Oxfam International Blogs - poverty http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/tags/poverty poverty es European elections 2019: A European spring for citizens worldwide? http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81950 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>The Head of our EU office&nbsp;</strong></em><em><strong>explains why this spring's EU elections are so critical right now, and shares her hope that they will help the EU flourish and provide better policies for citizens in Europe and beyond.</strong></em></p><p>Europe is not flourishing this spring.</p><p>The European Union is beset by <a href="https://www.politico.eu/article/europes-populist-contagion-vaccines-infectious-diseases/" rel="nofollow">baying populism</a>, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2019/may/01/uk-house-prices-manufacturing-brexit-us-federal-reserve-business-live" rel="nofollow">Brexit</a>, and a faltering economic model which bred an inequality crisis.</p><p>Come the May elections, will the Union succumb to internal strife and selfishness, turning its back on Europe’s and the world’s citizens, or will the elections mark a period of regrowth and renewal for the European project?</p><p>It is vital that European leaders address the main challenges of our time, namely economic and gender inequality as well the crisis of climate change.</p><p><strong>Restoring faith by proving valuable</strong></p><p>As a European citizen, I am hopeful. The European Union was founded as a political project of peace, prosperity and democracy. Despite significant problems, it is still an important political force in the promotion of these values – both in Europe and the rest of the world.</p><p>But during these recent years of political turmoil and polarisation, the founding values of the Union, as well as the very value of the Union itself, are increasingly under attack. The benefits of international cooperation are in question, and countries within and beyond Europe are adopting <a href="https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/far-rightists-could-test-dutch-loyalty-to-european-project-1.3875325" rel="nofollow">nationalist</a>, <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/canada-s-flood-map-failures-jeopardy-s-new-champ-so-long-payless-shoes-and-more-1.5110560/a-far-right-party-is-poised-for-a-breakthrough-in-spain-s-elections-for-the-first-time-since-franco-1.5110632" rel="nofollow">isolationist</a> and short-sighted policies that do not serve the long-term interests of their citizens.</p><p>Rather than confront the impact of <a href="https://www.socialeurope.eu/the-sustainability-imperative" rel="nofollow">policies which led European citizens to lose faith</a> – austerity measures, increasing privatisation of basic services and a widening gap between the rich and the rest – the EU has responded by <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-europe-remain-global-player-while-turns-inwards-winnie-byanyima/" rel="nofollow">turning inwards</a>, and allowing its policies to be dictated by the political agendas of a few member states.</p><p>This spring, I am hoping that European politicians will turn away from these policies and damaging narratives of the recent years.</p><p><img alt="Climate march, Belgium, 2014. Photo: Oxfam" title="Climate march, Belgium, 2014. Photo: Oxfam" height="340" width="680" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/climate_march_belgium-2014.jpg" /></p><p><strong>Fighting injustice, poverty and climate change</strong></p><p>The challenges confronting our people and planet are critical.</p><p>We need a Union that takes responsibility for the future of our shared world, serves the interests of ordinary people and tackles inequality, climate change and the realisation of women’s rights head on.</p><p>The May 2019 elections are a chance to breathe new life into <a href="https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/news/udo-bullmann-eu-elections-%E2%80%98crucial-future-european-project%E2%80%99" rel="nofollow">the European project</a> and restore the faith of citizens by reviving the EU founding values of solidarity, peace and justice.</p><p>Right now, we live in a world where <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/09/19/decline-of-global-extreme-poverty-continues-but-has-slowed-world-bank" rel="nofollow">736 million people are living in extreme poverty</a>, and 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Meanwhile, <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/even-it/5-shocking-facts-about-extreme-global-inequality-and-how-even-it-davos" rel="nofollow">26 people own the same amount of wealth</a> as the poorest half of the world.</p><p>As economic growth continues to benefit a small number of rich people, the rest of society suffers, and the world’s poorest are hit the hardest – especially women and girls.</p><p>Climate change is threatening all people and our entire planet, with the richest doing the most damage while the poorest suffer the consequences.</p><p>We need European leaders to prioritise addressing these challenges.</p><p>They must ensure that more and better aid assists the world’s poorest and those in crises, develop a fair and effective asylum system, implement ambitious climate policies, and fight inequality through progressive taxation, investment in quality public services and renewed support for labour rights.</p><p><strong>A Union of true solidarity</strong></p><p>Europe needs visionary political leadership which goes beyond short-sighted and self-interested policies.</p><p>In the next parliamentary term, European politicians and policy makers must focus on improving the lot of our shared humanity, demonstrating solidarity within Europe and beyond.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/portal/en" rel="nofollow">upcoming election</a> is a vital opportunity to restore trust in the EU and the benefits of global cooperation.</p><p>This requires candidates uniting behind a European agenda of fairness, equality and solidarity – for the benefit of all citizens.</p><p><strong>To learn more about Oxfam’s recommendations for key priorities to be addressed by European Political Parties in the next European term, have a look at “<a href="https://oxfam.app.box.com/v/EUelections2019" rel="nofollow">European Elections 2019: Oxfam Submission to Party Manifestos</a>”.</strong></p><p><em>This entry posted on 1 May 2019, by Marissa Ryan, Deputy Director of Advocacy &amp; Campaigns and Head of Oxfam’s EU office.</em></p><p><em>&nbsp;</em></p><p></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>European elections 2019: A European spring for citizens worldwide?</h2></div> Wed, 01 May 2019 11:26:45 +0000 Guest Blogger 81950 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81950#comments Here's how to get the best next World Bank president http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81863 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>The best way to find the right person to tackle the injustice of poverty is to raise our collective expectations.</strong></p><p>I’m blown away by what some people are willing to accept when considering who should be the next World Bank president.</p><p><em>“As long as they believe in climate change.”</em></p><p><em>“We just need someone who cares about multilateralism.”</em></p><p><em>“Let’s just pray they’re not a complete misogynist.”</em></p><p>And my new favorite: <em>“The US must choose the next president else we risk losing its support for the World Bank.”</em></p><p>We deserve better.</p><p>After all, who gave <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/us/politics/ivanka-trump-world-bank-president.html" rel="nofollow">Ivanka Trump, Steven Mnuchin, and Mick Mulvaney</a> the power to choose behind closed doors the head of arguably the world’s most influential development organization?</p><p>The point is we shouldn’t resign ourselves to accept that the next World Bank president will be the US nominee. The next leader should be the most highly qualified person for the job. To get that, we have to demand it: In the way we talk about it and the way it is covered in the media.</p><p><strong>So here are my questions:&nbsp;</strong>Where are the other potential non-American candidates? Why aren’t journalists covering them, but with a <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-contemplates-appointing-first-female-president-of-world-bank-11548327601" rel="nofollow">few exceptions</a>?</p><p>A process that is merit-based and open in name only will impact the credibility of the next president and could shred the legitimacy of the Bank itself.</p><p>Many are resigned to believe that even if the process is technically open, blocks will form and coalesce around a US nominee, similar to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/apr/16/world-bank-president-jim-yong-kim" rel="nofollow">what happened in 2016</a>. And this time the stakes might be even higher; I can already imagine this White House playing its America First tune with the Bank and other shareholders: “Promote our candidate and you’ve got our <a href="http://ida.worldbank.org/about/why-ida" rel="nofollow">IDA19</a> contribution”; “I’ll lift that tariff we’ve been discussing for the past two months”; or “Do you really want to get on our bad side?”