2015/2016 was a year full of the many surprises and disruptions we have come to expect in HECA. Many have been
positive, including breakthroughs have made redundant the use of traditionally accepted but less efficient development
practices. Others are all too familiar as, yet again, we saw conflict in our more fragile states result in the
flows of large numbers of refugees across borders.
This report is a record of some of our work over the course of the past year, in a region full of challenges
and opportunity. It is a celebration of our work but it also provides a practical insight into the change that
we seek to help deliver across the region.
The Oxfam report An Economy for the 1%, shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010, a drop of 38 percent. This has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period. Meanwhile, the wealth of the richest 62 has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76tr. The report also shows how women are disproportionately affected by inequality – of the current ‘62’, 53 are men and just nine are women.
Although world leaders have increasingly talked about the need to tackle inequality, and in September agreed a global goal to reduce it, the gap between the richest and the rest has widened dramatically in the past 12 months. Oxfam’s prediction, made ahead of last year’s Davos, that the 1% would soon own more than the rest of us, actually came true in 2015 – a year earlier than expected.
Oxfam’s new Strategic Plan sets priorities and guides Oxfam’s work across more than 94 countries, delivered by its 17 members who will together be spending around €1 billion a year in the period 2013-2019. The plan is based on supporting people to exercise their own rights, and especially the leadership of women, in order to enhance justice and wellbeing.
During the two days that the G8 meet in Northern Ireland, $2.2 billion dollars in illicit flows will have haemorrhaged from developing countries into tax havens and developing-country land one and a half times the size of Manhattan will be sold off to foreign investors.
50 years, 50 voices, 50 places (May 2013)
As the African Union celebrates 50 years of African unity, we spoke to 50 people in five countries affected by conflict – DR Congo, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan – about their hopes for the future and what they want to see from the AU.
High and rising food prices no longer come as a surprise, but rapid price changes and the cumulative effects of five years’ worth of price rises are still squeezing those on low incomes. People are working harder over longer hours and their wages are not keeping pace with inflation, so they are having to adapt wherever, and however, possible. The first year results of a four-year study on how food price volatility affects everyday life find important changes in people’s wellbeing and development. But in areas of life neglected by policy, domestic care work and informal social safety nets in particular, Squeezed provides reasons to prepare for the next food price spike and provides recommendations for how best to do so, including widening social assistance for the most vulnerable; being ready with temporary spike-proofing measures; monitoring the real impacts on people’s lives and wellbeing; rethinking social protection policy to ‘crowd-in’ care and informal social assistance; and enabling people to participate in policies to tackle food price volatiality. Includes research from 10 countries, including Kenya and Ethiopia.
We need a new approach to risk and poverty reduction. Major external risks, such as climate change and food price volatility, are increasing faster than attempts to reduce them. Many risks are dumped on poor people, and women face an overwhelming burden. In many places of recurrent crises, the response of governments and the international aid sector is not good enough. A new focus on building resilience offers real promise to allow the poorest women and men to thrive despite shocks, stresses, and uncertainty – but only if risk is more equally shared globally and across societies. This will require a major shift in development work, which for too long has avoided dealing with risk. More fundamentally, it will require challenging the inequality that exposes poor people to far more risk than the rich.
AU Active Citizens (April 2013)
The first quarterly bulletin produced by Oxfam’s Liaison Office with the African Union, looking at initiatives led by civil society across the continent and the AU
Oxfam GB carried out a food security and livelihoods programme in the area of Kasenyi and Tchomia, beside Lake Albert in the north-east of the DR Congo, from December 2008 to November 2009. A quasi-experimental evaluation was carried out to determine whether the impact of this work had been sustained. This report documents the findings of this process.
In 2012, the Sahel was once again hit by a severe food crisis affecting more than 18 million people. The region’s governments, donors and aid agencies were determined to avoid mistakes made in the response to previous crises. But while their response was better in many respects, there were still some critical shortcomings. The poorest families and communities suffered most, as deep-seated inequalities made some people far more vulnerable than others. While continuing to address the enormous humanitarian and recovery needs in the region, we also must all learn the lessons from the 2012 response and develop a new model that will allow better prevention and management of future crises. The growing momentum around the concept of resilience offers considerable potential to achieve this, but only if all actors work together to turn rhetoric into action that brings lasting improvements for the poorest communities across the Sahel.
