Syria: the world must unite

The human cost of Syria’s conflict has risen beyond all expectations. There are already more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. Inside Syria itself, 6.8 million people struggle in urgent need of assistance. As we publish a new briefing note on the crisis, Ed Cairns describes how, as the numbers grow, the money to help some of those …

Why inequality matters

Inequality impacts on the welfare of us all. It affects everything, including social cohesion, the economy, politics, gender relations, environmental concerns and sustainability. NGOs ignore inequality at their peril, thankfully Oxfam has plenty to say about it. The incomes of the world’s richest 1% have increased by 60% in twenty years and the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report 2013, …

You spoke and companies listened

Less than two months ago, Oxfam called on the three largest chocolate companies to do more for the women who grow the cocoa used in Oreos, M&Ms and Crunch bars, to name just a few. But what happened next? Irit Tamar explains. We were overwhelmed by the support that consumers gave to our campaign. Over 100,000 people took action to tell the …

Merit, privilege or Slumdog Millionaires? Income inequality and social mobility

It would be nice to believe that anyone can escape poverty through sheer hard work but, as Oxfam’s Head of Research  Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva explains, social mobility is far from perfect.   In Danny Boyle’s movie Slumdog Millionaire, the young character wins a large pot of money against all odds. The movie is a fantasy tale for all practical purposes. The hero …

The World Bank and land grabs

At the beginning of its Land and Poverty Conference this week, the World Bank Group put out a statement on land that follows many months – and in some cases years – of campaigning and lobby by organisations all over the world for the Bank to take land-grabbing more seriously. For its part, Oxfam has been running a campaign since October last year for …

Wage ladder: what’s next?

The worldwide garment industry produces enormous wealth – surely workers can share in these gains? A question posed by today’s guest blogger, Ivo Spauwen of the Fair Wear Foundation, who writes in response to our report on labour rights in Unilever’s supply chain In many garment production facilities, wages are too low for workers to meet basic needs. We need …

Broken promises: rural women hit hardest by corporate land deals

Tatu in Tanzania, a female food hero finalist in 2012, harvesting potatoes that she sells, along with other vegetables, in the city of Dar es Salaam some 350kms away. Small-scale women farmers are the backbone of Africa’s food system, but, as corporations buy up huge swathes of rural land, they are losing out at every turn. Marc Wegerif, Oxfam’s Economic …

Transformational change for women and their communities in Mali

We recently launched the findings from our three-year research project into Women’s Collective Action in agricultural markets in sub-Saharan Africa. Following blogs on reaching marginalised women in Ethiopia and making markets work for women smallholders in Tanzania, Learning and Communications Co-ordinator Imogen Davies explains how collective action has improved gender relations for women in Mali, our final focus country. In …

Speaking up for the most vulnerable in Britain is not out of touch

The April Fool’s Day welfare changes are no joke. They are a serious threat to those living in poverty in the UK. Katherine Trebeck, Research and Policy Adviser for Oxfam’s UK Poverty programme, dismantles the Chancellor’s claim that charities, churches and commentators are spreading “ill-informed rubbish”, showing it to be based on little more than easy fictions and broad stereotypes. The media have devoted …

The Upper Nile refugee crisis – a view from the ground

For its size, the humanitarian response to the Upper Nile State refugee crisis was one of the most expensive in the world,  but what did it look like on the ground? Away from the chaos of flooding and  mismanagement that plagued the humanitarian agencies working there, what has it been like for the refugees themselves? From her point of view …