</p><p>Absent other serious candidates in the running—or being “talked about”—there will be no pressure on the US to put forward a candidate capable of navigating the World Bank through major global crises and supporting countries to meet their ambitious targets. As far as Ivanka and company are concerned, they just have to put forward a “not so terrible” candidate—and the deal is done.</p><p>We must do better and demand more from this process. So, Governments around the world—including the US—and the Board of Directors that represent them and committed themselves to a serious process in <a href="http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DEVCOMMINT/Documentation/22885978/DC2011-0006(E)Governance.pdf" rel="nofollow">2011</a>, <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2016/08/23/world-bank-board-launches-presidential-selection-process" rel="nofollow">2016 </a>and <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2019/01/10/selection-of-the-president-of-the-world-bank-group" rel="nofollow">2019</a>, listen up!</p><p><strong>1. Put forward your best candidate.</strong></p><ul><li>Make sure they are bright, and understand what global poverty and sustainable, inclusive development look like.</li><li>Make sure they care about the World Bank’s mission and the people it should serve.</li><li>Make sure they understand the urgency of tackling climate change and the role of the Bank in helping countries meet their commitments.</li><li>Make sure they value working with all stakeholders and shareholders.</li><li>Make sure their egos don’t overpower their ability to heed advice from others who know more.</li><li>Make sure they know how to manage a large multicultural and multi-faceted organization.</li></ul><p>Serious alternative candidates will be good for the process, good for the Bank, and good for the US’ role in the world for the long-term.</p><p>P.S. If you are not putting forward a candidate, let other shareholders know you would be willing to support the best candidate possible for the job. Interested shareholders will hesitate to nominate people if they don’t know they would have anyone else’s backing.</p><p><strong>2. Demand a public debate among the three short-listed candidates.</strong></p><p>In 2012, both Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and José Antonio Ocampo <a href="https://www.cgdev.org/media/center-global-development-and-washington-post-present-world-bank-president-candidate-event" rel="nofollow">participated in such a debate</a> while the winning candidate, Jim Kim, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/apr/13/why-rush-world-bank-president" rel="nofollow">did not participate</a>.</p><p>This led to a lot of speculation that he may not have stacked up against the others if put side by side. Make sure we all understand why you made the choice you did.</p><p><strong>3. Do your jobs as you have committed to do, and understand that despite what it may sound like, we do expect a lot of you.</strong></p><p>Grill the candidates on every level. We expect you to do what is best for the institution but most importantly to do what is best for those communities living in poverty whose lives can be improved or worsened with the various choices your institution makes.</p><p>The official clock on the nomination period hasn’t even started yet so there is time.</p><p>Don’t waste it.</p><p><em>This entry posted on 8 February 2019 by Nadia Daar (<a href="https://twitter.com/nadiadaar" rel="nofollow">@nadiadaar</a>), Head of the Washington DC office of Oxfam International. Originally posted on <a href="https://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2019/01/its-time-to-raise-the-bar-for-the-next-world-bank-president/" rel="nofollow">Oxfam America</a>.</em></p><p><em>Photo: Maize farmer Christina, 24, has two daughters, ages 6 and 3. "I have hope that one day we leave poverty behind." Credit: Nana Kofi Acquah/Oxfam, Ghana</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Here&#039;s how to get the best next World Bank president</h2></div> Fri, 08 Feb 2019 12:10:15 +0000 Guest Blogger 81863 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81863#comments Seven brilliant questions you asked about Oxfam’s Inequality report http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81841 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Oxfam’s new <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/public-good-or-private-wealth" rel="nofollow">inequality report</a>, which reveals that billionaires’ fortunes grew by $2.5 billion a day last year, as poorest half of humanity – 3.8 billion people – saw their wealth fall, is making headlines around the globe. Since we launched, we have received lots questions. Here’s our response to seven of the most frequently asked questions.</strong></p><h3>1. Why is Oxfam attacking billionaires – they are talented entrepreneurs who create jobs and wealth. Billionaires such as Bill Gates have even given millions to charity.</h3><p><span>Oxfam is not anti-wealth but anti-poverty. We shine a spotlight on the billionaires growing wealth to highlight the problem with our broken economic system. Our economies enable a small number of people to accumulate unimaginable wealth while paying relatively little tax, even as vital public services such as healthcare and education are crumbling for want of funds. This doesn’t make sense.</span></p><p>It’s true that some billionaires have created vast business empires from nothing – and created jobs and prosperity for themselves and others. However this is not true of all of them. Oxfam estimates that two thirds of billionaire wealth is inherited or tainted with monopoly or cronyism. Equally not all billionaires ensure their workers get a <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/reward-work-not-wealth" rel="nofollow">fair share of the profits</a> from their businesses by for example paying a living wage.</p><p>It’s also true some billionaires such as Bill Gates are using their wealth to help others – and they should be congratulated. But charitable giving does not replace a company or individual's responsibility to pay their fair share of tax. And many wealthy people agree with us - <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/21/bill-gates-has-paid-10-billion-in-taxes-and-says-he-should-pay-more.html" rel="nofollow">Bill Gates says</a> the first responsibility of the super-rich is to pay their taxes and Warren Buffet has been calling for higher taxes for the super-rich.</p><p><img alt="Chart: Declining tax rates" title="Chart: Declining tax rates" height="530" width="700" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/declining-tax-rates.png" /></p><h3>2. Isn’t capitalism working – the global economy is growing, and poverty is declining?</h3><p>The number of people living in extreme poverty – on less than $1.90 a day – has been falling globally. This is something to be celebrated. However, the rate at which extreme poverty is falling is slowing and <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/number-extremely-poor-people-continues-rise-sub-saharan-africa" rel="nofollow">in some parts of the world</a><span> the number of people living in extreme poverty is actually rising.</span></p><p>But this is only part of the story. Almost half of humanity is still living on less than $5.50 a day. They are not living in extreme poverty but they are still very poor – struggling to keep their heads above water and just one medical bill away from extreme poverty. It’s this much bigger group of poor people who are seeing their wealth decline.</p><p><strong>The problem is that the benefits of economic growth, of wealth generation, are not shared equally.</strong> Wealth created in today’s economies is captured by those who are already wealthy, and the poorest in society see little benefit. That is why billionaire fortunes increased by 12 percent last year – or $2.5 billion a day - while the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11 percent.</p><p>In short our economies are broken. That is why Oxfam is calling for governments to build new economies that work for everyone and not just a privileged few.</p><h3>3. Aren’t low taxes a good thing? Won’t raising taxes will put a break on economic growth and job creation?</h3><p>The idea that low taxes for the wealthy is good for economic growth and job creation has been widely questioned. Even the <a href="https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/FM/Issues/2017/10/05/fiscal-monitor-october-2017" rel="nofollow">International Monetary Fund are saying</a><span> that there is ample scope for redistribution without hurting economic development</span></p><p><strong>It simply does not make sense that the tax bills for the very richest people</strong> and corporations are systematically lowered while vital public services such as healthcare and education – that benefit society as a whole - are struggling for want of funds. We need more schools – not more super yachts.</p><h3>4. What’s wrong with private schools and private healthcare. Public healthcare and education is very poor quality in many countries – private services give people an alternative?