Since November 2011, Oxfam and other humanitarian agencies have been responding to emergency needs of tens of thousands of refugees displaced by conflict in Sudan’s Blue Nile state. Drawing on an independent review, this summary report reviews the speed and quality of Oxfam’s intervention in the first seven and a half months of 2012, and responds to questions raised by other humanitarian actors including UNHCR and MSF about its performance. The aim of this summary is to contribute to organisational learning on the implementation of humanitarian interventions. It acknowledges Oxfam’s achievements, but also addresses challenges about the nature of its response, and gives recommendations to improve the quality of further programmes by Oxfam and other agencies working in complex, fragile environments.
Coffee is a major cash crop in Uganda, but research shows that the smallholder farmers who produce 90% of it could have their already vulnerable livelihoods made more vulnerable by climate change. Oxfam’s research project interviewed coffee farmers in the Rwenzori Mountains and found that they are aware that the climate is changing and becoming less predictable, and have used various adaptation strategies. But for Arabica coffee, which can only be grown at high altitudes in Uganda, climate change and rising temperatures are likely to further restrict the areas in which it can be grown. This report makes recommendations for adapting coffee production in Uganda to reduce the impact of climate change on the economy and to reduce the risks that smallholder farmers will fall further into poverty.
The rush to invest in farmland in Africa is having an immediate im-pact on women’s land-use options, on their livelihoods, on food availability and the cost of living, and ultimately, on women’s access to land for food production. These are only the economic impacts. Women’s knowledge, their socio-cultural relation with the land, and their stewardship of nature are also under threat. Too often ignored, rural women’s voices and perspectives need to be heeded urgently if a robust rural economy and food for all are to be guaranteed.
Starting in November 2011, thousands of refugees fleeing aerial bombardments and food shortages in Blue Nile, Sudan, arrived in Maban County, in Upper Nile state, South Sudan. The international community and the Government of South Sudan were poorly prepared to effectively meet the needs of these refugees and, as a result, refugees suffered unnecessarily. Eighteen months into the response the situation for refugees remains fragile. With the rainy season due to begin in May and a Hepatitis E outbreak ongoing, at least 25,000 refugees need to be relocated, and a further influx of refugees is predicted. Through concerted action, the humanitarian community can avoid repeating past mistakes to shape what happens now and in the future. Working together, the UN, the Government of South Sudan, NGOs and donors must improve the quality of the humanitarian response and accountability to refugees and the communities that host them.
Part of a series of Oxfam research into Women’s Collective Action. Women’s collective action (WCA) has provided significant opportunities for women to increase their role in vegetable markets in Tanzania, and enhances the benefits which they derive from this sector. Women already perform much of the labour needed to grow vegetables, whether in their own households or as casual labourers. However, men own most of the fertile valley land on which vegetables are grown, and dominate the trade to Dar es Salaam and other urban centres within Tanzania and neighbouring countries. Men enjoy correspondingly greater control over incomes from vegetable marketing. Research carried out in Lushoto district, Tanzania, shows that involvement in collective action (CA) leads to significant economic benefits to women from vegetable production and marketing. Not only have women members’ incomes increased, but in some cases this has enabled them to invest more in the development of their households and the welfare and education of their children.
Part of a series of Oxfam research into Women’s Collective Action. At first glance, the honey sector in Ethiopia seems an unlikely place in which to find women forming collective action(CA) groups, taking leadership positions, and benefiting from increased income generation. Beekeeping and honey production are largely male occupations. Over the last decade, however, women have begun to participate in CA in the honey sector in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, and to benefit from their involvement in these groups. This change has been enabled by a number of factors, driven by the growing global demand for honey and bee products. The sector has become an attractive investment opportunity, opening up a space for women and other marginalized smallholder producers to engage with market and state actors. The WCA findings from Ethiopia are particularly exciting, as they suggest that focused interventions by government and development actors really can make a difference when it comes to reaching more marginalized groups of women.
