facilitated through public-private partnerships such as the New Alliance will not work to deliver positive outcomes on rural development and food security. In its current form, the New Alliance needs to be either radically reformed or discontinued. The European Union should take a lead in overhauling the initiative to ensure it contributes to poverty reduction and benefits smallholder farmers who play a central role in both Africa’s agricultural landscape and the global food system.</p> <p><em>This blog entry posted by Hanna Saarinen, Oxfam EU Policy Advisor for Investment in Agriculture, on 4 December 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Penda Diamancka, left, and Fatoumata Mballo plant rice seeds in a field near Kolda, Senegal, July 26, 2012. Credit: Holly Pickett</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>European Parliament finally scrutinizes flawed G8 “food security” initiative</h2></div> Fri, 04 Dec 2015 12:34:47 +0000 Guest Blogger 30750 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-12-04-european-parliament-finally-scrutinizes-flawed-g8-food-security-initiative#comments Collective voices critical to end hunger http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-10-19-collective-voices-critical-end-hunger <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>As GROW Week came to a close, Dorah Ntunga from Oxfam in Uganda reflected on World Food Day as the pivotal moment for Africa’s Women.Food.Climate campaign.</em></p> <p>Last week, in the lead up to <a href="http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2015/10/the-hottest-campaign-in-africa-this-world-food-day"><strong>World Food Day</strong></a> (Oct 16), I witnessed the true definition of power to the people. Across Africa, over twenty countries came together with a common calling to create a space for women to tell their stories and ask their governments to act on issues that are important to them.</p> <p>As we are all experiencing, the impacts of climate change are evident on our plates. This is why the <a href="http://womenfoodclimate.org/"><strong>Women Food Climate campaign</strong></a> makes so much sense regardless of where one comes from. Hunger, as a result of extreme weather - and its causes - needs to be put in the spotlight.</p> <p>Speaking to Anne, a woman from Kampala’s suburban area on why she’s supporting the campaign, she did not hesitate to say, “I no longer have a choice over what I feed my family because the prices of food have become extremely high. My mother, back in the village, can no longer send me bags of food as she used to to support the family because the harvests have been so poor. I actually need to send her money for food. She also has the same cry, things have to change to enable my mother grow enough food, that way I will have food too. This is why I am signing this petition.”</p> <p>Like Anne and many other voices of women from different countries it is evident that women are indeed feeling the impacts of climate change the most, as they have the responsibility of feeding their families. Women farmers currently account for 45-80 per cent of all food production in developing countries.</p> <p><strong>Climate change affects development</strong> and it increases already high poverty levels. The strong statements the campaign has generated particularly inspire me. In Uganda, Oxfam Country Director Peter Kamalingin noted that, “If you do not have food, it is difficult to be active in democratic processes or development.”  - a sentiment that resonates with many and could not have been articulated any better at a time when Uganda is gearing up for the next general elections in March 2016.</p> <p>True to his statement, hunger leaves people even more vulnerable and in Uganda nowhere is more affected than the Karamoja region where rain patterns have been erratic for many decades. This situation is now being seen not only in Uganda, but also across many other parts of the African continent.</p> <p><strong>Climate change is already</strong> <a href="http://Africa’s Smallholders Adapting to Climate Change The need for national governments and international climate finance to support women producers"><strong>eroding food production in Africa</strong></a> and will continue to hit the continent hardest, increasing food insecurity where it is already amongst the worst in the world. This is the time to act, the time to build resilience and strengthen communities ability to guarantee a future where we can all enjoy our rights with no insecurities of any form.</p> <p>The climate change story needs to be told, and I strongly believe our efforts in the campaign so far have gone a long way in influencing the global agenda. At the World Food Day celebrations in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni acknowledged Oxfam’s work on climate change in his public address. And at national level I have witnessed great collaboration with partners and communities at all levels.  </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kwis5o-oHHs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>It is my hope that</strong> <strong><a href="http://womenfoodclimate.org/">thousands of people</a></strong> who have signed the petitions across Africa and the rest of the world demanding our leaders to act will be listened to and their voices will count at the table where they will not be present. Leaders, particularly those from Africa, should therefore be sensitive to the needs of the people and their support of women farmers and make concrete commitments that address the impacts of climate change.</p> <p>Just like the old saying, I think Women.Food.Climate is a true stitch in time – leaders must therefore demonstrate their true leadership and act now to save the continent from adverse impacts.</p> <p>If world leaders make strong commitments towards tackling climate change at the <a href="http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en"><strong>UN climate talks in Paris</strong></a> it will be a great step towards putting us on the road towards ending hunger, achieving food security and fighting poverty.</p> <p><strong>I do hope the collective voices will make a significant difference.</strong></p> <p><em>This entry posted by Dorah Ntunga, Information, Media &amp; Communications Officer, Oxfam in Uganda, on 19 October 2015.</em></p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p><a href="http://womenfoodclimate.org/"><strong>Demand world leaders take action for Women.Food.Climate.</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Share our GROW Week 2015 Storify:</strong></p> <p> </p><div class="storify"> <iframe src="//storify.com/Oxfam/grow-week-2015/embed?header=false&amp;border=false&amp;template=slideshow" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/Oxfam/grow-week-2015.js?header=false&amp;border=false&amp;template=slideshow"></script><p></p><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/Oxfam/grow-week-2015" target="_blank">View the story "Climate Change. Poverty. Hunger. It's all the same fight." on Storify</a>]</noscript></div> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Collective voices critical to end hunger</h2></div> Mon, 19 Oct 2015 17:01:30 +0000 Dorah Ntunga 27958 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-10-19-collective-voices-critical-end-hunger#comments Pakistan: Women farmers raise their voices on climate change http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-10-15-pakistan-women-farmers-raise-their-voices-climate-change <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>In many parts of Pakistan, climate change has threatened the livelihoods of millions of people in recent years. Rural farming communities are the worst hit. Changed weather patterns, frequent floods and droughts are witnessed in different places across the country, including the vast plains as well as riverine, desert and coastal areas.</strong></p> <p>The impacts and implications are equally diverse: Early or late rain spells with devastating effects on crops, saline water rendering thousands of acres of land barren, frequent and continuing land erosion. To make matters worse, periodic occurrences of water related disasters are snatching from the poor and vulnerable whatever they have left with, and thus creating a worrisome situation of food insecurity.</p> <p>Unfortunately, rural farming communities, especially the fishing communities  - already considered economically weak and vulnerable-, are the people forced to bear the brunt of climate change impacts. The women from these communities are double victims of this economic and social jeopardy because they are women, they come from economically marginalized groups and they have no say at all at any decision-making platform.</p> <h3>Women are no longer silent</h3> <p>Women from rural farming communities, in most cases, are unable to voice their specific needs even in a disaster situation. The increasing level of poverty has deterred the efforts aiming at social and economic empowerment and emancipation of women at different levels. However, at the same time there have been some developments  that revived the hope that the challenges, regardless of their scales and volume, could be turned into opportunities with the right policy, planning and on the ground  practical measures.</p> <p>Working with partner organizations and the communities worst hit by or most prone to climate change, we have been able to develop a number of model projects for dealing with disturbed weather patterns. While designing the models, we focused especially on creating resilience among the communities and on the economic and social revival of women farmers.</p> <p>Women from climate change hit areas have finally decided that they will no more remain silent and would come out and raise their voices for their rights.</p> <h3>The state of climate change resilience</h3> <p>Many women farmers and climate change vulnerable communities joined the <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/" rel="nofollow">GROW Week</a></strong> celebrations. This can be seen as a sign of a better tomorrow. However, it’s a long and hard journey. There is a long way to go before having effective policies on climate change and food security beyond the closets of power corridors and implemented on the ground. These policies must benefit the most vulnerable prople and protect their lives, livelihoods and right to (quality) food.  </p> <p>The recent <strong><a href="https://www.ifpri.org/topic/global-hunger-index" rel="nofollow">Global Hunger Index</a></strong> issued by the International Food Policy Research Institute has shown a slight improvement of Pakistan on the hunger index. However, for a meaningful and significant advancement in combating poverty, the socio-economic emancipation and empowerment of vulnerable people has a crucial role to play. Hence, women farmers need to be on the forefront of all the endeavors against hunger and poverty.</p> <p>The celebration on the occasion of <a href="https://storify.com/Oxfam/grow-week-2015" rel="nofollow"><strong>GROW Week</strong></a>, with a considerable participation by women, youth &amp; men in the rallies, seminars, dialogues, universities, and urban centers demanding  policy actions on climate change and food security is a remarkable milestone across Pakistan.  This is something to celebrate as the role of women in public sphere of the country, especially in the rural communities have always been dismally insignificant in the past.</p> <p>The fact that <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/multimedia/video/2015-making-change-female-climate-fighters" rel="nofollow"><strong>women are taking the climate</strong></a> change and food security agenda in their hands also shows that a considerable dent has already been made in the traditional exclusion of women in society. A lot has yet to be achieved to make the vulnerable communities climate change resilient in practice. The emergence of women from nowhere to everywhere in public spaces is an indication that the destination is not that far away now. Therefore, these voices for more resilient societies in the face of climate change need to be strengthened and heard and the GROW campaign will continue to do this at every level.</p> <h3>Take action</h3> <p><a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/climate-change" rel="nofollow"><strong>Stand against climate change</strong></a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/explore/issues/gender-justice" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam's work on women's rights</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Pakistan: Women farmers raise their voices on climate change</h2></div> Thu, 15 Oct 2015 11:50:00 +0000 Shafqat Aziz 27924 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-10-15-pakistan-women-farmers-raise-their-voices-climate-change#comments The road to zero hunger runs through Paris http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-09-22-road-zero-hunger-runs-through-paris <div class="field field-name-body"><p>When world leaders meet at the UN this week they will endorse a momentous goal to end extreme poverty and hunger by 2030. For a world grappling with crises, tragedies and injustice, it is a rare vision of hope. Can we make it a reality?</p> <p>It won't be easy. While the proportion of people going hungry in the world is declining – from around 19% of the population in the early 1990s to around 11% now – the progress is far from even everywhere. In Africa, the number of hungry people is still increasing – up from around 180 million in the early 1990s to around 230 million now by <a href="http://www.fao.org/hunger/en/" rel="nofollow">the latest estimates</a>.</p> <p><strong>But it can be done.</strong> Oxfam has been working on food crises for decades in every part of the world. In that time we've seen some countries make huge strides in eradicating hunger. Under the leadership of former-President Lula, Brazil halved the number of hungry people in a decade. Across East and South East Asia nearly 400 million people have been lifted out of hunger since the early 1990s. In Ghana the proportion of the population going hungry was slashed from around 50% in the early 1990s, to less than 5% now.</p> <p>To build on those, and many more, success stories we need to <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/growing-better-future" rel="nofollow">fix our broken food system</a>. Too much power is concentrated in the hands of just a handful of companies that together control most of the seeds that are sown, the grains that are traded, the foods that appear on our supermarket shelves. Too little power is in the hands of small-scale food producers – the roughly 1.5 billion <a href="http://www.fao.org/resources/infographics/infographics-details/en/c/270462/" rel="nofollow">farmers, pastoralists and fisherfolk</a> who together are responsible for most of the food we consume in the world, but who make up the majority of those still facing hunger.</p> <p><strong>Too often they are denied their rights</strong> to secure ownership of land, with <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/tags/land-rights" rel="nofollow">women facing the worst discrimination of all</a>. They lack the support services, research, infrastructure and safety nets that big agri-business players can rely on. Where they can access markets to sell their goods, especially the supply chains of global brands, they are almost certainly not paid enough to live and thrive on.