</h3><p>Lack of investment in public services does mean the quality of education and healthcare they provide is very poor in many countries. However, the solution to this problem is to invest more in public services – not outsource to the private sector.</p><p><strong>The private sector doesn’t deliver for the poorest in society</strong> because there is little incentive for private companies to provide services for people who can’t afford to pay for them. Moreover, private healthcare and education providers are often subsidized by governments, which means public money is often diverted to serve the needs of the wealthiest in society – at the expense of the poorest. For example, a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/07/lesotho-health-budget-private-consortium-hospital" rel="nofollow">public–private initiative to build a hospital in Lesotho</a> ended up consuming, as much as 51 percent of the countries total health budget in 2014 – depriving clinics in rural areas of much needed funds.</p><p>Only by investing in free universal public health and education services can governments deliver good-quality healthcare and education for all.</p><p><img alt="Graphic: Access to basic services" title="Graphic: Access to basic services" height="318" width="700" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="6" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/water-and-electricity-cropped.png" /></p><h3>5. Oxfam’s calculations are wrong – the data has holes in it and the way wealth is calculated means people on high incomes but lots of debts are counted amongst the worlds poorest?</h3><p><span>Oxfam bases its calculations on the best data available at the time – Credit Suisse’s annual Global Wealth Report and the annual Forbes Billionaires list. Of course the data is not perfect – the quality of data available varies from country to country but it is being improved and expanded every year.</span></p><p><strong>One of the big problems is that the very rich often hide their wealth offshore</strong> to avoid tax – which means that their fortunes are likely to be significantly underestimating. Despite these problems, most experts agree the data is good enough and provides a relatively accurate overview of how wealth is distributed globally.</p><p><img alt="Graphic: Rich people are hiding their wealth offshore." title="Graphic: Rich people are hiding their wealth offshore." height="347" width="700" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="3" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/rich-people-are-hiding-wealth-offshore.png" /></p><p>It is equally true to say that the way wealth is calculated means people who are high earners with large debts – such as graduates with big loans – are placed in the same category as people who are very poor. However this is a tiny fraction of people globally and has little impact on the figures.</p><p><strong>The vast majority of people at the bottom fifty percent are very poor people</strong> who are really struggling to get by. Those who are in debt are, overwhelmingly, poor people who are forced to borrow to stay afloat – think of single mothers having to go to loan sharks to pay medical bills in the US or small holder farmers borrowing at huge interest from money lenders in India.</p><p>No data set or methodology is ever 100 percent perfect and figures may change slightly from year to year as new and better data becomes available. However, the overwhelming and consistent pattern we are seeing is that the gap between rich and poor is growing ever bigger and that small number of people are accumulating vast fortunes while paying relatively little tax, even as vital public services such as healthcare and education are crumbling for want of funds.</p><h3>6. Inequality doesn’t fuel poverty.</h3><p><span>The evidence and experience of millions of people around the globe suggests it does.</span></p><p>In countries like Kenya a child from a rich family will spend twice as long in education as a child from a poor family - and so will be much better placed to secure a well-paid job when they leave school.</p><p><strong>By closing the gap between rich and poor</strong> – more fairly taxing wealth and investing the proceeds in education and healthcare for all – governments can ensure no child misses out on a better future simply because they are poor.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/10/17/nearly-half-the-world-lives-on-less-than-550-a-day" rel="nofollow">World Bank agrees</a> – it says unless we close the gap between rich and poor, extreme poverty will not be eliminated and 200 million will still living on $1.90 a day in 2030.</p><p><img alt="Graphic: Inequality in Nepal" title="Graphic: Inequality in Nepal" height="369" width="700" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="4" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/nepal_0.png" /></p><h3>7. Isn't Oxfam getting too political?</h3><p><span>The decisions that governments make have a </span><a href="https://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/twenty-five-years-more-life-the-real-prize-for-tackling-inequality/" rel="nofollow">critical impact on people's lives</a><span>. So, in that respect, poverty is political. People across the globe are losing faith in our political system because governments put the demands of big business and the super-rich over the needs of their own citizens.</span></p><p>It does not make sense that the tax bills for the very richest have been systematically lowered for years, while vital public services such as healthcare and education – that benefit all of society in so many ways - are struggling for want of funds.</p><p>This is not a question of politics or ideology – it's a matter of justice and human dignity.</p><p></p><h3>What you can do now</h3><p></p><ul><li><strong><span>Join the movement to <a href="https://www.evenitup.org" rel="nofollow">fight inequality and beat poverty</a></span></strong></li><li><strong>Check out the&nbsp;<a href="https://indepth.oxfam.org.uk/public-good-private-wealth/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">interactive online version</a>&nbsp;of the report</strong></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Seven brilliant questions you asked about Oxfam’s Inequality report</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/19-01-25-siete-excelentes-preguntas-que-hemos-recibido-en-relaci%C3%B3n-al-informe-de-oxfam-sobre-desigualdad-davos" title="Siete excelentes preguntas que hemos recibido en relación al informe de Oxfam sobre desigualdad" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Wed, 23 Jan 2019 16:27:40 +0000 Guest Blogger 81841 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81841#comments Inequality Is Bad For Your Health and What You Can Do About It http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81845 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Never in my life will I forget meeting Onenghi in his home, in a slum in Yaoundé, Cameroon.</strong></p><p>Three weeks earlier he had watched his six-year-old daughter die in front of him in hospital because he had run out of money for her treatment. He told me that because of the hospital bill he could no longer afford the fees for his three other children to continue going to school.</p><p>Earlier that same week, I met Alliance with her one year old son, Ange. When in labour a year before, Alliance went to a local private clinic and was told she needed a Caesarean. For the little money she had, the doctors agreed to deliver the baby but nothing else. That’s literally what they did!</p><p>Once the baby was out, they quickly stitched up Alliance - leaving the placenta and several fibroids inside her -- and sent her home. The unbearable pain that followed meant Alliance had no choice but to sell her small plot of land to pay for surgery. But it was not enough. By the time she returned home from hospital, Alliance and her family had sold everything they owned to save her life.</p><p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nrBouRqhK2M" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p><strong>What Really Matters to You?</strong></p><p><strong></strong><span>I can think of no worse or more unjust impact of today’s extreme economic inequality than a woman not getting to see her baby grow up because she died giving birth, or a potential future extraordinary teacher, doctor or even head of state, being denied the education she needs to achieve her goals, because she is poor.</span></p><p><span>Ask anyone what really matters and the health of their families and their children’s education will be near the top of the list. Yet in many countries these things are only available to those with money. This is the focus of our report for Davos this year, ‘<strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/public-good-or-private-wealth" rel="nofollow">Public Good or Private Wealth</a></strong>’.</span></p><p>The report explains that underfunded privatised services drive up inequality. Conversely, universal quality public services are amongst the most powerful levellers in our societies and economies.</p><p>Public services like water and health care also give time back to women who work millions of hours unpaid to provide these essentials when public services fail. They can boost living standards, boost opportunity and earning potential; break the generational cycle of poverty; help close the pay gap between women and men; and boost social cohesion.