Oxfam International Blogs - aid http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/aid aid en 4 critical steps to ensure international aid works for the poorest people http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-01-14-4-critical-steps-ensure-international-aid-works-poorest-people <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>After four years of vexed negotiations on aid to the private sector, it’s time for a more radical rethink.</strong></em></p> <p>Last week we <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/19-01-10-why-2019-make-or-break-year-international-aid">blogged</a> about three distinguished aid insiders’ grave concerns over proposals for recording support to the private sector as Official Development Assistance (ODA). Today we turn our attention from the conference halls of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), to the marginalized communities who are ultimately affected by the DAC’s decisions.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">Marginalized people counting the cost: the Lake Turkana Wind Power project</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">The Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Kenya illustrates some of the many risks that aid subsidies to the private sector (known as private sector instruments or PSI) pose for people experiencing extreme inequalities.</span></p> <p>Reported to be the largest private investment in Kenya’s history, the project involved building 365 turbines and other infrastructure on grazing lands used by indigenous pastoralists. Much of the project’s financing came from official sources in the global north, including some ODA.</p> <p><a href="http://siplf.org/our-declaration/">Local</a> and <a href="https://www.iwgia.org/images/publications/0725_REPORT21.pdf">international </a> civil society groups have raised serious red flags about land grabbing and inadequate consultation with local indigenous peoples – and about a lack of accountability.</p> <p>The World Bank <a href="https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Kenya-Power-deal-that-forced-World-Bank-out-of-wind-farm-/-/539546/1538602/-/tvegggz/-/">withdrew </a>from the project citing concerns that the terms of the deal would leave the Kenyan people footing too big a bill – and that was even before Kenyans were hit with heavy <a href="https://www.nation.co.ke/business/Kenya-Power-billed-for-idle-wind-farm/996-4075132-ikk598z/index.html">extra costs</a> due to delays following the bankruptcy of one contractor. Meanwhile, much of the financial return from the project looks set to flow to companies in the global north, including <a href="https://ltwp.co.ke/project-partners/">Vestas</a>, <a href="https://ltwp.co.ke/project-partners/">Siemens</a> and <a href="https://www.vestas.com/en/media/~/media/38a166a7ec1e4892a28b32d9beb79af5.ashx">Google</a>. While indigenous peoples’ lands and livelihoods came under threat, and people across Kenya shouldered heavy costs, the companies involved are positioned to profit.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">A raft of unresolved risks, little proven benefit</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Sadly, the risks exposed by this project are only the tip of the iceberg. Based on detailed analysis of the proposals tabled at the DAC, and evidence from other damaging PSI projects, our civil society coalition has long been flagging a catalogue of risks that need urgent attention, including that:</span></p> <ul><li><a style="font-size: 13.008px;" href="https://eurodad.org/Entries/view/1546844/2017/11/21/Mixed-messages-the-rhetoric-and-the-reality-of-using-blended-finance-to-leave-no-one-behind">ODA will be diverted</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> from other activities of greater importance to people experiencing extreme poverty and inequalities; </span></li> <li>Basic rights may be jeopardised by the <a style="font-size: 13.008px;" href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/equity-and-quality-in-an-education-public-private-partnership-a-study-of-the-wo-620529">commercialisation of social sectors</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">; </span></li> <li>Significant sums of ODA may be invested without any clear added value. A <a style="font-size: 13.008px;" href="http://www.oecd.org/publications/making-blended-finance-work-for-the-sustainable-development-goals-9789264288768-en.htm">recent OECD report</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> on one key type of PSI found that as yet ‘little reliable evidence has been produced linking initial … efforts with proven development results’.</span></li> <li>There will be an increase in <a style="font-size: 13.008px;" href="https://eurodad.org/development-untied-2018">tied aid</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">; </span></li> <li>Subsidised companies may <a style="font-size: 13.008px;" href="https://d1tn3vj7xz9fdh.cloudfront.net/s3fs-public/bp-dfis-responsible-corporate-tax101116-en.pdf">dodge their taxes</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">; </span></li> <li>An increase in PSI lending will exacerbate <a style="font-size: 13.008px;" href="https://eurodad.org/EP-debt-crisis-blog">emerging debt crises</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> in the global south; and </span></li> <li>Core development effectiveness principles such as local ownership of development priorities, <a style="font-size: 13.008px;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/open-books-how-investments-financial-intermediaries-can-be-transparent-and-why-they-should">transparency</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> and accountability; human rights obligations; and environmental commitments will be overlooked.</span></li> </ul><p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">Putting politics before people</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">As the guardian of ODA standards, the DAC has a unique responsibility to tackle these risks in the rules that it sets for PSIs. But – despite over four years of negotiations – its </span><a style="font-size: 13.008px;" href="http://www.oecd.org/dac/Private-Sector-Instruments.htm">provisional reporting arrangements</a><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> released last month fall far short.</span></p> <p>It’s true that any kind of agreement on reporting – minimal as it may be – is significant, given that at least one major player was threatening to torpedo the process right up until the last minute. The agreement sends a signal that DAC donors still value an aid system based on collective rules, which is critical in a context where multilateralism is under threat.</p> <p>But this agreement came at the heaviest of prices. While the interests of a few powerful governments held sway, the interests of people on the receiving end of ODA were all too often sacrificed, under increasingly diluted proposals which are <a href="https://eurodad.org/Oxfam-Eurodad-reaction-OECD">completely silent</a> on most of the key risks associated with PSI, or else undermined by vagueness.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.231em; font-weight: bold;">Where next?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Getting out of the current impasse won’t be easy. But, with the credibility and impact of Official Development Assistance at stake, the status quo just isn’t a long-term option.</span></p> <p>We urgently call for four key steps from Development Assistance Committee members:</p> <ol><li><strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">Implement the provisional reporting arrangements</strong><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> as rigorously as possible. Donors that opt out of any voluntary provisions should be called out for putting ODA in jeopardy.