</p> <p>And on top of all this, they face the added burden of a changing climate. Caused overwhelmingly by the greenhouse gas emissions of the richest countries and people in the world, it is the poorest farmers who have contributed least that bear its greatest costs. More droughts and floods, unpredictable seasons and rising seas are <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-03-31-5-critical-things-we-learned-latest-ipcc-report-climate-change">already making it harder to produce food in poor communities</a> around the world. Scientists project a future of frightening drops in crop yields, disruption to fisheries, new pests and diseases that will make it harder still.</p> <p>Increasingly extreme weather is causing problems for major grain-producing regions too. The dramatic effects on world food prices of massive droughts in Russia and the US mid-west in recent years is just a taste of what is to come as climate change gathers pace. As food prices spike, it is people in poverty in urban as well as rural areas who risk being priced out of buying their family's staples.</p> <p><strong>This is why the first real test</strong> of our leaders' commitment to ending hunger is an agreement at the UN climate change talks in Paris this December. To help put us on track, serious money must be on the table to help the poorest countries and communities to cope. <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/hot-and-hungry" rel="nofollow">To adapt to the changing climate</a> they need support for new irrigation systems, insurance schemes, more resistant seed varieties, stronger safety nets and much more. Whether they get it will to a large extent determine whether the target of “zero hunger” by 2030 can be kept within reach.</p> <p>But to sustain this progress the Paris deal must also slash greenhouse gas emissions, far and fast enough to avert the very worst effects of runaway global warming. Millions of communities will simply not be able to adapt beyond a certain level of temperature increase. From Pacific islands like <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-05-18-wake-cyclone-pam-ambitious-climate-change-action-vital-2015">Vanautu</a> to the coastal regions of <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/video/2010/bangladesh-climate-tribunal-taking-action-against-climate-change" rel="nofollow">Bangladesh</a>, those thresholds are already being reached.</p> <p><strong>Oxfam is convinced</strong> that hunger is not and need never be inevitable. We applaud our leaders for setting a new goal to eradicate it by 2030, but the real work starts now. We'll be pushing them all the way in every area that matters until it is done.</p> <p>The next step must be taken in Paris, and we all need to<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/action/stand-against-climate-change" rel="nofollow"> demand they make it a big one</a>.</p> <p><em>This entry posted by Tim Gore, Head of Policy, Advocacy and Research for Oxfam's GROW Campaign, on 22 September 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Paddy rice seedlings ready for transplanting in the rice fields which are now being used but which were damaged by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. Lho-nga village, District Aceh Besar, Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. Credit: Jim Holmes/Oxfam, November 2014</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/climate-change" rel="nofollow"><strong>Stand with those hit hardest by climate change</strong></a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The road to zero hunger runs through Paris</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/15-09-25-el-camino-hacia-el-hambre-cero-pasa-por-par%C3%ADs" title="El camino hacia el &quot;Hambre Cero&quot; pasa por París" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:02:38 +0000 Tim Gore 27736 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-09-22-road-zero-hunger-runs-through-paris#comments A win for food security: EU caps biofuels from food http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-07-15-win-food-security-eu-caps-biofuels-food <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Yesterday EU agriculture ministers meeting in Brussels formally approved legislation limiting the use of food-based biofuels in the EU. This ministerial decision was effectively a rubber-stamp of a <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/european-parliament-vote-shows-need-abolish-damaging-biofuels-use-good" rel="nofollow">deal sealed with the European Parliament</a> in April.