</p><p><strong>Free Health and Education for All</strong></p><p>I think good quality free health and education for all, alongside other vital public services and social protection shout out fairness; that everyone matters equally; and that each one of us deserves the possibility of a good life.</p><p>Perhaps there are few who would disagree with this. But then I look at the chaotic, fragmented and highly political and ideological world of global health that I’ve been working in for the last 15 years and I do wonder what is driving some of the initiatives we see in the name scaling up health care for poor people. How on earth, for example, did we get to a place where <a href="http://www.realityofaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/RoAFullReport3January2019-min.pdf" rel="nofollow">some rich country governments</a> and institutions like the <strong><a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/investing-for-the-few-the-ifcs-health-in-africa-initiative-325654" rel="nofollow">World Bank</a></strong>, are handing significant funds over to private equity firms based in tax havens to invest in <strong><a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/investing-for-the-few-the-ifcs-health-in-africa-initiative-325654" rel="nofollow">expensive elite private hospitals</a></strong> in countries like Kenya, India and Nigeria?</p><p>The reality is that global health and education is increasingly captured by those vested interests that push to keep taxes low for the wealthy, whilst pushing profitable market-based models of service provision. <br>The most clear-cut example of this is the <strong><a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/Prescription_for_Poverty_Full_Report.pdf" rel="nofollow">pharmaceutical giants</a></strong> who use their economic and political clout to shape government policy on tax, trade and health in their interest.</p><p><strong>Winds of Change</strong></p><p>What hope then? I hold on to the stories of countries that buck the trend, making publicly funded and publicly delivered services for all a success. There is no contest between public and market-based approaches in terms of impact when this happens.</p><p>In the world of global health, Thailand is the shining star where everyone has access to quality health services free of charge and paid for by general taxation. What’s less well reported is that <strong><a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)30198-3/fulltext" rel="nofollow">over 80% of Thailand’s highly regarded pro-poor health care </a></strong>is delivered by the government, whilst private health care providers are very tightly regulated.</p><p><img alt="Oxfam report: Public Good or Private Wealth" title="Oxfam report: Public Good or Private Wealth" height="346" width="700" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/child-birth.png" /></p><p><strong>The Power of the Public Sector</strong></p><p>And that brings me to my favourite bit of new data in Oxfam’s new report that is unlikely to grab any headlines, but should serve as a serious challenge to those promoting an ever-greater role for the private sector in health.</p><p>The data from 61 low and middle income countries spells out clearly to me that if you want to solve the seemingly intractable horror of poor women dying in child birth, you must prioritise fixing, expanding and improving your public health care system.</p><p>In countries that have been most successful at reaching the poorest women at scale (between 60 and 100% coverage) with a doctor or midwife, 90% of the medical care is provided by the public sector and only 8% by the private sector.</p><p>Alliance said to me before I left her that if health care was provided free of charge by the government in Cameroon it would change her life and truly make her proud to be from Cameroon. She said that she thought it was most important for pregnant women - ‘why should a mother have to pay when she is trying to give life?’</p><p>I couldn’t agree more.</p><p><em>This entry posted on 22 January 2019 by Anna Marriott (<a href="twitter.com/Anna_Marriott" rel="nofollow">@Anna_Marriott</a>), Oxfam's Public Services Policy Manager.</em></p><p><strong>What you can do now</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Share this blog to send a message to governments to tax the rich and big corporations fairly.&nbsp;</strong></li><li><strong>Read Oxfam's report: <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/public-good-or-private-wealth" rel="nofollow">Public Good, Private Wealth</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="https://www.evenitup.org" rel="nofollow">Join the movement to fight inequality and beat poverty</a></strong></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Inequality Is Bad For Your Health and What You Can Do About It</h2></div> Tue, 22 Jan 2019 14:05:06 +0000 Anna Marriott 81845 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81845#comments Oxfam: Strengthening our roots http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81831 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>This past year the Oxfam confederation reached more people than ever before – 22.3 million – the majority women and girls. </strong></p> <p>We did this largely via partnerships with more than 7,300 organizational allies around the world, helping them too to strengthen the ways they influence their own decision-makers. By next year we will spend 30% of our funding directly into these kinds of local groups.</p> <p>In many ways, this is the result of a “new look” Oxfam. In 2014-5 we set out to become a more globally balanced organization, one more responsive to the shifting dynamics of poverty and power. We’re now well advanced with our changes. We remain <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/our-purpose-and-beliefs">committed to our mission</a> to fight global poverty and inequality, while we have been anticipating and reacting to change – both inside and out.</p> <p><strong>First, we considered the new complexities of global poverty</strong>. Nearly 800m people are living now in extreme poverty, half that of 20 years ago - but many of them in fragile, difficult-to-work states. We see conflict, rocketing inequalities and climate break-down fuelling discriminations, disasters, hunger and mass migrations. Centers of political power waxing and waning, with southern countries driving more their own development pathways, responsible for realizing their own potential including through new technologies. We see the rise of feminist power even as we do, in many countries, also see divisive populist politics and the repression of civil activism.</p> <p><strong>Secondly, we considered ourselves.</strong> Since 1995, Oxfam’s international confederation has grown now to 19 independent NGOs (“affiliates”) running campaigns and development and humanitarian programs in 67 countries. Our affiliates raise <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/about/how-we-spend-money">more than €1b</a> between them each year to fight global poverty. Each has its own Board, is regulated by its own government, raises its own funds, and manages its own operations in their home country. Oxfam’s affiliates share the “Oxfam” name, are supported by a coordinating Secretariat, and work together under a single Global Strategic Plan.</p> <p><strong>In 2014-5 Oxfam set out a series of changes to improve</strong> the confederation’s global balance and become more genuinely led by the people we exist to help. We were encouraged along this path by our staff and partners, by the communities with whom we work, and by our donors and supporters; this is where the development sector itself must move. We knew we could work smarter through new Oxfam structures. We wanted to better utilize our knowledge and our influencing networks and become more efficient and effective in helping people living in poverty.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">Thanks to your support, last year, we've helped 22.3 million people. More than ever before.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThankYou?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThankYou</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HappyNewYear?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HappyNewYear</a> #2019 <a href="https://t.co/GJYqveziEa">pic.twitter.com/GJYqveziEa</a></p> <p>— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/1080330600244891648?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 2, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <p><strong>Our <a href="https://oxf.am/strategic-plan-2013-2019">Strategic Plan 2013-19</a> had firmly committed us toward this change:</strong></p> <ul><li>We want to create a worldwide influencing network led by our teams in the global South, nearer to where we work with local communities that are driving their own solutions;</li> <li>We want to improve the quality of our programs and share better the knowledge and partnerships that we have built up over the years;</li> <li>We want to strengthen our governance and accountability, with common standards and best practices across our confederation;</li> <li>We wanted to invest more in training, retaining and developing the leadership of our own staff, and improve our efficiency and effectiveness;</li> <li>And we wanted to diversify and strengthen our fund-raising base – again, by Oxfam affiliates working more closely together including in new countries.