</span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">Don’t let the weaknesses in the provisional reporting arrangements become an excuse</strong><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> for a race to the bottom on standards at national level. Rather, the vacuum in detailed rules from the DAC makes it more vital than ever for principled national aid agencies and development finance institutions to strengthen their own safeguards over their PSI activities. The recommendations in our latest civil society position would be a good place to start – and we particularly emphasise the prevention of ODA diversion, and the importance of upholding human rights obligations and putting in place strong accountability mechanisms.</span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">Don’t drop the ball on the Private Sector Instruments issue</strong><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">: don’t let the provisional reporting arrangements become permanent by default. The reform can only be successful if all parties – including countries in the global south and civil society organisations – are consulted throughout the process.</span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 13.008px;">Use this opportunity to take a step back and reimagine</strong><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> what the ODA system might look like if it was squarely aligned to the principles of maximising development impact for the very poorest and most marginalised people to leave no-one behind, of avoiding harm, and of concessionality being non-negotiable. The answer might make uncomfortable reading for finance ministries eager to get the biggest ODA bang from their PSI bucks.</span></li> </ol><p>For millions of people like the communities around Lake Turkana, whose voices are rarely heard in the DAC’s negotiations, such a rethink cannot come a moment too soon.</p> <p><em>This entry posted on 14 January 2019, by Polly Meeks (Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer at Eurodad), Julie Seghers (OECD Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Oxfam) and Jiten Yumnam (Secretary General of the Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur). Second of a <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/19-01-10-why-2019-make-or-break-year-international-aid">two-part series</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Loiyangalani district, Marsabit county, Kenya. Credit: Jack Owuor/The Star Newspaper</em></p> <p><em>(1) Source: analysis of activity level data in the OECD DAC Creditor Reporting System database, and local civil society analysis.</em></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>4 critical steps to ensure international aid works for the poorest people</h2></div> Mon, 14 Jan 2019 15:20:22 +0000 Guest Blogger 81830 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-01-14-4-critical-steps-ensure-international-aid-works-poorest-people#comments Diary of an Oxfam aid worker http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-09-diary-oxfam-aid-worker <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>Originally from the Philippines, Duoi Ampilan has helped people facing disaster all over the world. Here, he tells us why his job is now more important than ever.</strong></em><br><br><strong>Dear Diary,</strong><br><br>So much has been said and written about our sector's issues and shameful experiences but not much on how we move heaven and earth; on how we face our fears every day; and how we sacrifice ourselves to be able to faithfully render our vowed responsibilities. It is not all about the work but the heart we put into our work and what we are willing to endure in the name of service.<br><br>Let me tell you, my Dear Diary, some of my experiences with Oxfam when I was deployed to some of the most difficult contexts on Earth. Among the closest to my heart is my 12 months of work in <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-south-sudan" rel="nofollow">South Sudan</a></strong> before and after its independence. That is where I developed further the love for this work. I broke my heart many times because of the suffering of the people.<br><br>You can imagine a situation where people wait for two days to get a drinking water. Women and children in many villages walked hours in search for water. In the village of Amethaker in Gogrial East, children only wash every 3 weeks because the place was too dry during the six-month drought.<br><br>I am glad that we drilled some boreholes to some of these thirsty communities. It was so nice to hear people praising us because we quenched their thirst. But you know Dear Diary, much of the credit should be given to our supporters, who have been very generous in extending their love and generosity.<br><br>At this portion of my writing Dear Diary, I shed tears. I never cried when I was stung by scorpions twice in South Sudan, when I got malaria and typhoid fever. I cried as I asked myself what will happen if people will no longer support us for their regular donations because of the work of a few men? Because there are more people in many countries needing our support and services.<br><br><img alt="Doui leading the volunteers for the rehearsal on Hand-Washing dance, part of Oxfam&#039;s hygiene promotion program after Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines, November 2013." title="Doui leading the volunteers for the rehearsal on Hand-Washing dance, part of Oxfam&#039;s hygiene promotion program after Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines, November 2013." height="284" width="660" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/i-am-leading-the-volunteer-for-the-rehearsal-on-hand-washing-dance-typhoon-haiyan-in-philippines-680.jpg" /></p><p><em>Doui leading the volunteers for the rehearsal on Hand-Washing dance, part of Oxfam's hygiene promotion program after Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines, November 2013.&nbsp;Photo: Oxfam</em></p><p>Do you remember the <strong>Ebola outbreaks in West Africa</strong>? Among other humanitarian aid workers, I was called to respond but I refused. I was fearing for my life. But when I realized that I am living not only for myself but for others, then I had to conquer my fears and the uncertainties. I worked in Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2014 and 2015. I had to embrace the social stigma too. Nobody wanted to touch me or even sit beside me months after I served in West Africa.<br><br>I also worked in<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow"><strong> Yemen</strong></a> in 2016 and 2017 even though my family and friends were persuading me to change career when they learned that I was heading to support the people pushed by the civil war into the desert and into the sea. It was not easy living under the falling bombs and also hearing the melancholy of the people day in and day out. I was trapped in Aden, my Dear Diary, when I needed to go home because my father passed away. Every day was very long and tormenting emotionally. I wanted to support my grieving family but I could not go home.</p><p>Dear Diary, if others are not true to their vowed promise to help people in need in times of calamity while working with any organization, please do not forget that there are those who are moving mountains to ensure that every cent that people give is reaching people who urgently need help.</p><p>Please do not forget too that many of us have lost their lives while we are delivering humanitarian services in many of the world's biggest crises.</p><p>I put my heart into my work because I know that not everyone has this honor and privilege to be of service to mankind this way.</p><p><em>Note from Oxfam:</em><br><em>If you'd like to send Duoi a message, please email <strong><a href="mailto:feedback@oxfam.org.uk" rel="nofollow">feedback@oxfam.org.uk</a></strong> and we will pass your message on.</em></p><p><em>Photo at top: Duoi checking hygiene kits in Yemen, where Oxfam, working with local partners, has reached more than 1.5 million people with humanitarian aid since July 2015. Credit: Oxfam</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Diary of an Oxfam aid worker</h2></div> Fri, 09 Mar 2018 12:53:01 +0000 Duoi Ampilan 81435 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-09-diary-oxfam-aid-worker#comments Can official development assistance be reformed to help the poorest countries? http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-04-21-can-official-development-assistance-be-reformed-help-poorest-countries <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>The rules defining official development assistance, a key poverty reduction tool, are currently being revised by the OECD. But if governments and citizens from the South are not consulted more, this reform is likely to be in their detriment.