</p> <p>Oxfam's fight to end current European biofuels mandates started in September 2012 with the release of the '<a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/research/hunger-grains" rel="nofollow">Hunger Grains</a>' and culminated in a series of battles to secure sufficient votes from Members of the European Parliament in <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-reaction-meps-biofuel-compromise-not-enough-tackle-hunger-poor-countries" rel="nofollow">September 2013</a> and <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/europe-finally-decides-stunt-growth-destructive-biofuels" rel="nofollow">April 2015</a> and from Member States in <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-reaction-eu-biofuels-debate-energy-ministers" rel="nofollow">December 2013</a> and <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-reaction-eu-biofuels-debate-energy-ministers" rel="nofollow">June 2014</a>. Along the way <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-09-03-four-simple-truths-about-biofuels">strong alliances</a> were forged in Brussels and by European affiliates with other organisations campaigning against the use of food for fuel and for a more sustainable European renewable energy policy that delivers genuine benefits for the climate without threatening the livelihood of people across the globe.</p> <p>This part of the <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/grow" rel="nofollow">GROW campaign</a> has pitted Oxfam against some of the most powerful interest groups in Europe: the farmers' lobby, oil majors and the biofuel industry. Its achievement in terms of legislative change is not as ambitious as we would have liked but it is nonetheless of global significance. By putting the brakes on food-based biofuels and requiring the reporting on greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement of agriculture onto new land, the EU has set a precedent that is threatening the future of the industry. The industry knows this and is reacting accordingly <a href="http://www.biofuelsforeurope.eu/" rel="nofollow">in Europe</a> and <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/65dd434c-2576-11e5-9c4e-a775d2b173ca.html#axzz3fs4PoMwo" rel="nofollow">globally</a>.</p> <p>So the fight goes on!</p> <p><img alt="EU biofuels cartoon" title="EU biofuels cartoon" height="525" width="736" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/eu-biofuels-gas-cartoon.jpg" /></p> <p><em>This entry posted by Marc-Olivier Herman (<a href="https://twitter.com/MarcOlivierHerm" rel="nofollow">@MarcOlivierHerm</a>), Oxfam EU Economic Justice Policy Lead, on 15 July 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Rapeseed  is now often grown as biofuels as well as animal feed and vegetable oil. © Copyright Adam Ward, used under Creative Commons Licence <a href="http://bit.ly/1CDQx8e">http://bit.ly/1CDQx8e</a></em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://oxf.am/ZdsQ" rel="nofollow">Climate change is the single biggest threat to fighting hunger. Take action now.</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>A win for food security: EU caps biofuels from food</h2></div> Wed, 15 Jul 2015 14:22:52 +0000 Marc-Olivier Herman 27300 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-07-15-win-food-security-eu-caps-biofuels-food#comments South Sudan: Sky-rocketing inflation, conflict and collapsed markets http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-06-05-south-sudan-sky-rocketing-inflation-conflict-and-collapsed-markets <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>In December 2013 fighting broke out across South Sudan. Since then more than 1.5 million people have been internally displaced and over 500,000 have fled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. Here Stella Madete, Oxfam Information and Communications lead in South Sudan, provides an overview of the current situation on the ground and what Oxfam is doing.</em></p> <p>Sky-rocketing inflation, conflict and collapsed markets are pushing people in South Sudan to breaking point as the political deadlock enters its 17th month and families face a second 'lean season' since fighting began. Areas affected by the conflict are seeing drastic increases in food prices.</p> <h3>3 million people facing severe hunger</h3> <p>The South Sudanese pound is also depreciating rapidly, increasing the cost of regional food imports and putting pressure on already stretched household budgets. Already, 2.5 million people are facing severe levels of hunger. By June, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (<a href="http://www.fews.net/east-africa/south-sudan" rel="nofollow">FEWSNET</a>) predicts that more than a million people will join them.</p> <p>Oxfam released a <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2015-04-21/south-sudanese-families-being-pushed-brink" rel="nofollow">press statement </a>in April highlighting the deteriorating situation in South Sudan and stating that flexible funding remains key, especially in light of the need to adapt to the changing humanitarian context:</p> <p>"What we're seeing now is families that have spent the past year and a half living on the edge - many have exhausted their food stocks, been displaced from their homes, missed opportunities to plant and farm, and now the economy is showing the strain of a year and a half of conflict,' said Emma Drew, Head of Humanitarian Programs for Oxfam in South Sudan. 