Intermón Oxfam celebrates it 50th anniversary thanking thousands of people for their support

Published: 16 August 2006

Intermón Oxfam celebrated its 50th anniversary this week by thanking the support given to it by thousands of people, said its executive director Ariene Arpa.

Intermón Oxfam has more than 240,000 members, around 1,500 volunteers and has had thousands of customers through its fair trade stores. Ms. Arpa also thanked the public and private institutions that have supported Intermón through its 50-year history.

“It is impossible to say how many people we have helped through our work in emergencies, through fair trade and with our development programs and campaigns. However, we can begin to appreciate it by reviewing our history. We have undertaken more than 6,500 development projects,” said Ms. Arpa.

Intermón Oxfam has supported civil society movements around the world. Ms. Arpa singled out its popular Make Trade Fair and Control Arms campaigns, its work to mobilize support for governments to give 0.7% of their Gross National Product in aid, and the response Intermón Oxfam has made during many natural disasters and complex emergencies.

50 years ago

Intermón Oxfam began work in 1956 in Bolivia, India and Chad. Since then, Intermón Oxfam has started up 478 development programs and 48 humanitarian and risk reduction projects, coordinated through 346 local organizations. It works with 86 fair trade producers and supports campaigns and lobby work in the south. Today, Intermón Oxfam is present in 53 countries in Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Ms. Arpa said that much had changed in developmental work over the past 50 years. For instance, Intermón Oxfam works on a program called "La Nicaragua Possible," in Nicaragua, that has forged a new understanding of cooperation between local grass-roots organizations and global campaigning and programming. Supported by the European Union, the project coordinates 23 local organizations and reaches 16,000 families.

Intermón Oxfam has faced difficult moments, Ms. Arpa said. It worked in Africa's Sahel region in 1973, on the response to the drought in Ethiopia in 1994, through to the recent tragedies brought about by Hurricane Mitch in Central America and the tsunami in South East Asia.

On September 11th, Intermón Oxfam will unveil "Noche de Solidaridad" in the Liceo Theater in Barcelona. On September 26th, also in Barcelona, it will present "50x50," the central event of the anniversary celebrations. The last event will be held on October 9th and 10th, when it organizes in Madrid a Two-Day congress named "50 years against poverty."

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:
David Viñuales, at dvinuales@IntermonOxfam.org
Tel: +34 93 482 0842
Mobile: +34 699 075 282