</strong></p><p>The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is <a href="http://www.oecd.org/fr/cad/financementpourledeveloppementdurable/modernisation-dac-statistical-system.htm" rel="nofollow">currently revising</a> the rules defining what can be counted as official development assistance (ODA), which is a key poverty reduction tool. If this reform is not combined with the required criteria and safeguards – established in consultation with governments and citizens in the South – it is likely to be to the detriment of the poorest.</p><h3>A crucial reform devised behind closed doors</h3><p>For over two years now, representatives from donor countries have been busy with a very full agenda, under the leadership of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in Paris.</p><p>Their objective is to revise the rules on what can – or cannot – be counted as official development assistance. The two priorities for 2017 are to define to what extent ODA can 1) promote private sector development in developing countries, and 2) finance the reception of refugees in rich countries. While this may appear to be technical work, it does have fundamental policy implications for the future of ODA. Yet until now, discussions have been proceeding behind closed doors in Paris, without any proper consultation with the first to feel the impact, i.e. developing countries and civil society. The importance of a transparent and inclusive reform process had, however, been set out in the <a href="http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/CONF.227/L.1" rel="nofollow">Financing for Development Agreement</a> (point 55) endorsed in Addis Ababa in 2015.</p><p><strong><img alt="A meeting at the OECD Conference Center in Paris. Credit: OECD/Andrew Wheeler" title="A meeting at the OECD Conference Center in Paris. Credit: OECD/Andrew Wheeler" height="667" width="1000" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oecd-img_2447.jpg" /></strong></p><h3>Promoting aid to support the private sector: what impact on the fight against poverty?</h3><p><strong>The first area of the reform aims</strong> to bring about a more extensive eligibility and use of ODA in the form of loans, investments or guarantees for private actors[1]. This type of financing is often channeled through development finance institutions – PROPARCO in the case of France. The stated objective of this reform is to promote private sector development in poor countries, resulting in more growth and job creation.</p><p><strong>There is no doubt that the private sector plays a crucial role</strong> in the development process. The growth generated by private actors has contributed to an unprecedented reduction in poverty around the world in recent decades. Consequently, it makes real sense for public authorities to promote inclusive and sustainable growth that is broadly beneficial and preserves the planet. However, given the often mixed results of partnerships between public and private actors, which are one of the forms of private sector mobilization for development, Oxfam has doubts as to the relevance and legitimacy of the use of limited ODA funds to support projects conducted by the private sector. The use of a public-private partnership for the construction and management of the largest hospital in Lesotho, supported by the IFC – the World Bank’s private investment arm – is a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/07/lesotho-health-budget-private-consortium-hospital" rel="nofollow">telling example of the dangers of this model</a>, and of the negative impacts it can have on inequalities.</p><p><strong>An <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp-private-finance-blending-for-development-130217-en.pdf" rel="nofollow">Oxfam and Eurodad study</a> shows that there is limited evidence</strong> on the impact that partnerships with the private sector have on development and poverty reduction. Furthermore, the study shows that these partnerships often fail to align with the fundamental principles of aid effectiveness : the ownership by partner countries is limited, and transparency and accountability are lacking. It is certainly more complicated to apply these standards in the case of financial arrangements involving private partners. It is precisely for this reason that donors need to make greater efforts to ensure that all public funds labelled “ODA” respect the spirit of these principles, otherwise we fear that there will be a decline in the quality of aid.</p><p><strong>Another area of concern is that it is sometimes more difficult to prevent environmental and social risks</strong> in the context of projects involving private intermediaries, as shown by a recent study on projects supported by the World Bank, which transit through commercial banks and private capital funds in Southeast Asia. In addition, <a href="http://www.eurodad.org/files/pdf/1546237-a-private-affair-shining-a-light-on-the-shadowy-institutions-giving-public-support-to-private-companies-and-taking-over-the-development-agenda.pdf" rel="nofollow">almost half </a>of the beneficiaries of the funds disbursed by development finance institutions are subsidiaries of companies based in OECD countries. Consequently, an increase in the aid transiting through these entities leads to the risk of large groups in developed countries benefiting more than private operators – especially SMEs – in developing countries.</p><p><strong>Finally, this type of project tends to focus on middle-income countries</strong> rather than on least developed countries, where it is more difficult to achieve a return on investment. They also tend to focus on the energy, industry and banking sectors. In the long term, encouraging the use of aid for this type of project could redefine the scope of ODA, and result in less financing for public programs in social sectors, such as health and education. In a context where official development assistance volumes are generally stagnant (or even in decline in certain countries), there is a need to question the way in which this reform can influence donor practices, in the more or less distant future, and thereby shape a certain way of defining aid over the long term.</p><p><strong>Civil society organizations, including Oxfam</strong>, have developed a set of detailed recommendations in order to ensure that the ongoing reform is combined with demanding criteria and safeguards that will minimize these risks. The aim is to ensure that the poorest populations gain the most from these new rules. It is also about protecting the credibility of official development assistance as a poverty reduction tool.</p><p><img alt="People from Somalia, Sudan and Morocco and elsewhere arriving at the military port of Lampedusa, Sicily. Credit: Italian Coast Guard, Nov 2015" title="People from Somalia, Sudan and Morocco and elsewhere arriving at the military port of Lampedusa, Sicily. Credit: Italian Coast Guard, Nov 2015" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/_mg_2207-italian-coast-guard-migrants-1240x680.jpg" /></p><h3>Using ODA to host refugees: robbing Peter to pay Paul?</h3><p><strong>The revision of rules on the use of ODA for expenditures related to hosting refugees in rich countries poses another major challenge.</strong> The eligibility of this type of expenditure has been authorized by the OECD since 1988, but had remained somewhat marginal until recently. However, between 2010 and 2016, this expenditure sharply grew from USD 3.4 billion to USD 15.4 billion, reaching almost 11 % of the total ODA budget. In 2016, a significant proportion of the budget was devoted to it in a number of European countries : 38 % in Austria, 34 % in Italy, and 25 % in Germany.