People, pledges and publications: June in numbers

In June we marked World Refugee Day, assessed the G7 summit, explained why inequality matters, reported on how the Sustainable Development Goals should be financed, and published a collection of papers from Oxfam India. Here’s an overview explained through the key numbers:

1. There are almost 60 million displaced people in the world.

On World Refugee Day we looked at Oxfam’s work with refugees around the world. Last year Oxfam supported some 8 million people in 39 emergencies but the number of refugees and displaced persons is now almost 60 million. Some serious soul searching is needed, argues Maya Mailer, the international community must find political solutions and should welcome more than a
fraction of refugees to their own countries.

2. The G7’s climate action pledges are between three and four times short of what’s needed to stop global temperatures rising above 2 degrees.

Reflecting on the outcomes of the G7 summit in Switzerland Kiri Hanks finds that the G7 are comfortable with setting fossil fuel reduction targets for the world, yet they are not pulling their weight in delivering their fair share. As our briefing paper explains the G7 need to step up if we are to avoid an increase
in global temperatures of more than 2 degrees, the threshold beyond which scientists predict the global environment will be dangerously and irrevocably changed. If the world’s richest countries fail to take adequate climate action, the effects will be felt by the poorest and most marginalised. In another blog post Daniel Morchain reminds us of this, and argues that we need to take a more holistic view of the environment in development programming.  

3. Nearly 5 billion people live in countries where the gap between the rich and the poor has increased in the last 30 years.

The world could be so much fairer, writes Deborah Hardoon outlining the reasons why the increase in extreme inequality around the world is so concerning. While the great gap between rich countries and poor countries is diminishing incrementally, within countries themselves, social, economic and political forces are pushing people further apart. To effectively tackle inequality we need not only well designed policies, but a more equal political space and to
break down the capture of politics by vested interests.

4. At least an extra $1.5 trillion each year is needed to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) achievable.

Research from Oxfam and Development Finance International shows that spending by governments is falling short of what is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by one-third – and beyond 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require at least $1.5 trillion extra each year. This report calls for measures such as doubling tax revenue, radically overhauling global tax rules, increasing transparency, and reorienting spending around fighting inequality. 

5. We’ve published 51 papers from Oxfam India.

India is a land of contrasts, it has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, yet more people are living in extreme poverty in India than in all of Sub Saharan Africa. So what policy approach does Oxfam take? Over 50 publications from Oxfam India have just been published on this site, as Pooja Parvati, Research Manager in Oxfam India, explains: ‘These outputs document Oxfam India’s work in its four focus areas –
Essential Services, Economic Justice, Gender Justice, and Humanitarian and Disaster Risk Reduction – over the last four years, and include our work around key areas of strategic engagement in India’s growing influence in the multipolar world (such as BRICS), and our work with youth and urban poor.’

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Author: Catherine Meredith
Archive blog. Originally posted on Oxfam Policy & Practice.