In South Sudan, widespread euphoria following independence in July 2011 has given way to disappointment that expected peace dividends have not materialised. Many South Sudanese are experiencing insecurity, a lack of access to basic services, and increasing inequalities. Pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in remote border areas are particularly affected by insecurity and by a lack of social services, and women are particularly marginalised. This report is the result of Oxfam research to enable the needs and views of conflict-affected communities, in relation to security and livelihoods, to be voiced, heard, and addressed. It focuses on the security concerns expressed by the communities themselves: conflict within and between communities, cattle raiding, and violence against women.
Stories, case studies and good practices on drought risk reduction in the drylands of the Horn of Africa. Compiled by the Regional Learning and Advocacy Project for Vulnerable Dryland Communities (REGLAP)
Oxfam in Kenya – an overview (March 2013)
Oxfam has been working in Kenya since 1963. Find out what we do and where we work
Farmers and herders in arid regions of Africa face serious challenges in adapting to climate change and variability. They are highly exposed to climate stresses, especially drought, but adaptation to climate change is far from being a clear-cut biophysical or technical problem: it is also a social challenge. Although communities in semi-arid zones have organized their cultures and livelihoods around uncertainty and the risk of drought, climate predictions indicate that new extremes will be a real challenge to their capacity to adapt. This report looks at the role of local social institutions in Ethiopia and Mali and their role in adaptation.
Voices from eastern Congo (January 2013)
Over 100,000 people fled the latest violence around Goma in eastern DRC, with many more displaced by fighting over the past year. Many lost their loved ones and left behind their homes and livelihoods, taking with them just a few possessions or nothing at all. This booklet contains stories of people affected by the crisis. Download French version
Africa is wide awake but still hungry (December 2012)
One of the most remarkable turn-arounds in development occurred in the last decade in many of the countries south of the Sahara. Economies have been growing even in the face of economic and financial instability elsewhere in the world; poverty has fallen and child mortality has dropped considerably, among the most visible indicators of progress. But the number of people suffering from undernourishment (a proxy for hunger) has kept rising. There are several reasons to be optimistic about Africa despite the fact that hunger remains pervasive. Sub-Saharan Africa is wide-awake, dynamic and on the move, but still hungry.
Armed conflict has devastated large swathes of DR Congo since 1997. Civilians in many parts of the eastern provinces – men, women, boys and girls – still face constant threats of forced displacement, sexual violence, abduction, and extortion, not only from militia groups, but in many cases from those who are mandated to protect them. Deep-seated attitudes and beliefs continue to perpetuate discrimination and violence against women. Oxfam’s protection programme in the DRC aims to strengthen the ability of communities to advocate for their rights, including the right to protection from violence and exploitation. Evaluation of the programme’s impact shows that in a situation where so many people’s rights are abused and violated, empowering women often means including and empowering men in the humanitarian response too. It is also vital to take a sophisticated, context-specific approach to gender and women’s rights, considering short-term, immediate needs, and longer-term strategic needs together.
In Kenya, a combination of factors led to the food crisis of 2008–9, which put around 9.5 million people at risk of starvation. About 4.1 million of those affected were living in informal settlements (slums) in the capital, Nairobi. Oxfam and Concern Worldwide developed a joint programme to address this unfolding emergency. The programme, implemented with local partners in two slums, aimed to improve access to food in the short term via cash transfers and to provide further income opportunities and improve livelihoods in the longer term. The experience shows that developing a strong understanding of women’s lives can ensure that cash transfers help them to effectively meet their immediate needs and build successful programmes to meet women’s longer-term needs.