</p><p>The situation in France is for the time being a bit different, as these costs (which accounted for 4.5 % of the aid budget in 2016) are borne by the budget of the Ministry of the Interior, then added to ODA expenditure. The figures give us some food for thought : in 2015, while European DAC members devoted USD 9.7bn of official development assistance to receive 1.2 million asylum seekers in their own territories, they only spent USD 3.2bn for aid in Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan – the 5 main countries where asylum seekers come from.</p><p><strong>This practice is <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/rich-countries-misleading-public-about-overseas-aid-spending" rel="nofollow">denounced by Oxfam</a>,</strong> as well as by a number of other civil society organizations, and has recently been questioned by the <a href="https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/poor-countries-pay-twice-for-refugees-by-jorge-moreira-da-silva-2017-02?referrer=/mFHsTHOvw9" rel="nofollow">OECD Secretariat</a>. It is obviously the responsibility of developed countries to receive refugees and mobilize the financing required to meet their needs and respect their rights. But in the view of civil society, this financing – whether additional or allocated from existing development assistance budgets and therefore to the detriment of projects in poor countries – should not be credited as ODA, as it does not support developing countries.</p><p>This expenditure is made in the territories of Western countries, and must consequently be considered as coming under their national policies and budgets.</p><p><strong>The reform could have provided the opportunity</strong> to end, once and for all, this rule, which allows rich countries to affix the “ODA” label on money which does not contribute to the development of poor countries. Unfortunately, this is not on the agenda of the DAC, which has only decided to “clarify” the rules in order to limit the room for interpretation and harmonize reporting practices.</p><p>While we deplore this missed opportunity, we do see it as a <a href="http://www.oecd.org/dac/CSO%20inputs%20on%20clarification%20of%20rules%20on%20ODA%20to%20in-donor%20refugee%20costs.pdf" rel="nofollow">chance to tighten the rules</a>. This includes clarifying the non-eligibility of certain expenditure : administrative, police, security, control, repatriation costs… Stricter reporting could mark the first step towards a total exclusion in the long term of this expenditure which, in our opinion, artificially inflates ODA figures.</p><p>With this reform, the integrity of <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/multimedia/video/2010-does-aid-work" rel="nofollow">official development assistance as the main tool to reduce poverty and inequalities in the South</a> is at stake. Aid plays a vital role in least developed countries, where it accounts for two-thirds of external financing. If it is well managed, it facilitates access for the poorest populations to essential services, such as health and education, it contributes to reducing inequalities, and strengthens the capacities of States to meet the needs of their citizens.</p><p>[1] Indeed, <a href="https://www.oecd.org/dac/DAC-HLM-Communique-2016.pdf" rel="nofollow">in its communiqué of February 2016</a>, the OECD DAC stated: “We recognize the importance of strengthening private sector engagement in development and wish to encourage the use of ODA to mobilize additional private sector resources for development.”</p><p><em>This entry posted by Julie Seghers (<a href="twitter.com/JulieSeghers" rel="nofollow">@JulieSeghers</a>), Responsible for Oxfam’s advocacy towards the OECD, on 19 April 2017. Originally published by <a href="https://goo.gl/fJpBQ3" rel="nofollow">Ideas for Development</a>, a blog coordinated by the French Development Agency.”</em></p><p><em>Photos:<br></em></p><ul><li><em>Martha Nyandit waits for an Oxfam/WFP food delivery, Mingkaman camp, South Sudan. Credit: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam, April 2014</em></li><li><em>A meeting at the OECD Conference Center in Paris. Credit: OECD/Andrew Wheeler</em></li><li><em>People from Somalia, Sudan and Morocco and elsewhere arriving at the military port of Lampedusa, Sicily. Credit: Italian Coast Guard, Nov 2015</em></li></ul><p></p><p></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Can official development assistance be reformed to help the poorest countries?</h2></div> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:27:40 +0000 Guest Blogger 81022 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-04-21-can-official-development-assistance-be-reformed-help-poorest-countries#comments This starvation in Africa is an affront to humanity http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-04-13-starvation-africa-affront-humanity <div class="field field-name-body"><p>We’re all shaken by the fact that our world stands on the brink of 4 famines. It is unprecedented in modern times. It should never have been allowed to happen. The UN says nearly 20 million people are at risk of starvation.<br><br>Nigel Timmins and I recently joined Oxfam staff and partners in northeast Nigeria, and South Sudan.</p><p>In Northeast Nigeria we visited people and the work we do in and around Maiduguri, and travelled to Gwoza and Pulka (towns that have been badly affected by the conflict, with much of Gwoza totally destroyed by Boko Haram; Pulka is still receiving people being displaced by the conflict for the first time). We spoke with parents who were receiving support, but did not have proper shelter or enough food for their children.</p><p><img height="853" width="1280" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oxfam_nigeria_2017_tom_saater_-1981_0.jpg" alt="" /></p><p>We saw how communities have been forced to flee their homes, leaving everything behind as they seek safety, food, clean water and more amid the ongoing conflict between Boko Haram and the government.</p><p><img height="853" width="1280" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oxfam_nigeria_2017_tom_saater_-3786.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><em>Oxfam rehabilitated two boreholes in Kushari, giving both local and displaced families access to safe and clean water.</em></p><p>In South Sudan we went to Malakal which used to be South Sudan’s second largest city, as well as the capital Juba.</p><p>In Malakal we saw widespread destruction. Homes, schools - almost every building was in ruin. We met&nbsp; women who risk being attacked when they leave the protected area to find food or firewood for their families.</p><p><img alt="Upper Nile University used to be one of the highest regarded universities in South Sudan. It is now reduced to rubble like much of the town. Photo: Bruno Bierrenbach Feder" title="Upper Nile University used to be one of the highest regarded universities in South Sudan. It is now reduced to rubble like much of the town. Photo: Bruno Bierrenbach Feder" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/malakal-univ-1240.jpg" /></p><p>As an African: it pains me to see this happening on our continent. I feel great sadness, but also anger and humiliation.</p><p>Thousands of people are thought to have died already. Many of them are young children.</p><p><strong>The cruelty of human-made crisis</strong></p><p>As Nigel said: “These are human-made crises. They’re not inevitable. There is no reason, and no excuse in today’s world, for a mother to sleep outdoors on the ground with her children, with little food or water and fearing for their lives. This should not happen."</p><p>Governments must act. We need an injection of aid, backed by diplomatic courage to tackle the causes of these crises. State, national and international political leadership is needed now to address the immediate crisis and bring an end to the conflict.</p><p>Oxfam is doing what we can - delivering on the front-lines to those in need and pushing decision makers to act. I met with Oxfam staff who are working to help raise women’s voices and who are scaling up our response to support families to earn their own incomes and to return to farming.</p><p>This is a journey Nigel and I wish we had never had to make – but we are so glad we were able to see this crisis first-hand and meet these brave people. We will do our utmost to continue sharing what we have seen, and push decision-makers to avert catastrophic loss of life.