A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Oscar-nominated actress Minnie Driver has been a devoted supporter of Oxfam for many years. Minnie works hard to raise awareness about issues that prevent poor people from lifting themselves out of poverty
The star of films such as ‘Good Will Hunting' and hit television drama ‘The Riches', Minnie is a very vocal supporter of trade justice, often speaking to the media about making world trade rules work for developing nations.
In 2004, she travelled to Cambodia and Thailand for the Make Trade Fair campaign. The aim of the trip was to draw attention to the impact of global companies' purchasing practices on factory conditions in developing nations. She met female garment workers in their homes to find out about their working conditions and standard of living. She also visited Bangkok's first garment workers' co-operative, set up by some of the 900 workers who lost their livelihoods overnight when a factory producing garments for Nike, Adidas and Levi's shut down without warning.
On her return, Minnie made an impassioned plea to the heads of large corporations to carefully consider their buying practices. She said: "The poorest people with the least are making sacrifices for those of us who have the most. I'm not a global economist but you just need some humanity to understand that this isn't fair."
An accomplished singer-songwriter, Minnie performed at the Hammersmith Apollo Make Trade Fair Live concert in 2004, joining stars such as Chris Martin, Razorlight, Jamelia, and R.E.M. to speak out about unfair trade rules.
In 2008, Minnie joined other Oxfam Ambassadors in calling on world leaders at the G8 summit in Japan to tackle global poverty without delay, imploring them to boost funds for climate change, the food crisis and development aid.
In her role as an Oxfam Ambassador, Minnie has attended fundraising events in Los Angeles and New York. She also donated a $100,000 lunch date to Oxfam America's 2008 e-bay auction. A high profile supporter of Oxfam Unwrapped, Minnie regularly promotes the gift catalogue in the media. She has appeared on the US hit television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in 2006, 2008 and 2009 encouraging viewers to purchase gifts via Oxfam Unwrapped, boosting sales and driving major online traffic to the Oxfam Unwrapped website.