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.
Under the title “The Power of People against Poverty”, Oxfam has adopted a new strategic plan that shifts the focus of its work onto the empowerment of people to shape their own future free from poverty.
The plan, released today by the Executive Director of Oxfam International, Winnie Byanyima, sets priorities and guides Oxfam’s work across more than 94 countries, delivered by its 17 members who will together be spending around €1 billion a year in the period 2013-2019. The plan is based on supporting people to exercise their own rights, and especially the leadership of women, in order to enhance justice and wellbeing.
Oxfam believes its plan can build upon the fantastic global achievements made over the past 20 years in health, life expectancy and income, and help to enhance people’s abilities to respond to new threats and shocks.
“Voices for choices”
The plan sets out six inter-related goals that begin with reinforcing people’s right to be heard – or “voices for choices” – and women’s rights. These underpin the other four goals: saving lives in humanitarian disasters and preparing for crisis; sustainable food for all; fair sharing of natural resources; and ensuring sufficient financing for basic human needs.
The analysis behind the plan is explained in a blog by Winnie Byanyima. She says that Oxfam is changing because the world is changing. Great strides made in human development are under threat from climate change, worsening inequality, continued oppression of girls and women, and new conflicts. She said that the worst outcomes of these “need not be inevitable.”
“Rubik’s Cube” of global poverty
She says that a fresh vision of human development is needed in order to realize the world’s undoubted potential to beat global poverty and hunger for good. Oxfam will gear all its work to help shift power into poor people’s hands.
“Our approach is to link our work from the local to global levels in order to reinforce the empowerment of people to make the case for broad policy change. In this way we’re tackling the structural and political causes of poverty as well as the symptoms of it,” Ms Byanyima said.
Oxfam has released the plan along with a short video – produced by London-based production company blueprintTV – featuring an Oxfam “Rubik’s Cube”. The cube implies that global poverty and hunger involve complex causes, but that a solution is possible.
Notes to editors
Read the Oxfam Strategic Plan, 2013-2019
Matt Grainger, firstname.lastname@example.org, +4401865339128 or +4407730680837