Somalia food and livelihoods assessment (October 2012)
An Oxfam survey of households living in poverty across South Central Somalia and Puntland has found that recent poor rains, falling incomes and high food prices are increasing the risk of preventable disease and forcing people to rely on aid. The situation in the south of the country remains critical with alarming malnutrition figures. Almost three quarters of people questioned are concerned they will not have enough to eat over the next four months because of the loss of livestock and livelihoods during last year’s drought, and continued insecurity and poor rains this year. Since the assessment took place flooding in Hiran and predictions of flooding elsewhere in South Central Somalia is likely to make the situation worse.
“Our land, our lives” – Timeout on the global land rush (October 2012)
In the past decade an area of land eight times the size of the UK has been sold off globally as land sales rapidly accelerate. This land could feed a billion people, equivalent to the number of people who go to bed hungry each night. In poor countries, foreign investors have been buying an area of land the size of London every six days. With food prices spiking for the third time in four years, interest in land could accelerate again as rich countries try to secure their food supplies and investors see land as a good long-term bet. All too often, forced evictions of poor farmers are a consequence of these rapidly increasing land deals in developing countries. As the world’s leading standard-setter and a big investor itself, the World Bank should freeze its own land investments and review its policy and practice to prevent land-grabbing. In the past the Bank has chosen to freeze lending when poor standards have caused dispossession and suffering. It needs to do so again, in order to play a key role in stopping the global land rush.
Crisis in the Great Lakes – Oxfam’s response (September 2012)
In the past few months, a surge in violence in eastern DRC has forced nearly half a million people from their homes, with severe humanitarian consequences across the region. Hundreds of thousands of people – inside DRC and across the border in neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda – are in urgent need of clean water, healthcare, food, shelter and protection from violence. Oxfam is scaling up its response in all three countries and aims to reach around 230,000 people affected by this new crisis.
Murika! Oxfam in Rwanda newsletter (August 2012)
Welcome to the first edition of Murika! the newsletter of Oxfam in Rwanda. Find out more about how women entrepreneurs are profiting from pineapples and mushrooms; how gender-based-violence impacts on food security; how Oxfam is partnering with an innovative Rwandan company and financial service providers; and much more.
The African Union Compendium (July 2012)
To many citizens the AU is a complex and distant body that is difficult to engage with. Oxfam has produced a comprehensive document on the AU, explaining its key structures and organs, and opportunities for citizens and civil society to engage with it.
In 2011 the world waited for the UN to declare famine before providing assistance on the level needed to save lives in Somalia – this delayed response wasted lives and money. We are now seeing warnings of Somalia slipping back into crisis and cannot afford to make the same mistake again – we should respond now, and in force, in ways that make people better able to withstand the next disaster to strike.
The needs in Dadaab, which hosts over 465,000 people, remain urgent, but humanitarian agencies do not have sufficient funds to provide essential services for the care and protection of encamped populations in 2012. This joint agency brief explains how, if more funds are not received immediately, the situation in the camps will deteriorate as vital health, nutrition, education, shelter, WASH and protection activities will either have to scale back or stop. Despite pressing needs elsewhere, the international donor community has an obligation to continue to provide financial support for the biggest refugee camp in the world and share with Kenya the burden of protracted refugee assistance. Efforts must also continue to find durable solutions for Dadaab.
As South Sudan marks its first anniversary of independence, half of its 9.7 million citizens are struggling to meet their very basic food needs. Fertile and resource rich, the country has huge potential to feed its own population, yet is in the midst of an escalating food crisis. The poor rainfall in 2011, internal conflict, and complex population movement is now dramatically compounded by an increase in conflict with Sudan leading to severe economic crisis. In some parts of South Sudan, families, who were already struggling to make ends meet, are forced to eat just one meal or day or rely on leaves and roots to survive. All too often, women and children are bearing the brunt. This brief looks at the reasons for the current food crisis in South Sudan and draws attention to the impact on the population, asks for the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) and International actors to urgently address the food insecurity crisis, ensure that resources reach the most vulnerable and that all efforts are maintained on providing peace and development for the citizens of the world‘s newest country.