</p><p><img alt="Winnie embraces a woman from a women’s group in the Protection of Civilians center in Malakal, South Sudan. Photo: Bruno Bierrenbach Feder" title="Winnie embraces a woman from a women’s group in the Protection of Civilians center in Malakal, South Sudan. Photo: Bruno Bierrenbach Feder" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/winnie-hug-1200.jpg" /></p><p><strong>Cause for hope</strong></p><p>And we must tell you: in the midst of such suffering, we had cause for hope.</p><p>We saw communities sharing what little they have with others in greater need. Wespoke with strong women and young people who are stepping up as leaders in their communities. We were greeted with warmth and gratitude by people who have been through so much, and have so little.</p><p>Political leaders and the international community can still – and must – avert catastrophic loss of life. We need an immediate and sweeping response.</p><p>We must end this betrayal of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.</p><p><strong>How you can help: </strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/famine-and-hunger-crisis" rel="nofollow"><strong>Donate to Oxfam now</strong></a></p><hr><p><img alt="Winnie Byanyima meeting with leaders in Nigeria. Photo: Tom Saater/Oxfam" title="Winnie Byanyima meeting with leaders in Nigeria. Photo: Tom Saater/Oxfam" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oxfam-nigeria-2017-tom-saater-1642-winnie-pleading-1240.jpg" /></p><p>In northeast Nigeria, Winnie, Nigel and the team visited Oxfam’s programs in and around Maidaguri. Oxfam is responding to the crisis there by providing access to food through distributions and cash for people to use in local markets, clean water and sanitation and helping people to keep themselves safe. During the visit, they met with senior State Government leadership, including the Deputy Governor, the Secretary to the State Government and the State Attorney General. They discussed key issues including the stark number of people at risk of starvation in the state, improving coordination between the humanitarian community and the state government, government funding and leadership in the response and secondary displacement.<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/famine-and-hunger-crisis" rel="nofollow"></a></p><p><em>Photos 1, 2, 3, 6: Credit Tom Saater/Oxfam</em></p><p><em>Photos 4, 5: Credit Bruno Bierrenbach Feder/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>This starvation in Africa is an affront to humanity</h2></div> Thu, 13 Apr 2017 15:18:23 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 81018 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-04-13-starvation-africa-affront-humanity#comments Oxfam training community health volunteers after Nepal Earthquake http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-05-22-oxfam-training-community-health-volunteers-after-nepal-earthquake <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Providing water and sanitation, and public health promotion to help communities stay safe, are key parts of Oxfam's Nepal Earthquake response. Here Genevive Estacaan explains how Oxfam is training community health volunteers in Tundikhel camp, Kathmandu.</strong></p> <p>It's been four weeks since the worst earthquake Nepal has seen for 81 years. Another devastating earthquake struck on the 12th May. Tragically, more than 8,000 people have been killed and around 20,000 injured. The UN estimates that 8 million people across the country are affected.</p> <p><strong>The scale of need is enormous.</strong> When the first earthquake hit on 25th April Oxfam launched an <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/nepal-earthquake" rel="nofollow">immediate response</a> building on our knowledge base from the long standing country program in <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/development/nepal" rel="nofollow">Nepal </a>and our expertise in emergency response. We are currently working in seven of the worst hit districts, delivering tarpaulins, food and hygiene kits as well as providing clean water and sanitation. We've reached <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/601361999084261376" rel="nofollow">over 100,000 people</a> so far across Nepal, but to give you an idea of how we are working on a smaller scale let's focus in on Tundikhel Camp, which I visited today.</p> <p>The Tundikhel Camp lies at the very heart of Kathmandu Municipality where Oxfam has been providing water and temporary toilets for the past three weeks since the great earthquake struck the region.</p> <p>This camp, the largest in the Kathmandu Valley, provides refuge to more than 5,000 people. Today, we started mobilizing and training some camp members to be Oxfam community health volunteers (CHVs).</p> <p><img alt="Brahmi, one of Oxfam&#039;s volunteers, explains to a Tundikhel camp member the responsibilities of becoming a community health volunteer. Photo: Genevive Estacaan/Oxfam" title="Brahmi, one of Oxfam&#039;s volunteers, explains to a Tundikhel camp member the responsibilities of becoming a community health volunteer. Photo: Genevive Estacaan/Oxfam" height="250" width="350" style="float: right;" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/php-tundhikel1.jpg" /><strong>Forming community health volunteers groups</strong> is Oxfam's way of enabling camp members to take an active role in maintaining safe hygiene and sanitation practices within the camp. Some fourteen women and seven men signed up this morning, and will be given training on public health promotion. The training centres on raising awareness of four key issues: proper use of latrines, hand washing at critical times, oral rehydration and house-level water purification.</p> <p>It is sometimes challenging to recruit CHVs as it is purely voluntary and requires people's time. However, people begin to change their mind when they understand how important good sanitation practices are for health and safety, and see that even at this difficult time, they can have agency and take an active role in keeping the camp safe for their communities and families.</p> <p><strong>Water provision remains a real challenge</strong> in Tundikhel. For the first nine days, the Government provided water trucks for the camp, but since 5 May, Oxfam has taken on this role.</p> <p>Ensuring provision of clean water and decent sanitation is a major priority in all areas. Many water systems have been damaged and there are huge concerns regarding the quality of water available. Toilets have been damaged leading to people defecating in the open, which creates a risk of disease. Oxfam has already sent teams to respond to some reports of diarrhoea and influenza. With the rainy season starting in June, there is a huge risk of disease including cholera.</p> <p>In Tundikhel, as well as providing clean water and training community health volunteers we've also distributed hygiene kits and provided safe pit latrines. There's a lot of work still to do, but we will continue to do everything we can to help affected communities, to respond to their practical needs now and in the long term.</p> <p><strong>You can support this work by <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/nepal-earthquake" rel="nofollow">donating to our Nepal appeal</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>This entry posted by Genevive Estacaan, Oxfam Communications Officer, 22 May 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photos:Top: New arrivals at Tundikhel camp for internally displaced people, Kathmandu. Oxfam is providing water and sanitation to people sheltering there by installing an 11,000-litre water tank and constructing 20 pit toilets. Credit: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam</em></p> <p><em>Inline: Brahmi, one of Oxfam's volunteers, explains to a camp member the responsibilities of becoming a community health volunteer. Credit: Genevive Estacaan/Oxfam</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/nepal-earthquake" rel="nofollow"><strong>Support Oxfam's Nepal Earthquake Response</strong></a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/our-work/emergency-response/humanitarian-aid" rel="nofollow"><strong>How Oxfam helps in times of crisis</strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/humanitarian-policy-notes" rel="nofollow"><strong>Short papers on Oxfam's policies around humanitarian practice</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Oxfam training community health volunteers after Nepal Earthquake</h2></div> Fri, 22 May 2015 12:01:12 +0000 Guest Blogger 26822 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-05-22-oxfam-training-community-health-volunteers-after-nepal-earthquake#comments Conflict in Yemen: a deeply personal account http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-05-13-conflict-yemen-deeply-personal-account <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>Conflict in Yemen has forced thousands of people to flee their homes, including Oxfam staff.  