</li> </ul><p><strong>The most visible signs of our restructure have perhaps been in three key areas.</strong></p> <p><strong>We have streamlined our country program operations</strong>. Over the years, as our confederation grew, it meant – in some cases – having two or more Oxfam affiliates running their own separate programs in the same country. We have streamlined this. Now, in each country, we have a single Oxfam strategy and program, with one “executing affiliate” legally registered there, providing back office and business support. Other Oxfam “partner” affiliates are investing funds into these single country programs. The Oxfam International (OI) Secretariat has taken over staff management, simplifying our management lines. The funding and compliance of a country program remains the responsibility of our affiliates who all retain their existing relationships and obligations to their regulators, governments, publics and donors.</p> <p><strong>The second is that we are specifically building up our own “Southern leadership”</strong> both by establishing more Southern affiliates and empowering our country program teams to make decisions on the ground. We have welcomed Oxfam India, Oxfam Brazil, Oxfam Mexico and Oxfam South Africa into our confederation and we have affiliation processes currently underway in Turkey and Colombia.</p> <p><strong>The third is that Oxfam International has moved its headquarters from Oxford to Nairobi.</strong> Our Executive Director Winnie Byanyima <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/16-07-22-oxfam-international-signs-historic-deal-move-nairobi-kenya">explained this move here</a> at the time. The OI Secretariat is funded through contributions from all Oxfam affiliates and acts as the confederation’s over-arching coordination body, as well as the line manager of all country and regional program staff.</p> <p>Next year we hope to inspire and work with more people than ever. Stay tuned!</p> <p><em>This entry posted on 31 December 2018, by Oxfam International Management Team.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Valerie Mukangerero walks to her pineapple farm in Rwamurema village, eastern Rwanda. ”When I joined the cooperative, we were trained, we learned and I felt relieved that I would have a good life one day. I was going to change my life.” Credit: Aurelie Marrier d'Unienville/Oxfam</em></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Oxfam: Strengthening our roots</h2></div> Mon, 31 Dec 2018 14:17:07 +0000 Guest Blogger 81831 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81831#comments Stop the Bombs, Yemen is Starving http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81784 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>In recent days in the port city of Hodeidah in Yemen, hundreds of bombs have been dropped on and fighting has raged around the hospital</strong>. Houthis artillery fire in Yemen, and across the border into Saudi villages and towns, has similar effects. This intensification of fighting in the has put the spotlight back on the terrible conflict which has been raging since 2014.</p> <p>The tragedy here is that the crisis is human made and a product largely of arms brought in from outside of Yemen, both before the war and since it started.</p> <h3>Millions of People Are in Need</h3> <p>The fighting has <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-hodeida-port-city-war-civilians-saudi-arabia-houthis-a8404841.html">trapped about 600,000 civilians</a> in the city as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seek to wrest control of the port from Houthi forces, who have some backing from Iran. Hodeidah is strategically important as the vast majority of humanitarian aid for Yemen flows through the port, and the risk is that the fighting will leave the 22.2 million people in need of aid without access to food or medical supplies.</p> <p>In the past week, the World Food Programme has been <a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-al-hudaydah-update-situation-report-no-14-reporting-period-16-october-13-november">unable to access</a> 51,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat grain stored at the Red Sea Mills in the city, enough to feed 3.5 million people for a month. And a vital UNHCR warehouse containing emergency shelter and non-food items has become inaccessible.</p> <h3>Imported Arms Are Fuelling Death in Yemen</h3> <p>This terrible situation is entirely caused by a war in which the parties are dependent on arms supplied from outside the country.</p> <p>For the coalition side, arms, equipment and munitions have come mostly from western countries. The Saudi Arabian Air Force flies military jets from the US and UK, with bombs and missiles are supplied by those States and also notably by Italy. The UAE is also a coalition partner with a strong presence on the ground in Yemen including in the fighting in Hodeidah. The UAE is equipped with tanks and other armoured vehicles by France, and by a Canadian-owned Dubai based military vehicle manufacturer. France has also sold jets to the UAE and Qatar.</p> <p>Concerns about violations of International Human Rights Law (IHL), which have been committed by all parties to the conflict, have until recently not had much effect on the supply of bombs, missiles and other military arms and equipment to Saudi Arabia or other coalition countries.</p> <p>However, following the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45812399">murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi</a> in Turkey by the Saudi government, countries such as Germany, Norway and Austria have recently announced a suspension of arms transfers to the Kingdom, and pressed other EU states to do the same. Most recently, the <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/u-s-ends-refueling-support-in-yemen-war-as-pressure-builds-on-saudi-arabia-idUSKCN1NF06R">US announcement</a> on October 10, of an end of refuelling for Saudi fighter jets active in Yemen, should hopefully constrain their ability to maintain a high operational tempo.</p> <p>Research by the UNSC mandated panel of experts showed that Iran smuggled arms into Yemen for use by the Houthis - who have also used arms and equipment from government forces which they seized, or were given by deserting army units in the early stages of the war. Further research by independent analysts have also shown continuing supplies of explosives and military technology, including missiles and drones, from Iran.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">The people of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yemen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yemen</a> are experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. <br /><br />They desperately need our support: <a href="https://t.co/P3wXVqCmiv">https://t.co/P3wXVqCmiv</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YemenCantWait?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#YemenCantWait</a> <a href="https://t.co/HwoOAyWmKW">pic.twitter.com/HwoOAyWmKW</a></p> <p>— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/1064272535292768256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 18, 2018</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><h3>Women Are Affected Most</h3> <p>Oxfam is particularly concerned about the gendered impact of arms supplied to all combatants, with the burden of the violence <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/humanitarian-action/facts-and-figures">falling particularly heavily on women and girls</a> trapped in war zones.</p> <p>Explosive weapons like the bombs and missiles used in Yemen put women at greater health risk than men:</p> <ul><li>especially due to the lack of access to healthcare after exposure to explosive weapons use or because of miscarriage;</li> <li>women are more discriminated against than men if disfigured or disabled as a result of such exposure;</li> <li>women are more vulnerable economically and socially than men especially if displaced by explosive weapons use;</li> <li>and women are usually less able to participate than men in rebuilding societies and infrastructure after conflict, meaning their needs are less likely to be met.</li> </ul><p>Fighting in Yemen has also caused the <a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-unhcr-update-march-2018">displacement of over 2 million people</a>. Among other gendered effects of conflict, it is known that displaced women have a higher risk of exposure and exploitation, and in particular are subject to gender-based violence.</p> <p>Research shows that during conflict and militarisation of societies there is often an increase in sexism and violence towards women and therefore also an <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012695/">increase in the risk of sexual violence</a>, which then usually goes unpunished.