One year ago, Oxfam launched it’s biggest ever funding appeal in Africa, in response to the worsening food crisis affecting 13 million people in the Horn of Africa. This report looks at the work that Oxfam has undertaken since; how decisions were made; how the money was spent and what has been achieved. It also looks at what needs to happen to stop such crises happening again and again. Download the French version or the Spanish version
DRC: “For me, but without me, is against me” (July 2012)
Why efforts to stabilise the Democratic Republic of Congo are not working. This briefing paper explores the limited results and fundamental weaknesses of “stabilisation” plans in DRC. The plans have not been backed strongly by either the DRC government or the international community, and have come about through a non-inclusive process that has failed to involve the communities affected by the ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis in the country.
Our quarterly newsletter for staff in the region, including highlights from our country programmes. Also available in French
Stop a bullet, stop a war (May 2012)
Why ammunition must be included in the Arms Trade Treaty. Global sales of ammunition are worth more than $4 billion and are growing at a faster rate than trade in guns, yet there is virtually no regulation in place to control where the bullets end up. Wars cannot be fought without ammunition. When the principal targets of attack are civilians, as has been the case in many recent conflicts, a lack of ammunition can even make a difference between atrocities being carried out or not.
The ABC of the Arms Trade Treaty (May 2012)
The Arms Trade Treaty is a potentially ground-breaking humanitarian treaty that would regulate the international trade in conventional weapons. This briefing note explains more about why the Treaty is important and how it would work.
Climate change in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) is manifested through recurrent and prolonged drought events, extreme rainfall variability and increasing temperatures. These are the scientifically proven attributes of climate change – but communities have their own understanding of how climate change has occurred in their localities, and how it affects their production systems and lifestyles. To capture these voices, Oxfam – with the support of ECHO – helped communities in Turkana and Wajir to organise “climate hearings.” These public events aimed to facilitate a common understanding of how the climate is changing, how it affects people, and what people can do to mitigate and adapt to the changes. The hearings brought together climate experts, policy makers, experts in livestock and crop production, and community members, in one discussion forum.
A shift in focus – Putting the interests of Somali people first (February 2012)
More than six months after the UN declared a famine, Somalia is still in the throes of its worst humanitarian crisis in decades. Responsibility for this situation lies first and foremost in Somalia, where warring factions are accused of impeding and diverting aid flows, but the international community has also been at fault. Policies focused more on international security concerns than on the needs, interests and wishes of the Somali people have inadvertently fuelled both the conflict and the humanitarian crisis. In February 2012, key governments and institutions from the region and the wider Islamic and Western world will meet in London to chart a way forward. They must seize this opportunity to refocus on the Somali people that past policies have failed, developing more coherent strategies to ensure that aid and protection reach those who need it, addressing the root causes of the protracted conflict and chronic vulnerability in the country, while developing coherent strategies to ensure humanitarian aid reaches those who need it.
Together for a food secure Ethiopia (February 2012)
At a time when food security is a major global challenge, the Ethiopian government has ambitious goals to transform its economy and create a prosperous and food secure nation. In support of this, a coalition of NGOs, including Oxfam, is embarking on a new initiative: “Together for a food secure Ethiopia.” Download the campaign’s launch brochure.
In 2010, vast humanitarian crises from Haiti to Pakistan almost overwhelmed the international system’s ability to respond. Despite years of reform, UN agencies, donors, and international NGOs struggled to cope. In 2011, Somalia yet again saw a response too little and too late, driven by media attention, not a timely, impartial assessment of human needs. At the same time, humanitarian action is needed now more than ever. The growing number of vulnerable people, the rise in disasters, and the failure to put most fragile states on the path to development, will significantly increase needs. Western-based donors, INGOs and the UN provide only part of the answer. Already, new donors and NGOs from around the world provide a significant share of humanitarian aid. Future humanitarian action will rely on them, and on the governments and civil society of crisis-affected countries even more. The UN and INGOs will be vital, but their contribution will increasingly be measured by how well they complement and support the efforts of others, and encourage every humanitarian actor to uphold humanitarian principles. This report includes case studies from Somalia, DRC and Sudan.