'Many people can no longer afford to buy food and other basic essentials; trade in markets has been disrupted, or in many instances, markets have been damaged or destroyed altogether."</p> <p>Fighting in Upper Nile this month resulted in significant movement of people within the state, particularly around the Fashoda, Akoka, Malakal and Baliet areas. Over 6,640 people fled to the Malakal Protection of Civilians site and are being registered to receive services.</p> <p>So far, 30,000 people are camped at the site in Malakal. As a result of the fighting, the Malakal airport was closed for nearly a week and movement in Malakal town restricted.</p> <p>Currently, the situation is calm but tense. Insecurity due to protracted fighting and poor roads are the main challenges faced by humanitarian agencies trying to deliver food and essential items before the rains start.</p> <p>Oxfam has a dedicated team working across South Sudan to rebuild livelihoods, provide humanitarian assistance and promote active citizenship. We focus on providing clean water, public health and livelihoods support, and work with partners on peace building and governance issues. We are currently supporting over 920,000 people, 570,000 with humanitarian assistance and 350,000 with long term development and support.</p> <h3>Oxfam program areas</h3> <p><img alt="Oxfam program in South Sudan, May 2015" title="Oxfam program in South Sudan, May 2015" height="375" width="650" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oxfam-program-south-sudan-map-may2015.jpg" /><strong>Oxfam activities in the last month have included:</strong></p> <ul><li>Distributing cash vouchers (Malakal, Minkaman and Rumbek)</li> <li>Distributing food items such as oil, sorghum, lentils and salt in (Akobo, Waat, Lankien and Minkaman)</li> <li>Repairing and drilling boreholes (Waat, Lankien, Bor and Wau)</li> <li>Maintenance of water points and pipelines (Bor and Minkaman)</li> <li>Building latrines and sewage treatment facilities (Lankien, Bor and Minkaman)</li> <li>Public health promotion around good hygiene and preventing the spread of diseases such as cholera (Lankien, Bor and Minkaman)</li> <li>Distributing hygiene kits and other non-food items (Minkaman and Wau)</li> <li>Construction of a vocational training centre in Malakal protection of civilians site</li> <li>Technical support and training for small scale farmers (Minkaman and Rumbek)</li> </ul><p><em>This entry posted by Stella Madete, Oxfam Information and Communications Lead, South Sudan, on 5 June 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: A water distribution point - set up by Oxfam - at the Malakal IDP camp, South Sudan. Credit: Simon Rawles/Oxfam</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-south-sudan" rel="nofollow"><strong>Support Oxfam's response in South Sudan</strong></a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/south-sudan/white-nile-fishing-creates-income-opportunities" rel="nofollow">Why some young men are fishing, not fighting in South Sudan</a></strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/south-sudan/loud-and-soft-war-quiet-resilience-defies-din-conflict" rel="nofollow"><strong>The quiet resilience that defies the din of conflict in South Sudan</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>South Sudan: Sky-rocketing inflation, conflict and collapsed markets</h2></div> Fri, 05 Jun 2015 17:08:25 +0000 Stella Madete 27066 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-06-05-south-sudan-sky-rocketing-inflation-conflict-and-collapsed-markets#comments Will businesses ‘Walk the Walk’ and “Talk the Walk” on the Road to Paris? http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-05-19-will-businesses-walk-and-talk-road-to-paris-climate <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Business leaders meeting in Paris have the power to show they will listen to those who are least to blame yet most affected by climate change, like Anastacia from Mozambique </strong>(pictured above)<strong>. She told Oxfam that the temperature is changing and there are more extreme changes in the rainy and dry seasons where she lives. Rainy seasons are getting longer and the dry seasons shorter.</strong></p> <h3>Will companies actually stand up and make broad commitments at the Business &amp; Climate Summit in Paris this week?</h3> <p>This year is crucial when it comes to tackling climate change as world leaders will be meeting in Paris in December to negotiate how those emitting the most carbon will stand by those that are most vulnerable to climate change. In the lead up to those negotiations, major multi-national companies will come together this week to discuss climate change at a Business Summit in Paris. The Business &amp; Climate Summit “provides a unique forum for business and government leaders to demonstrate bold action, adopt forward-looking strategies and call for ambitious policies that will allow us to scale up solutions,” according to its website. But will companies actually stand up and make broad commitments?