It is pushing the country towards economic collapse and making life harder for 16 million people already in need of humanitarian aid. Here Oxfam program officer Bassim describes how the crisis has changed his life.</em></p> <p><strong>It is impossible not to worry</strong> about my country and the human suffering that the war has caused as I live and work through this awful period of Yemen’s history. That’s why I want to share my story. Latest figures tell us that over 640 people have been killed during the current crisis, including more than 300 civilians, and over 2,200 have been injured.</p> <p>As a result of the ongoing conflict, I was forced to move my wife and children from Sana’a to the countryside where I grew up. Relocating my family at a time when there is no fuel and no safe roads to travel by was an unbelievable tragedy for us. My children cried all the way and my wife was very afraid of the sudden changes in the midst of this ongoing war.</p> <p>Before the current crisis, over 60 percent of the population – 16 million people – were already in need of some form of aid. Now, people are facing even more drastic changes of fortune. People’s incomes have dropped dramatically.</p> <p><strong>My life has changed completely.</strong> In my village I have to try and find flour and other food to make sure there’s enough for my family’s needs, and fuel. It is a story I can see across the country. Even before the crisis, more than 10 million Yemenis did not have enough food to eat, including 850,000 malnourished children. In some areas we are even reaching emergency levels for acute malnutrition rates.</p> <p>So many things are different now. Clean water is a huge problem for us, as water systems have stopped because of the fuel crisis. Already, before the crisis over 13 million people didn’t have access to clean water, who knows how many don’t have access now.</p> <p>My children can’t go to school. My wife, like many other women, has to bear new and difficult responsibilities. Even simple tasks like cooking have become so much harder.</p> <p><strong>The changes we’re going through</strong> are really tough. I now have to work from home, trying to provide for my family at the same time – all the while thinking of my home in Sana’a and worrying that gangs will break in and steal from us while we’re gone.</p> <p>It is part of Yemeni tradition that I am responsible not only for my immediate family - my wife and sons - but also for my extended family, which has over 20 members. You can imagine how big a responsibility this is - and you can also imagine how my budget has been hit by increased prices of food and lack of essentials for me to buy.</p> <p>I hope we can go back to our home in Sana’a soon.</p> <h3>Oxfam in Yemen</h3> <ul><li>In the current conflict, Oxfam has already distributed cash to more 4,000 households (about 28,000 people) to help them buy basic necessities.</li> <li>It has also delivered water containers and filters to the Hodeidah area and is planning on delivering blankets and tents in the coming weeks.</li> <li>Oxfam is sending in trucks of clean water to vulnerable districts in Hodeidah.</li> <li>Oxfam plans to provide help to 80,000 people in the coming weeks, and build up to a total of about 1 million people, as access improves.</li> <li>Since 2011, Oxfam has provided assistance to nearly 600,000 people.</li> <li>Oxfam has been <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/countries/yemen" rel="nofollow">working in Yemen</a> for over 30 years.</li> </ul><p><em>This entry posted on 13 May 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: People search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Credit: Abo Haitham/Oxfam</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/en/actions/yemen-crisis" rel="nofollow">Help stop the violence in Yemen</a></strong></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/yemen/crisis-hoping-peaceful-end-nightmare" rel="nofollow">More personal accounts of people coping in Yemen's conflict</a></strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-reaction-announcement-five-day-humanitarian-pause-air-strikes-yemen" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam reaction to the announcement of the five-day humanitarian pause in air strikes in Yemen</strong></a> <em>(12 May 2015)</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Conflict in Yemen: a deeply personal account</h2></div> Wed, 13 May 2015 17:00:51 +0000 Guest Blogger 26695 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-05-13-conflict-yemen-deeply-personal-account#comments The Philippines: Don't they know it's Christmas? http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-12-24-phillippines-dont-they-know-its-christmas <div class="field field-name-body"><p>In the Philippines, a strongly Catholic country, the first signs of Christmas appear months before the actual event: shops playing Christmas carols on their audio loops, brightly decorated trees, neon Santas and reindeers are colourfully displayed outside shops and plazas. It is hard to get away from the holiday over-load.</p> <p>But in Compostela Valley province, on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, there are no obvious signs that one of the most important festive and religious dates in the country’s calendar is just days away.</p> <p>Instead,<strong> the scenery is one of utter devastation</strong>. Kilometres of crushed banana plantations; downed coconut trees; wrecked houses and public buildings. The damage wrought by Typhoon Bopha has been immense. [As of 14 December] The latest death count stands at 906, with 932 people still listed as missing. The authorities in the Philippines estimate that agricultural damage alone stands at £145 million [9696 million pesos or $235 million].</p> <p>Families here have been left dazed and traumatised, trying to make sense of it all.<strong> Tens of thousands are still sheltering in temporary evacuation centres. Their biggest immediate problem is getting enough food and water</strong>; working out how to repair or build anew their damaged homes; and figuring out a worrying and more challenging problem: how they’re going to get through not just the next few days and weeks, but the coming months and years. What they’re going to do when the emergency response mounted by local and international aid agencies winds down. How they’re going to be able to rebuild their lives, with no immediate prospect of getting work.</p> <p><strong>The most devastated areas had never before experienced a typhoon, despite the fact that the Philippines often experiences 20 typhoons every year.</strong> It was one reason that so many crop plantations have been established in this part of the country, as it was considered to be safe from violent winds and storms that often hit other parts of the Philippines.</p> <p>“My crops were all destroyed. It will take six years for the coconut plantations to be recovered”, said 80 year old farmer, <strong>Epifanio Apsay Senior</strong>, speaking from one evacuation centre in New Bataan, Compostela Valley</p> <p>“We’re very worried about the future. The support we are getting now won’t last long. It will take us years to recover; we don’t have anything. We need support from anyone who can support us, especially to find work.”