</p> <h3>Yemen Is Desperate for Peace</h3> <p>Oxfam has <a href="https://www.oxfam.org.uk/scotland/blog/2017/09/yemenoped">consistently called</a> on <a href="https://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2017/12/bringing-the-blockade-of-yemen-to-washington/">all States</a> to <a href="https://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2015/09/uk-arms-sales-fuelling-yemen-crisis-in-potential-breach-of-law-says-oxfam">stop the supply of arms</a> to all those fighting in Yemen, and where suppliers are party to the Arms Trade Treaty, to live up to their <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2018-11-07/oxfam-joins-yemeni-and-international-organizations-call-immediate-ceasefire">obligations to cease supplies</a> where there is an overriding risk of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.</p> <p>The people of Yemen need peace.</p> <p>They need the arms supplies to stop and supplies of food and medicine to enter the country unimpeded to meet their needs.</p> <p>They need materials for the reconstruction of civilian infrastructure destroyed in fighting.</p> <p>So far, countries have <a href="https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/perverse-cycle-european-arms-sales-saudi-and-uae-worth-sixty-times-aid-yemen-356882718">earned much more from arms sales</a> than they have given in humanitarian aid.</p> <p>This needs to end, and end now.</p> <p>The new and fragile ceasefire offers hope. Will it last?</p> <p><em>This entry posted on 19 November 2018, by Martin Butcher, Oxfam's Policy Advisor on Arms and Conflict.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Jameela Ahmed's three boys sitting in the room they live in, in a village outside Khamer city, Yemen. Jameela's husband died about seven years ago, so she takes care of her children. In Amran governorate, Oxfam has reached over 205,000 people. In these hard-to-reach areas, we set up some cash assistance projects to support people’s battle against starvation, and malnourished children receive treatment from Oxfam’s partners. We have also run projects for hygiene awareness and cholera prevention. Credit: Gabreez/Oxfam<br /></em></p> <h3>Read more:</h3> <ul><li><em><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/yemen"><strong>Blogs on Yemen</strong></a><br /></em></li> <li><em><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen">Support Oxfam's humanitarian response in Yemen</a><br /></strong></em></li> <li><em><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases?keys=yemen&amp;created%5Bmin%5D%5Bdate%5D=&amp;created%5Bmax%5D%5Bdate%5D=">Oxfam's press releases on Yemen</a><br /></strong></em></li> </ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Stop the Bombs, Yemen is Starving</h2></div> Tue, 20 Nov 2018 09:05:12 +0000 Martin Butcher 81784 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81784#comments Climate change is a symptom of our broken economy http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81704 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>13 September 2018, San Francisco - by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International.</em></p><p><strong>This week I have the honor of speaking on behalf of civil society at the <a href="https://www.globalclimateactionsummit.org/" rel="nofollow">Global Climate Action Summit</a>, hosted by California Governor Brown in San Francisco. It's a chance to build new momentum in the fight against climate change. Momentum that is desperately needed.</strong></p><p>As I write, <a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/hurricane-florence-in-harms-way/" rel="nofollow">Hurricane Florence</a> is hurtling towards the US East Coast.&nbsp; The North Carolina Governor has called it a "<a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45505539" rel="nofollow">disaster on the doorstep</a>". US weather reporters say they have never seen anything like it. The poorest, the most vulnerable will be hardest hit - they always are. That's the reality of extreme weather all over the world, even in the richest countries on Earth.</p><p>This week we learned that the number of extreme climate-related disasters in poor countries has shot up in the last 25 years. Worse still, the UN confirmed that <a href="http://www.fao.org/state-of-food-security-nutrition/en/" rel="nofollow">global hunger is rising again</a>, with our changing climate a leading cause.</p><p><img alt="Figure - Increasing number of climate disasters" title="Figure - Increasing number of climate disasters" height="622" width="797" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/climate-disasters-2018.png" /></p><p>We've seen close to 10 years of progress in ending hunger reversed in the last 3 years. Oxfam has been warning for years that <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/hot-and-hungry" rel="nofollow">climate change would put the fight against hunger back by decades</a>. It's now happening before our eyes.</p><p><strong>I see the human face of climate change in <a href="https://stories.oxfamamerica.org/stories/frontlines-extreme-weather" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's work all over the world</a>.</strong> More often than not, it's a woman's face I see. In unequal societies, women are far more likely to die in natural disasters. By some estimates, <a href="http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/gender/Gender%20and%20Environment/UNDP%20Linkages%20Gender%20and%20CC%20Policy%20Brief%201-WEB.pdf" rel="nofollow">80% of those forced to leave their homes</a> by climate change are women.</p><p>So I'll carry two big messages with me to the Global Climate Action Summit this week.</p><p><strong>The first is that there is a devastating human cost</strong> to every delay to bring greenhouse gas emissions down and to support those on the frontlines of extreme weather.</p><p><strong>The second is that quick fixes won't work.</strong> The root cause of this crisis lies in our broken economic model. It's the same economic thinking that produces extreme inequality in our societies, where just a handful of very rich, mostly male elites <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-reward-work-not-wealth-220118-summ-en.pdf" rel="nofollow">own more wealth than half the global population</a>!</p><p>It's the same thinking that prioritises GDP growth above all else - masking the lives of people in poverty, obscuring the cost of economic activity to the environment and hiding from view the unpaid care work of billions of women around the world.</p><p>It's an economy - bluntly put - in which the environment and ordinary people - most of all women - are exploitable resources for the super-rich.</p><p>So if we are serious about keeping global warming below 1.5C - meaning net zero global emissions by mid-century - we need to re-think the very purpose of our public policies and of our businesses. We need a more human economy - one that prioritises the many over the few, and keeps within the boundaries our planet can bear.</p><h3>We have reason for hope</h3><p>In driving emissions down, it is increasingly developing countries that are leading the charge. Later this year, 49 of the most vulnerable are hosting the<a href="https://thecvf.org/events/2018-cvf-virtual-summit/" rel="nofollow"> world's first virtual climate summit</a> to keep the drum-beat for climate action going. They've agreed a vision of 100% renewable energy by 2050.</p><p>We're seeing those least responsible for causing climate change, committing to do the most to tackle it. They are breaking down the old international order. It's energising. So too are the <a href="https://riseforclimate.org/" rel="nofollow">marches for climate action</a> we're seeing around the world. They show there is popular pressure for a new kind of economy.</p><h3>No more coal</h3><p><strong>One way for leaders to step up</strong> this week and in the months ahead is to finally renounce coal power, the most polluting of all fossil fuels. Oxfam believes it is time for a worldwide end to coal - not a single new power plant should be built anywhere any more. Our research shows that <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/aiibs-energy-opportunity-how-asian-infrastructure-investment-banks-energy-lending-can-chart" rel="nofollow">every dollar invested in coal in Asia</a>, for example, means $10 in damages from climate change. Health costs from local pollution come on top. It's the economics of self-harm, and it's time to end it.</p><h3>Climate change is the greatest humanitarian crisis we face</h3><p><strong></strong>The time for tinkering with our economies is over.</p><p>We must rise to the challenge, or watch hard-won progress against poverty slip away.</p><p><em>This entry posted on 13 September 2018 by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International.