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About Oxfam

Oxfam is a global movement for change – a network that empowers individuals, communities and organisations to build a future free from injustice and poverty.

Oxfam truly believes that a world without poverty is possible; that everyone has a right to a life worth living; and that with the right support, people can take control, solve their own problems, and become self-reliant and independent.

Oxfam in Asia

Oxfam has a long history working in Asia. Since 1951, we have responded to major humanitarian crises and disasters in the regions including Vietnam war in 1960’s and Cambodia war in 1970’s.

Our role and approach has evolved over time in response to changing context in Asia, from saving lives to building economic opportunities, empowering civil society to demand for their own rights, and building resilience to disasters.

Today, Oxfam GB works in 11 countries in Asia,: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Asia is changing

While Asia is still home to over two-thirds of the world’s poorest population, Asia has changed dramatically, becoming one of the most vibrant, fastest growing economic regions in the world.

Though Asia’s economic growth has lifted millions of people out of poverty, its benefits have not spread equally and there’s much that still needs to be done. The region is increasingly seeing the emergence of booming cities and urban areas with relatively poorer rural areas.

Asia is also facing a number of tough challenges that could upset the stability of the region and hold back its growth progress, including: growing inequality, competition for natural resources, increased natural disasters and water shortages brought on by climate change, poor governance, and conflict-related humanitarian crises.

Inequality, social exclusion, vulnerability

Even though countries are making good progress in terms of economic growth and poverty reduction, poverty will remain if inequality, social exclusion and vulnerability still exist.

Oxfam is committed to addressing these root causes of poverty and continuing to innovate and influence others to leverage change. Our goal is to bring about transformative change that will allow all women and men in Asia to participate and enjoy the rightful benefits of the economic growth in a sustainable way.

Women’s rights at the heart of all we do

Two thirds of poor people in Asia are women. Women’s voices are under-represented in decision making and agenda setting at all levels. Their skills, experience, and knowledge are under-utilised. Women also face discrimination and denial of their basic rights, on top of social exclusion based on ethnicity, caste, religious identity, and cultural stereotyping.

Oxfam’s vision is that women will gain more power over their lives and live free from violence through changes in discriminatory attitudes and practices as well as increased levels of women’s engagement and leadership in social, political and economic institutions at all levels. Oxfam supports a range of initiatives – from mass campaigns to change entrenched attitudes on violence against women to women’s economic enterprises to women lobbying for policy change or getting elected to Government institutions.

Have a look at our regional brochure to learn more.