More than 13 million people are still affected by the crisis in the Horn of Africa. There were clear early warning signs many months in advance, yet there was insufficient response until it was far too late. Governments, donors, the UN and NGOs need to change their approach to chronic drought situations by managing the risks, not the crisis. This means acting on information from early warning systems and not waiting for certainty before responding, as well as tackling the root causes of vulnerability and actively seeking to reduce risk in all activities. To achieve this, we must overcome the humanitarian–development divide.
Oxfam Annual Report 2010-2011 (January 2012)
What does Oxfam do? What do we hope to achieve? Where do we work, how much do we spend, how do we work with partners, and answers to all your other questions about Oxfam’s work in 92 countries across the globe this year.
This report by Vodafone – with input from Oxfam and Accenture – explores how mobile technology can help to meet the challenge of feeding an estimated 9.2 billion people by 2050.
Oxfam in Uganda Annual Report 2010-2011 (January 2012)
Find out more about what Oxfam has been doing in Uganda over the past year. Oxfam works in five key thematic areas: Reducing rural poverty; Increasing resilience to disasters; Building accountability; Promoting women’s rights; and, Promoting the rights of marginalised groups
Partnership in Somalia: HIJRA and Oxfam (December 2011)
HIJRA – Humanitarian Initiative Just Relief Aid – are one of Oxfam’s local partners working to deliver emergency and long-term aid in Somalia. Download this short pamphlet to find out more about HIJRA and Oxfam’s work
In the last year extreme weather events shocked global markets contributing to soaring wheat prices and imperiling food security in many parts of the world, according to research compiled by Oxfam at the start of the Durban climate talks. This year could be a grim foretaste of what is to come as new warnings from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) show extreme weather events are likely to increase in frequency and severity without action to tackle climate change.
The rains and their impact on the East Africa drought crisis (November 2011)
In parts of drought-plagued East Africa, rain is falling. While the rains are welcome – bringing relief in increased water availability and pasture – the hardships for countless herders and farmers are far from over. For many of the more than 13 million people affected by the drought and food crisis, the rains signal a shift in need and are likely to lead to increased requirements for health, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
A Charter to End Extreme Hunger (September 2011)
A coalition of aid agencies and campaign groups have launched a new Charter to make deadly food crises like the one currently gripping parts of East Africa a thing of the past. The Charter outlines five key actions that governments of rich and poor countries should take to stop widespread starvation as a result of drought, high food prices and conflict.
The New Forests Company and its Uganda plantations (September 2011)
London-based New Forests Company (NFC) would seem to be the design blueprint of how a young modern company should conduct a major land investment in Africa in a responsible way. Oxfam’s investigations reveal that serious allegations by people who were evicted from land to make way for NFC’s operations remain unresolved.
The new wave of land deals is not the new investment in agriculture that millions had been waiting for. The poorest people are being hardest hit as competition for land intensifies. Oxfam’s research has revealed that residents regularly lose out to local elites and domestic or foreign investors because they lack the power to claim their rights effectively and to defend and advance their interests. Companies and governments must take urgent steps to improve land rights outcomes for people living in poverty. Power relations between investors and local communities must also change if investment is to contribute to rather than undermine the food security and livelihoods of local communities.
Getting it right from the start in South Sudan (September 2011)
Amidst jubilant celebration, the new Republic of South Sudan entered the international stage in July 2011 albeit as one of the least developed countries in the world. The challenges and opportunities are enormous, and donors, the government, implementing agencies and most importantly the people of South Sudan have a lot at stake – but much more to gain. This paper presents ten areas for action based on the experience of NGOs operating in South Sudan and lessons learnt during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement interim period. Donors must prioritise them in the first years of the country‟s independence so as to ensure the best possible results for the people of South Sudan.
A 2-page summary paper from the Regional Learning and Advocacy Project for Vulnerable Dryland Communities (REGLAP)
East Africa is facing the worst food crisis of the 21st Century. Suffering and death are already happening on a massive scale, and the situation will worsen over the coming months. It is no coincidence that the worst affected areas are those suffering from entrenched poverty due to marginalisation, conflict and lack of investment. While severe drought has undoubtedly led to the huge scale of the disaster, this crisis has been caused by people and policies, as much as by weather patterns. An adequate response to the current crisis must not only meet urgent humanitarian needs, but also address these underlying problems.