</em></p><p><em>Photo: Hassana (60), is part of Oxfam's work to help pastoralists in Ethiopia to diversify their livelihoods and strengthen their existing sources of income in order to ensure their families consistently have enough food and water. “In my opinion without these tools and support, we couldn’t do anything like today. Without support we would be waiting for the rain, but with this support we have a well, we can get water anytime, and we have a lot of crops. We really appreciate your help for giving us these tools and support with this project. Without you we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we have.” Credit: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam</em></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Climate change is a symptom of our broken economy</h2></div> Thu, 13 Sep 2018 19:50:03 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 81704 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81704#comments Momentum builds in the fight for land rights in Guatemala: Making us all a bit braver http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81652 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>In 2011, 769 families in the Polochic Valley in Guatemala were evicted</strong> to make way for the Chabil Utzaj sugar mill. Without land to farm and any other support, they were plunged into poverty and hunger.</p><p>Yet the evicted communities have continued to fight for land, inch by inch, year by year.</p><p>In June 2018, the government provided land to 134 evicted families because of sustained efforts by people making it altogether 355 families evicted getting land now.</p><p>Almost half of those evicted, now have land to call their own.</p><p><em>“This struggle meant overcoming hunger and thirst, but now we can ensure we have land, not just for us, but for our children.”</em> - Juana Cuz Xol</p><p><strong>Seven years ago, it was hard to imagine</strong> that hundreds of evicted rural families – in one of the most violent countries for human rights defenders – would again have land. The fight is far from over, with hundreds of families still landless, but it is clearly gaining momentum.</p><p><em>“There are still families left out and we still hope that they can be given their land and have what we have. I’m happy but I’m also sad when I think about those other families.”</em> - Catalina Cho ‘Ico<br><br><em>“Land is the first step…what we need is to develop the community itself. The most urgent need will be water. There is no running potable water. Also electricity. We need a school and a health clinic.”</em> - Hermelindo Cux<br><br><img alt="Infographic on Polochic families" title="Infographic on Polochic families" height="1000" width="1000" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/infografias-polochic-2018-ingles-2-1000.jpg" /><br>&nbsp;<br><em>“I am aware of each family’s suffering because we have suffered it together… That is how I was brave enough to participate in all the actions that we held and we still have demands that must be met.”</em> - Dominga Botzoc Pop</p><p><strong>The case is a testimony to the power of the powerless</strong> and marginalised – their steely resolve in the idea of justice, which can achieve extraordinary things. In fact, those who are most disadvantaged due to structural and systemic inequalities are the ones who provide the hope and steer us, to imagine a just society and a more equal world.</p><p><em>“I believe that the communities have played a key role in the defense of human rights. We continue to fight, we will not be silenced.”</em> - Hermelindo Cux</p><h3>The struggle for land rights</h3><p><strong>For many of us, it can be easy to forget</strong> that land is at the heart of everything – food, shelter, culture, identity and dignity. Land is life. It is critical to how we tackle climate change. It is the oldest story of inequality. Land rights struggles can also seem the hardest, the most enduring and intractable.</p><p>Across the world, communities are fighting similar mass evictions and dispossession while they stand to lose everything – just about everything. Their land is being concentrated into the hands of the wealthy and powerful, often violently and aided by financiers and governments.</p><p>The generational ties of communities to their land &amp; its resources – to its seasons, its plants, its histories (culture and economy) are deemed less legitimate than the rights of those living hundreds of kilometres away to evict them with the stroke of the pen.</p><p>Time and again, we see this justified under a flawed notion of development, the underlying premise of which is that the poor must sacrifice for the greater good – what is never made explicit is who exactly stands to gain the most by this process. The phenomena is so common it even has a name – “development-induced displacement”.</p><p><strong>The evidence is mind boggling.</strong> In 2015, an <a href="https://www.icij.org/investigations/world-bank/" rel="nofollow">investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists</a> found that between 2004-2013 the World Bank financed projects that physically or economically displaced 3.4 million people. In 2017, agribusiness was the most violent industry – it represented <strong><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2017/jul/13/the-defenders-tracker" rel="nofollow">46 of the 207 documented killings</a> of land rights defenders</strong> that year. Those killed are often everyday people, many are First Nations Peoples in rural areas.</p><h3>Violence and inequality</h3><p>The physical violence of forcing people from their land is embedded in a deeper system of structural violence – one which undermines the fundamental notions of equality and everyone having access to land for their basic needs, through a distorted narrative of legitimacy and entitlement that seeks to justify concentrating resources in the hands of the few.</p><p>The rules are written to favour the rich, and not infrequently accompanied by corruption and cronyism.</p><p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mb0Szxwfn4I" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p><p><strong>The fight to secure land</strong> for the rest of 414 evicted families continues in Polochic Valley in Guatemala and it has gained strong ground with the allocation of land to 134 families recently. These struggles and fight back by communities such as the Polochic case, and others like it, make us all hopeful and a little braver.</p><p><strong>They give us faith</strong> that, in a world of growing restrictions on our civic and human rights, we can continue to fight for justice. We learn from the tactics and strategies these grassroots communities use.</p><p><strong>They remind us that it is important to fight</strong> the intractable, not just the achievable – and they teach us how to sustain hope and energy in dark times.</p><p><strong>They show us the power of solidarity</strong>, that every community struggle is part of a larger struggle and our ability to address worldwide inequality is rooted in the creativity, tenacity and bravery of everyday people.</p><p><em>This entry posted on 20 July 2018, by Shona Hawkes, Oxfam Land Rights Policy Lead, and Mamata Dash, Oxfam's Southern Campaign Lead.</em></p><p><em>Photo: Indigenous communities march for land rights, in Polochic, Guatemala. Credit: Diego Silva</em></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Momentum builds in the fight for land rights in Guatemala: Making us all a bit braver</h2></div> Fri, 20 Jul 2018 13:58:46 +0000 Guest Blogger 81652 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81652#comments 4 key ways to take human suffering out of food value chains: Look Behind the Price http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81609 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Supermarkets are increasingly squeezing the price they pay their suppliers. This, coupled with the weakening influence of small-scale farmers and workers is causing human rights violations, inequality, and poverty. Here's how to fix this.</strong></p><p>Today Oxfam launched a new campaign on food value chains: <strong><a href="https://www.behindtheprice.org/" rel="nofollow">Behind the Price</a></strong>. The campaign highlights the inequalities in the food retailers supply chains, and is launching a scorecard that analyzes the policies of 16 major supermarket chains in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US. The scorecard assesses the supermarket chains’ policies and practice in four thematic areas: women, workers, small holder farmers, and overall transparency. <br><br>Also released as part of the launch, <a href="https://policy.behindthebarcodes.org" rel="nofollow"><strong>Ripe for Change report</strong></a>, which found that supermarkets are increasingly squeezing the price they pay their suppliers. This, coupled with the weakening influence of small-scale farmers and workers is causing human rights violations, inequality, and poverty. Among the findings:</p><ul><li><strong>The average earnings of small-scale farmers and workers</strong> in the supply chains of 12 common products—from South African grapes, to Peruvian avocados, to Indian tea—is not enough for a decent standard of living, and where women make up most of the workforce, the gap is greater.</li><li><strong>Supermarkets have kept an increasing share of the money</strong> their consumers spend, while the share that reaches workers and food producers has fallen, sometimes to less than 5 percent.</li><li><strong>The eight largest publicly-owned supermarket chains generated nearly a trillion dollars</strong> in sales, $22 billion in profit, and returned $15 billion to shareholders in 2016.</li><li><strong>Food insecurity is common</strong>, according to surveys of hundreds of small-scale farmers and workers across five different countries working in the supply chains of supermarkets.