The economy of Ecuador is basically dependent on oil: four out of every ten dollars in the government’s budget comes from oil exports. The reserves are running out, pressure to protect the environment is increasing and the country is wondering how it is going to generate income when the reserves come to an end or, even sooner, if the country stops its extraction because of the Rights of Nature policy.
Ecuador also has to live with the risk of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, droughts and floods, now made worse by climate change. Global warming is a concern especially to the indigenous population, one of the groups responsible for the country’s food security. Its historic struggle for access to water and land has now borne fruit, but the climate appears to be an uphill struggle.
In Ecuador, poverty is more rural than urban, more indigenous and black than white, more female than male: achieving equality, together with justice, is one of the reasons Oxfam is working in this South American country.
Oxfam in the country
Oxfam is working to help women and men live together in an equal society and to give them access to a decent and secure lifestyle at a time of climate change and natural disasters. It is also working for food sovereignty and for a fairer socioeconomic development which does not depend on hydrocarbons and which protects Human Rights and the Rights of Nature.
Oxfam believes that the lives of many Ecuadoreans can be improved and to this end it is working with members and local allies for:
- Socioeconomic justice, giving a voice to the poor in the countryside and cities by setting up initiatives connected with economic solidarity, food sovereignty and the reduction of the risks associated with natural disasters;
- Cultural justice, encouraging the participation of the indigenous population, people of African descent and Montubios in the power structure, using policies which recognize cultural diversity.
- Gender equality, ensuring the effectiveness and full exercise of women’s rights, recognizing their work and demanding more and better investment in their future.
- Development which is not dependent on hydrocarbons, which is fair and focused on rights, and which reflects Sumak Kawsay, the Andean philosophy which seeks equilibrium and plenitude: the concept of Good Living.