</p> <p><strong>It is more urgent than ever</strong> for business to make it clear to governments that it is in the commercial interests of many of them particularly the food and beverage sector, as well as the in the interests of those living in poverty and the planet itself, to make ambitious commitments. Last year, Oxfam called on food and beverage companies to <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp186-standing-sidelines-big10-climate-emissions-200514-en_2.pdf" rel="nofollow">step off the sidelines</a> and start playing ball when it comes to climate change. After all, this sector is at extreme risk of climate impacts. Every day there is news of how climate change is wreaking havoc on our food like <a href="http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/05/04/climatechange-tea-india-idINKBN0NP1YW20150504" rel="nofollow">tea</a>, <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168192315000830" rel="nofollow">coffee</a>, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2014/11/20/why_climate_change_could_mean_the_end_of_chocolate_partner/" rel="nofollow">cocoa</a>, <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err175.aspx" rel="nofollow">dairy</a>, <a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/02/filipino-fight-against-climate-change-201421613573434853.html" rel="nofollow">coconuts</a>, and <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/climate-change-food-security-global-banana-market-feeling-strain-hotter-weather-1854296" rel="nofollow">bananas</a>, to name a few. Recently I met a dairy farmer in Kenya, Rose, she told me “the weather has changed tremendously. This place used to have plenty of rain. Almost throughout the year we had rain here. There was no problem with fodder.” In one of the droughts she lost 2 of her 5 cows. Dairy farming was how she supported her family.</p> <p>The irony is that the way we grow our food also contributes to climate change. Two companies – <a href="http://www.behindthebrands.org/en-us/campaign-news/climate-roadmap" rel="nofollow">General Mills and Kellogg</a> – took up our challenge last year to reduce their agricultural emissions across their supply chains but some are still standing on the sidelines.</p> <p><strong>But reducing their emissions is only one step towards the Road to Paris.</strong> The second step must be supporting the farmers like Rose that not only take on the climate risks of the food sector in a disproportionate way, but reap the <a href="http://www.cocoabarometer.org/Download_files/Cocoa%20Barometer%202015.pdf" rel="nofollow">least amount</a> from the prices of the commodities they grow. Economic resilience is a key part of the equation for reducing farmer vulnerability to climate impacts, but companies must also accelerate the sharing and investing in innovations related to adaptation strategies for those farmers.</p> <p>Finally, once they have credibly “walked the walk”, food and beverage companies need to “talk the walk” – by sounding the alarm for the future of food security and for their own survival. This includes being a public champion and a strong advocate toward key national governments for a fair and binding climate treaty in Paris, robust financing for adaptation and calling out other industries, including the fossil fuel sector, to stop blocking any efforts towards these accomplishments. Some of the food and beverage companies have been leaders on this front and have been the driving force behind statements made coalitions such as <a href="http://www.ceres.org/bicep" rel="nofollow">BICEP</a>, <a href="http://www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org/" rel="nofollow">We Mean Business</a> and the <a href="http://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com/" rel="nofollow">Consumer Goods Forum</a>, but more can be done by those leaders and the laggards must catch up.</p> <p>So will the food and beverage companies step up and make some concrete commitments? Look out for our next blog to find out.</p> <p><em>This entry posted by Irit Tamir, Senior Campaigns and Advocacy Advisor, Private Sector, Oxfam America, on 19 May 2015. Photo: Anastacia Antonia, Farmer, Mozambique. 22 years old. Credit: Mario Macilau/Oxfam</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="http://www.behindthebrands.org/en/take-action" rel="nofollow"><strong>Make your voice heard - push your favorite brand to act on climate change</strong></a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-03-31-battle-brands-annual-scorecard-update"><strong>Battle of the Brands: The Annual Scorecard Update</strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-01-19-inequality-climate-change-defining-challenges-2015"><strong>Rising inequality and climate change: The defining challenges for global leaders in 2015</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Will businesses ‘Walk the Walk’ and “Talk the Walk” on the Road to Paris?</h2></div> Tue, 19 May 2015 11:19:01 +0000 Irit Tamir 26776 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-05-19-will-businesses-walk-and-talk-road-to-paris-climate#comments