</li></ul><p><img alt="Figure of share of end consumer price - Behind The Price" title="Figure of share of end consumer price - Behind The Price" height="495" width="991" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/figure-share-of-end-consume-price.jpg" /></p><p>Oxfam also conducted specific research on working conditions in shrimp supply chains in Thailand and Indonesia where it found unsafe conditions, poverty wages, strictly controlled bathroom and water breaks, routine verbal abuse, and discrimination faced by women.</p><p><strong>As a result, Oxfam is calling on supermarket chains to:</strong></p><h3>1. Radically improve transparency in the sourcing of food</h3><p>Shine a light on current labor practices in food supply chains and ensure that citizens can hold companies and governments to account for their activities.</p><h3>2. Know, show, and act on the risk of human rights violations faced by women and men in supermarket supply chains</h3><p>Move beyond an ad-hoc approach to the auditing of suppliers, to one based on the anticipation and prevention of human and labor rights violations.</p><h3>3. Guarantee safe working conditions and equal opportunities for women:</h3><p>Including secure contracts and equal pay for equal work, and immediate steps to end violence and discrimination against women working in food supply chains.</p><h3>4. Fairly share the significant revenues in the food industry with the women and men who produce our food</h3><p>By closing the gap between current income levels and living wages, using trade practice to promote strong performance by businesses on human rights, and exploring alternative business models that may result in a fairer share of the value reaching producers.</p><p>This campaign follows our work on <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/tags/behind-brands" rel="nofollow">Behind the Brands</a></strong> which has focused on the supply chains of the big 10 food and beverage companies over the last few years.We have found through that campaign, that <strong>when customers speak, businesses listen</strong>, even on issues of sustainability and human rights.</p><p>Now we’re hoping our supporters - and all their friends and networks, and more! - will take action to make sure inequality, poverty, and human suffering are never ingredients in the food we buy.</p><p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wHncwjRQHN4" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p><p><a href="https://behindtheprice.org" rel="nofollow"><strong>Take action to end the suffering now</strong></a></p><p><em>This entry posted by Irit Tamir, Director of Oxfam America's Private Sector Department, on 21 June 2018.</em></p><p><em>Photo: Mary lives in Goziir, Northern Ghana with her husband and six family members. Mary has benefitted from Oxfam’s projects to help small-scale farmers increase their crop yields, build energy efficient stoves and have access to small loans.</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>4 key ways to take human suffering out of food value chains: Look Behind the Price</h2></div> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:29:25 +0000 Irit Tamir 81609 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81609#comments 6 things you didn’t know about your food shopping http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81606 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Whether it's biting into the first strawberry of the summer, or wrapping up warm to share festive treats at Christmas, for me food is deeply personal and full of memories.</strong></p><p>Across the world, food is how we express our culture and history; is integral to our celebrations with friends and family; and is how we experience the seasons.</p><p>However, for many of us, what happens before our food reaches our supermarket shelf is a bit of a mystery. How do we know if the farmers who grew our bananas received a fair price for their crop, or whether the people who fished for our prawns experienced human rights abuses? The truth is that we don’t. At the moment it’s incredibly difficult for us, the customers, to know whether the food we buy is free from human suffering.</p><p><strong>That is why today</strong> <a href="https://www.behindtheprice.org/en/" rel="nofollow">Oxfam is launching a new campaign</a> to call on supermarkets and governments to ensure that people who grow, pick and package our food don’t have to work in dangerous conditions and can earn enough to provide for their families. Only with decent work and fair wages can people escape poverty.</p><p>To accompany the campaign, we have published the new report <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/ripe-change" rel="nofollow">Ripe for Change</a> which highlights some of the issues in food supply chains, as well as how supermarkets can be part of the solution.</p><p><strong>After all, none of us want to feel guilty when we do our food shopping.</strong></p><p>Here are some of the uncomfortable truths which lie behind the barcode:</p><h3>1. Small scale farmers don’t earn enough for a decent living.</h3><p>Supermarkets have huge buying power in comparison to the many small scale farmers who grow our food, meaning they can put pressure on those at the bottom of the chain. While big companies accrue vast profits, farmers often struggle to make ends meet and are sometimes barely able to cover their costs of production. In fact, some green bean farmers in Kenya only earn 53% of what is considered necessary for a decent standard of living.</p><h3>2. The people who produce our food are going hungry.</h3><p><img alt="Italian farm workers graphic" title="Italian farm workers graphic" height="400" width="400" style="float: right;" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/tomatoes-italy-hunger-stat-400x400_0.jpg" />Whilst we are buying food to share with our loved ones, many producers around the world often can’t put meals on their own tables. According to a survey in 2017, 85% of rice farmers in Pakistan were considered to be extremely food insecure. And 75% of surveyed women workers on Italian fruit and vegetable farms said that they had cut back on the number of meals in the last month because their household could not afford enough food.</p><h3>3. Women are the hardest hit.</h3><p>As is the case with most issues, women face distinct challenges in food supply chains. Whether they are denied the right to own land, or have to do lots of unpaid care work, the inequalities in the food industry combine with deep-rooted gender norms.</p><p>This means that women often take on the most insecure and lowest-paid jobs. In less than five days, the chief executive of a UK supermarket earns the same as a woman picking grapes in South Africa will earn in her entire lifetime.</p><h3>4. People in supply chains face horrendous working conditions.</h3><p>This headline is particularly hard to stomach. On top of not having enough money in their wallet, workers on fishing boats and in seafood processing plants in Southeast Asia face terrible conditions.</p><p>As Cho, a seafood processing worker says, <em>“On the boat, I was beaten by my supervisor and employer if I was sleeping in bed due to sickness and could not work. And I was beaten if I made a mistake during my work.”</em></p><p>Violence like this cannot be justified and should certainly never be an ingredient in the food we buy at the supermarket.</p><h3>5. Not a single supermarket is doing enough to help stop this.</h3><p><a href="https://oxf.am/behindtheprice-scorecard" rel="nofollow">We’ve scored 16 top supermarkets</a> in the UK, the US, Germany, and the Netherlands on their policies to keep workers safe and ensure they earn a fair wage. Not one company scored above an amber in any of our four categories, meaning they currently don’t have the adequate policies in place to give the assurance that they protect the growers, pickers and packers who we all rely on.</p><h3>6. A different future is possible.</h3><p>We need a better deal for the farmers and workers, and the time for change is now. Companies are increasingly conscious of their social impact and could have a transformational role by implementing better policies whilst altering their sourcing practices.</p><p>We pay enough money for our food for supermarkets to make a healthy profit without causing human suffering. This not only makes business sense by keeping us, their customers, happy but could also help to lift millions of people out of poverty.</p><h3>How can you get involved?</h3><p>Watch this video to learn more about Behind the Barcodes and <a href="https://www.behindtheprice.org/en/" rel="nofollow">take action</a> to stand with the people who produce our food. Supermarkets rely on customers to stay in business – let’s use the power we have to help end human suffering.</p><p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wHncwjRQHN4?rel=0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p><p><em>This entry posted by Olivia Paine, Oxfam Campaign and Policy Officer, on 21 June 2018.</em></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>6 things you didn’t know about your food shopping</h2></div> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:42:54 +0000 Olivia Paine 81606 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81606#comments