</p> <p><strong>International aid agency, Oxfam and its four humanitarian partners in the Philippines</strong>, who work under the umbrella organisation known as the Humanitarian Response Consortium,<strong> are responding to immediate needs</strong>: ensuring clean, safe drinking water; establishing temporary latrines in the overcrowded evacuation centres, and spreading awareness about safe hygiene, as well as handing out shelter, hygiene and water kits.</p> <p><strong>Families living in evacuation centres in some areas where Oxfam and its partners are working have also received cash grants of 1,500 pesos</strong> (£22) allowing them to buy some basic daily necessities over the next few days.</p> <p>“With this money, I’ll buy some sheets for roofing, some housing materials, medicines and clothes for the children. I’m very happy to get this money”, said mother of five <strong>Marites Oyo</strong>, 38.“We were flooded and our house was totally destroyed. There is nothing left. Farmland was devastated. We work as day labourers and don’t have land of our own. Finding work will be hard.”</p> <p>Surrounded by families with small bundles of possessions – anything they managed to grab while running - in an open sports stadium, Marites said celebrating Christmas was far from her mind.“After the typhoon, it doesn’t seem proper to celebrate Christmas. This time, on Christmas we will pray that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.</p> <p>Another man sheltering in the same centre, 45 year old<strong> Carmelito Gapo</strong>, a father of four, snorted when asked the same question. He used to work as a day labourer on the banana plantations.“There is no point in celebrating. We have no work and there will be no immediate work in the future. Our Christmas ‘bonus’ was to receive the typhoon”, he joked ironically.</p> <p>But, in a sign of just how religious many are here, he conceded: “Yes, I will still go to church to pray. Despite everything, we’re still grateful that we are alive.“My children are very understanding. They realise it wont be Christmas as usual. I’ve explained things to them. In the past, I provided for their needs, but this year, we have nothing. It’s the worst Christmas we’ll face.”</p> <p>Others sheltering in the stadium said the same thing. “We have no money, so the only thing we can do is to pray. It will be the hardest ever Christmas for us.and New Year will also be very difficult, ” said 71 year old <strong>Gaubiosa Cordovez</strong>.</p> <p>Mother of two, <strong>Corazon Pedrico</strong>, who lost her home and a small store said she has other things to worry about.“We will not have any celebrations; what is there to celebrate? “I don’t know how we will get by now in the future. I lost the store; and I worry how to look after the children. How can they go to school? They don’t have any school uniforms. We lost everything.” </p> <h3>Related links</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/typhoon-bopha-philippines" rel="nofollow">Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The Philippines: Don&#039;t they know it&#039;s Christmas?</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-12-27-filipinas-no-saben-que-ha-llegado-la-navidad" title="Filipinas: ¿No saben que ha llegado la Navidad?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Mon, 24 Dec 2012 11:38:36 +0000 Caroline Gluck 10184 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-12-24-phillippines-dont-they-know-its-christmas#comments Busan Forum: Aid promises come tumbling down http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-11-29-busan-aid-promises-come-tumbling-down <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>This blog has been written by Sanda van Damm (Oxfam Novib) and Jennifer Martin (Oxfam Great Britain), campaigners at the Fourth High Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan.</em></p> <p>It is early in the morning on 29 November in the seaside city Busan, South Korea, when a large colorful tower of building blocks arises on Busan Exhibition &amp; Convention Cente (BEXCO) square. </p> <p><strong>The blocks attract the attention of passers-by</strong>. It is not only the sizes and bright colours of the different building blocks, but especially the words written on them that makes people stop and stare; 'Citizen Voices', 'Paris Promises', 'Human Rights'.  Why are these significant?</p> <p>Well, the mystery is quite simple. Busan - normally visited by tourists who come to visit the beach, the aquarium and to enjoy Busan's famous fish cuisine - is today flooded by world leaders and thousands of delegates from all over the world to talk about the effectiveness of aid, just like they did in Paris six years ago. </p> <p><strong>Rich country donors committed to making their aid work bette</strong>r – by making it more transparent, less fragmented, and more useful for the poor people who need it. Yet six years later it seems that donor governments are backtracking on these promises.   </p> <p>Knowing this, the colorful tower in the middle of BEXCO square suddenly makes sense. Especially when we witness how donor governments, played by activists, starts removing key building blocks, each one representing a donor promise causing the tower to dramatically topple to the ground.  Is this going to be the future of aid and development? </p> <p><strong>One billion people around the world are asking donors to listen to what they need</strong>. Donor governments must build aid that works for poor people, not block it. The Korean organization, ODA Watch and Oxfam highlighted this today in Busan as delegates watched aid promises come tumbling down.</p> <h3>Read more</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/health-education/busan-aid-effectiveness-forum-2011" rel="nofollow">Busan Aid Effectiveness Forum 2011</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Busan Forum: Aid promises come tumbling down</h2></div> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 12:38:34 +0000 Sanda van Dam 9678 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-11-29-busan-aid-promises-come-tumbling-down#comments #GROW Week day six: the famine in Somalia three months on http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-10-20-grow-week-day-six-famine-east-africa-three-months <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Three months to the day since the announcement of famine in Somalia, the situation in the country remains severe. </strong></p> <p><strong></strong>Malnutrition rates among children in Somalia are the worst in the world. There are now 1.5 million Somalis – one in six of the population – who have been displaced and the upcoming rainy season brings the threat of outbreaks of disease among communities already weakened by malnutrition.</p> <p>Tens of thousands are reported to have already died – more than half of them children. The new escalation in fighting and insecurity along the Kenya-Somalia border risks increasing the suffering for civilians already devastated by drought and conflict. Food prices have rocketed.</p> <p>Drought and famine are just part of the reason some people do not have enough to eat. There are a whole host of interlinked factors. The global food system is bust. There is a prediction that staple grain prices will rise by 120-180% in the next 2 decades. The price of Sorghum, a major food source in Somalia, has soared by 240% in just 1 year. It's time to fix this. </p> <p><strong>Read: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2011-10-20/new-somalia-fighting-risks-increasing-famine-suffering" rel="nofollow">Somalia three months on</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Watch: <a href="https://app.aframe.com/links/fe45a9e0913252ffac05e41a492274aa" rel="nofollow">Three months on video</a></strong></p> <p>Making this the world's last famine: Charter to End Hunger</p> <p>As news of the escalating food crisis in the Horn of Africa started to hit the international media earlier this year, the same question must have been in many people’s minds: how could this have happened again? Oxfam Rights in Crisis Campaigner Celine Grey blogs about the <strong><a href="http://hungercharter.org/" rel="nofollow">Charter to End Hunger</a></strong>.