Africans Act 4 Africa (August 2011)
Activists, celebrities, civil society and the general public across Africa are coming together in a new campaign, “Africans Act 4 Africa,” to pressure AU governments to step up their response to the food crisis. This briefing note, signed by 12 Pan African networks, lays out what the response has been so far and what needs to happen
Beyond the debate on climate change’s role in the current crisis in East Africa, one thing is clear. If nothing is done, climate change will in future make a bad situation worse. Urgent action is required at global and local levels if today’s food crisis is not to be a grim foretaste of future hunger and suffering. Whether the drought in the Horn of Africa was made more likely by man-made climate change is as yet unclear due to the complexity of the local climate, but it shows the vulnerability of poor people in the region to climate variability. An adequate response to the current crisis must address the existing vulnerabilities of those worst hit – often due to under-investment and marginalisation – in the context of anticipated future changes to the climate.
Each year Oxfam undertakes a far-reaching survey of unheard, conflict-affected people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Three-quarters of the 1,705 people polled in 2011 said that they felt their security had not improved since last year. In areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), this figure rose to 90 percent, with communities telling Oxfam that they felt abandoned, isolated, and vulnerable. Communities everywhere painted a grim picture of continued abuse of power by militias, the Congolese army, and other government authorities, wearing away their
livelihoods and ability to cope.
East Africa is facing the worst food crisis of the 21st Century. Across Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, 12 million people are in dire need of food, clean water, and basic sanitation. Loss of life on a massive scale is a very real risk, and the crisis is set to worsen over the coming months, particularly for pastoralist communities. This briefing paper looks at how governments and donors have responded to both immediate needs, and the long term root causes.
Oxfam commissioned this research to assess the contribution of different agricultural business models to poverty alleviation, livelihood security, climate resilience, and empowerment of women in the sesame sector in Metekel and Assosa in Benishangul Gumuz, Ethiopia.
Growing a Better Future (June 2011)
The global food system is broken. This report describes a new age of growing crisis: food price spikes, devastating weather events, financial meltdowns, growing inequality, chronic drought and the erosion of natural resources. This report – lauching Oxfam’s new GROW campaign for a hunger-free world – examines why our food system leaves 925 million people hungry worldwide, and what needs to be done to fix it.
Global food prices rose through much of 2010 and into early 2011. What does that mean for the lives of poor people in developing countries, who spend up to 80 per cent of their household income on food? To find out, IDS research partners and Oxfam went to ask them, returning in March 2011 to eight community ‘listening posts’ in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, and Zambia, that were previously visited in 2009 and 2010. The researchers asked: What has happened to prices and wages since last year? How are people adjusting to these changes? What do people think causes food price volatility, and what do they think should be done about it?
From Oxfam’s “Programme Insight” series: An initiative in the Amhara region of Ethiopia has capitalized on the potential of local honey production to build a promising alliance between smallholder farmers and a private-sector export company. A coalition of facilitating partners has developed the value chain for honey and other bee-derived products by providing producers with technology inputs, training, and extension services, helping them to organize their production, and creating an enabling policy environment. Farmers who previously produced small quantities of low-quality honey have quadrupled their output and are now producing certified organic honey for export to international markets, which has significantly increased their incomes.
The issue of food price volatility is back on the political agenda of the G20 and the Committee on World Food Security. The time has come to reassess the potential of food reserves in the context of more integrated but also more volatile agricultural markets. On the basis of good practices, it is recommended to experiment with innovative and complementary instruments that can improve the efficacy of food reserves, while at the same time addressing market
failures and providing benefits and incentives to small-scale farmers.
G8: Cooking the books won’t feed anyone (May 2011)
Almost six years ago at the Gleneagles Summit, the G8 promised to increase overseas aid by US$50 billion by 2010, with $25 billion of it going to Africa. But today, the G8 have failed to deliver on their aid promises to the world’s poor. And rather than admitting their failure to deliver, the G8 are shamefully cooking the books to pretend they have done more than they have.
