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.
With all eyes on Africa for the world’s biggest football tournament this month, international development agency Oxfam is this week launching Don’t Drop the Ball on Aid, a global game of 'keepy uppy' that will link fans worldwide in an amazing video chain.
Football (soccer) connects people all around the globe and Oxfam is looking to turn that passion into something genuinely world-changing by asking fans to upload a video of their tricks to the website, www.dontdropaid.org.
The campaign calls on governments not to drop the ball on overseas aid, which helps to pay for kids to go to school and for medicines and bednets that save the lives of millions of people who would otherwise die from HIV or malaria.
Charles Bambara, a former player in the Burkina Faso premier league who works for Oxfam in West Africa, said: “Across the continent, from Algeria to Zambia, football brings a big ray of hope to people’s lives.
“We want to tap into all of that energy to say: don’t drop the ball, don’t loose sight of the goal, which is to end poverty and make life better for the world’s poorest people.”
The launch of the action comes after the releases a new Oxfam report, 21st Century Aid, which says that although aid has its faults, it has made a huge difference to the lives of millions of people in Africa and beyond. Mozambique - which was the poorest country in the world just 20 years ago - has increased its spending on health care by over half, and in the past decade the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has been reduced by almost 20 per cent.
Oxfam’s report argues that aid should be used to help reduce corruption and give ordinary people the ability to hold their own governments to account. The rise in scepticism towards aid is giving some rich countries an easy way out of meeting aid commitments, which were originally made 40 years ago.
Download the report: 21st Century Aid: Recognizing success and tackling failure
Notes to editors
A range of materials on aid, including photos and case studies, are available to download – Login password: oxfamaid