</p> <p><strong>Read: <a href="http://growweek.posterous.com/east-africa-crisis-making-this-the-worlds-las" rel="nofollow">"Making This The World's Last Famine"</a></strong></p> <h3>Africans Act for Africa</h3> <p>Africans Act for Africa (AA4A) was formed in August 2011 to urge African governments to act in response to the East Africa food crisis by lending immediate financial support to ongoing relief efforts. AA4A want the African Union to demonstrate a long term plan to end hunger.</p> <p><strong>Read: <a href="http://growweek.posterous.com/because-no-one-should-die-from-hunger-african" rel="nofollow">Because No-one Should Die From Hunger</a> </strong></p> <p><strong>Watch: AA4A in<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2hlpM_2YtQ" rel="nofollow"> Kenya</a> and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9cc3-kt3I8" rel="nofollow">Tanzania</a> on YouTube</strong></p> <p>GROW launches in Sri Lanka</p> <p>The GROW campaign was launched in Sri Lanka on October 18 in Colombo in an event titled “Global Food Crisis: Opportunities and Challenges”. In Sri Lanka around four million people are undernourished. Expectant mothers and children are the most affected by malnutrition. Almost one in five children in Sri Lanka has a low birth weight and around 500,000 children are reported to be underweight. Global food price increase and extreme weath events are already having an impact on vulnerable communities in the country.</p> <p><strong>Read: <a href="http://growweek.posterous.com/grow-launches-in-sri-lanka" rel="nofollow">GROW launch in Sri Lanka</a></strong></p> <h3><strong>Food price volatility stunt at FAO HQ in Rome</strong></h3> <p>Oxfam activists descended on the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters yesterday (October 19) to ask delegates at the CFS (Committee on World Food Security) to act on food price volatility, a phenomenon which in 2010 alone pushed 44 million people into poverty.</p> <p>Volunteers dressed up as farmers and posed for press photographers armed with rice and wheat to show symbolically how food price volatility affects how much basic food people can afford.</p> <p><strong>See: <a href="http://growweek.posterous.com/oxfam-stunt-this-morning-at-fao-rome" rel="nofollow">Photos from the stunt in Rome</a></strong></p> <h3><strong>Duncan Green live Facebook Q&amp;A about GROW 1-2pm BST tomorrow</strong></h3> <p>Tomorrow (Friday October 21) at 1pm UK time (12 GMT) for one hour, Head of Research at Oxfam Duncan Green will be online to answer your questions about the GROW campaign. You can ask him about any of the GROW issues, including land grabs and land rights, climate change, rising food prices, hunger, poverty, small scale farmers, investment and agriculture.</p> <p>Can't make the lunchtime date? Not a problem. Leave a question on the GROW Facebook wall and we will do our best to get it answered. You can find a list of questions <a href="http://growweek.posterous.com/duncan-green-live-facebook-qa-about-the-grow" rel="nofollow"><strong>here</strong></a> to give you some food for thought. </p> <p><strong>Visit GROW on Facebook at 1pm BST tomorrow: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/GROWgarden" rel="nofollow">www.facebook.com/GROWgarden</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Read: From Poverty to Power: <a href="http://www.oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/" rel="nofollow">Small Farms Can Be Beautiful</a></strong></p> <h3>Coming up: Land grabs action and more GROW campaign launches from around the world </h3> <p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>#GROW Week day six: the famine in Somalia three months on</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blog/11-10-21-semaine-cultivons-famine-afrique-est-trois-mois" title="Semaine CULTIVONS : la famine en Afrique de l’Est dure depuis trois mois " class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blog/11-10-21-semana-crece-dia-seis-la-hambruna-en-el-cuerno-de-africa-tres-meses-despues" title="Semana #CRECE, día seis: la hambruna en el Cuerno de África tres meses después " class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:04:40 +0000 Rosie Cowling 9621 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-10-20-grow-week-day-six-famine-east-africa-three-months#comments CL!CK photo competiton winners: how aid is helping local communities http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-10-20-click-photography-competition-aid-helping-local-communities <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>A few months ago I wrote about a new <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blog/11-07-08-your-creativity-needed-oxfams-new-photo-competition" target="_blank" title=" Oxfam’s new photo competition (Oxfam GB)">photography competition</a> that Oxfam was involved with, partnering with the good people over at <a href="http://www.clickaboutit.net/" target="_blank" title="Click about it - Worldwide Photography Competition" rel="nofollow">European Journalism Centre</a>. Now, I’m delighted to be able to write again – announcing some winners!</strong></p> <p>We asked people to take images around the idea of AID. Primarily we wanted people to use their own skill and creativity to capture interesting and moving images. And hundreds of them certainly did that!</p> <p>We set a couple of points of guidance:</p> <ul><li>How “aid” is changing the local community;</li> <li>What kinds of activities and campaigns in developed countries are being carried out to “aid” the less/least developed world.</li> </ul><p>But I was really interested to see what the global community of photographers came back with. It was difficult to pick winners in amongst so many great entries. <strong><a href="http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/131787/voteable_entries/30806700" target="_blank" title="Helping the Disadvantage Help Themselves - Larrie Louis" rel="nofollow">Larry Louie ‘Helping the disadvantaged help themselves’</a></strong> (above) was judged in first place. Check out some of the photos below.</p> <p>And in the coming months keep an eye out as we’ve got some exciting plans for what we do with the amazing images that were shot.</p> <h3>#2 Aid of people in Brazil (Daniel Marenco)</h3> <p><a href="http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/131787/voteable_entries/31480989" target="_blank" title="Aid of people in Brazil - by Daniel Marenco" rel="nofollow"></a></p> <h3>#2 Aid in Africa (Paolo Patruno)</h3> <p><a href="http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/131787/voteable_entries/31480919" target="_blank" title="AID in Africa - by Paolo Patruno" rel="nofollow"></a></p> <h3>#2 Rewa Soma – new hope for a safe future (Sarika Gulati)</h3> <p><a href="http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/131787/voteable_entries/31480989" target="_blank" title="Rewa Soma – new hope for a safe future, in Ladakh, India - by Sarika Gulati)" rel="nofollow"></a></p> <h3>Read more</h3> <p><strong>Visit the website <a href="http://www.clickaboutit.net/" target="_blank" title="Clickaboutit.net Photo Competition" rel="nofollow">Cl!ck about it - Worldwide Photography Competition</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Watch the video <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/video/2010/good-aid" target="_blank" title="Good Aid - Video - Oxfam" rel="nofollow">Good Aid</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>CL!CK photo competiton winners: how aid is helping local communities</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blog/11-10-21-resultats-concours-photos-clck-aide-soutient-communautes-locales" title="Résultats du concours de photos CL!CK : comment l&#039;aide soutient les communautés locales" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blog/11-10-21-ya-tenemos-ganadores-del-concuso-fotografico-clck-about-it" title="¡Ya tenemos ganadores del concuso fotográfico CL!CK about it!" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Thu, 20 Oct 2011 10:39:54 +0000 Ian Sullivan 9609 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-10-20-click-photography-competition-aid-helping-local-communities#comments