Protection of Civilians in 2010 (May 2011)
This global Oxfam report looks at the inconsistent international approach to protecting civilians in conflicts, and asks why some conflicts receive great diplomatic and military attention while others are ignored. It analyses the impact on civilians of conflicts in 18 countries, including in Sudan, DRC and Somalia.
Will Kenya’s drought crisis ever end? (March 2011)
With drought once again destroying lives and livelihoods in northern Kenya, this report looks at ways to break the cycle of drought and provide long term solutions to an inevitable and chronic crisis
Whose Aid is it Anyway? (February 2011)
The report looks at the increasing politicisation and militarisaton of international aid. It shows how key donor governments use aid as a tool to further their political and military objectives, rather than to help the poorest and most vulnerable people. Too often, the report argues, security-driven projects have proved expensive, ineffective and even dangerous. It includes examples from Somalia, Kenya and DRC.
Coping with Destitution: Asylum seekers in the UK (February 2011)
Drawing on case studies of people who have fled persecution in countries including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, DR Congo and Sudan, this report looks at the challenges facing asylum seekers in the UK, many of whom are left homeless and destitute. Refused asylum, they are left in a legal and social limbo.
Want to know what Oxfam does all over the world, how much we spend, and where we work? All your questions answered here.
Beyond Sudan’s Big Day – What Next? (January 2011)
The referendum in southern Sudan could create the world’s newest country. This briefing paper looks at some of the long-term development and security challenges facing southern Sudan, one of the least developed places on earth.
Ghosts of Christmas Past: Protecting civilians from the LRA (December 2010)
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is one of the world’s most brutal rebel groups, terrorising villagers across central Africa. With particular focus on northeast DRC and southern Sudan, this joint-NGO report investigates the LRA’s current campaign of violence and how civilians can be protected.
Halving World Hunger: Still Possible (September 2010)
With East Africa facing frequent droughts and food crises, this report looks at what needs to be done to halve global hunger in the next five years. It argues that countries need to invest in agriculture, food security, social protection, and projects that prepare communities for disasters and mitigate their impact.
Back to School?: The worst places in the world… (September 2010)
Produced as part of the Global Campaign for Education, this report ranks every country in the world by analysing its performance on delivering a decent education for its children. The report card for East African nations is extremely mixed.
State of the African Union – Continental Report (July 2010)
For the first time, a coalition of organisations from across Africa has tracked whether African Union member states have kept the commitments and promises they have made. Analysing a range of issues, from human rights and governance to healthcare and agricultural investment, the report assesses how 10 countries have performed.
Break Another Silence – Sexual rights in Africa (July 2010)
A booklet looking at sexual minorities in the Horn, East and Central Africa, tackling some of the myths and prejudices around sexuality. The report highlights some of the challenges sexual minorties face due to discrimination and fear, such as accessing treatment and care for HIV/AIDS.
The impact of the global economic crisis on the migration of Ethiopian women domestic workers to the Gulf. There are up to one million Ethiopians working abroad and the remittances they send home are crucial for the Ethiopian economy.
Based on the results of an Oxfam survey of communities in the Kivus region of eastern DR Congo, the report shows a unique insight into people’s concerns and fears. It finds that villagers are at increased risk of rape and forced labour as a result of internationally backed military operations.
One of a series of papers produced to provide insight into pastoral livelihoods in the region.
The Rain Doesn’t Come On Time Anymore (April 2010)
Poverty, vulnerability and climate variability in Ethiopia. This report looks at how changes in the climate are affecting small farmers in central Ethiopia – a country where 85 percent of the population depends on agriculture.
Rescuing the Peace in Southern Sudan (January 2010)
The next 12 months will be some of the crucial in Sudan’s history. With elections and a landmark referendum ahead, there are huge challenges to address – from rising insecurity to long-term development needs. This report is an urgent call to the international community to help ensure that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is not allowed to fail at the last steps.