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Turn the page on poverty

Reports

November 14, 2014

In 2013 Movimento Cooperativo Economica–Agricola (MCE-A) with support from Oxfam, implemented a trial of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Timor-Leste. SRI is a set of alternative agricultural practices to increase rice yields by changing the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients. The purpose of the trial was to study the implementation of SRI in Timor-Leste on a small scale in order to explore whether SRI provides higher yields and increased profits for farmers and to determine the potential benefits of scaling up the practice.

October 30, 2014

The widening gap between rich and poor is at a tipping point. It can either take deeper root, jeopardising our efforts to reduce poverty, or we can make concrete changes now to reverse it. This valuable report by Oxfam is an exploration of the problems caused by extreme inequality and the policy options governments can take to build a fairer world, with equal opportunities for us all. This report is a call to action for a common good. We must answer that call. Kofi Annan, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Laureate

Economic inequality has reached extreme levels. From Ghana to Germany, Italy to Indonesia, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2013, seven out of 10 people lived in countries where economic inequality was worse than 30 years ago, and in 2014 Oxfam calculated that just 85 people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

Extreme inequality corrupts politics and hinders economic growth.

It exacerbates gender inequality, and causes a range of health and social problems. It stifles social mobility, keeping some families poor for generations, while others enjoy year after year of privilege. It fuels crime and even violent conflict. These corrosive consequences affect us all, but the impact is worst for the poorest people.

In Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality Oxfam presents new evidence that the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider and is undermining poverty eradication.

If India stopped inequality from rising, 90 million more men and women could be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2019.

This report delves into the causes of the inequality crisis and looks at the concrete solutions that can overcome it. Drawing on case studies from around the world the report demonstrates the impact that rising inequality is having on rich and poor countries alike and explores the different ways that people and governments are responding to it.

The world has woken up to the gap between the rich and rest. From Spain to South Africa, and Peru to Pakistan, people are already demanding a world that is fairer. This report supports a new campaign to join this growing movement to end extreme inequality and Even it up.

This report from Oxfam is a stark and timely portrait of the growing inequality which characterises much of Africa and the world today... It contains many examples of success to give us inspiration. I hope that many people from government officials, business and civil society leaders, and bilateral and multilateral institutions will examine this report, reflect on its recommendations and take sustained actions which will tackle the inequality explosion. Graça Machel, Founder of the Graça Machel Trust

The extreme inequalities in incomes and assets we see in much of the world today harms our economies, our societies, and undermines our politics. Whilst we should all worry about this it is of course the poorest who suffer most, experiencing not just vastly unequal outcomes in their lives, but vastly unequal opportunities too. Oxfam's report is a timely reminder that any real effort to end poverty has to confront the public policy choices that create and sustain inequality. Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University, winner of Nobel Prize for Economics

October 17, 2014

Climate change is already making people hungry, and the use of fossil fuels is largely to blame, representing the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally. On current trends, the world will be 4–6ºC hotter by the end of the century, exceeding 2ºC within the lifetimes of most people reading this report. This could put up to 400 million people in some of the poorest countries at risk of severe food and water shortages by the middle of the century. This paper shows how, despite some steps in the right direction to tackle climate change, a "toxic triangle" of political inertia, financial short-termism and vested fossil fuel interests is blocking the transition that is needed. 

September 22, 2014

Ban Ki-moon Summit at risk of being another missed opportunity to stop climate change making more people hungry

Since global leaders last met to discuss climate change five years ago, climate-related disasters have cost the world almost half a trillion dollars.  More than 650 million people have been affected and more than 112,000 lives have been lost. Climate change is also making more people hungry. The September 23, 2014 UN Climate Summit reflects inertia in tackling climate change rather than reversing it.  The Summit must be a wake-up call for government leaders and the private sector.

In this media brief, The Summit that Snoozed? Oxfam analyses the commitments being brought by government and corporate sector leaders to the Climate Summit and reveals that they fall short of what is urgently needed.  
Oxfam is calling on governments to:

  • Re-commit to the 2C goal, and agree new targets to phase-out fossil fuel emissions entirely by 2050
  • Increase their climate finance pledges to meet the $100bn per year by 2020 commitment, and capitalise the Green Climate Fund with at least $15bn in grant-based funds over its first three years
  • Agree specific, time-bound, measurable actions in line with their responsibility for causing emissions and capacity to pay to reduce them before 2020, to keep open the chance of limiting warming to below 2C
  • Submit ambitious initial pledges for the Paris UN climate conference by Spring 2015, in line with their responsibility for causing emissions and capacity to pay, and prepare to subsequently raise them as needed as part of a fair collective global effort

and the private sector to:

  • Put their own houses in order by delivering faster and further near-term reductions in absolute emissions consistent with climate science, and establish goals to phase-out fossil fuel emissions entirely from their operations
  • Increase their calls for strong government regulation and international agreements, including related to energy efficiency, investment in renewable energy, cutting fossil fuel subsidies, and increasing flows of climate finance for adaptation.
September 9, 2014

The number of people killed, displaced or in desperate need of assistance as a result of the conflict in Syria continues to rise. A staggering 190,000 people have been killed and 6.5 million displaced inside Syria. And with 3 million refugees, it is now one of the biggest refugee crises since the end of the Second World War. The crisis is posing a serious risk to the security and stability of neighbouring countries and has contributed to the destabilisation of Iraq.

The sheer scale of this crisis demands specific and increased commitments from members of the international community to help alleviate the suffering: to fully fund the aid response, to offer refugees resettlement, and to halt the transfer of arms and ammunition. This briefing shows that the international community is falling far short in each of these areas.

August 28, 2014

The most recent escalation of violence in Gaza and southern Israel has come at terrible human cost. More than 1,500 civilians in Gaza, and six in Israel, have been killed. Over 100,000 Palestinians have been left homeless and vital civilian infrastructure worth billions of dollars has been destroyed in Gaza. The recent ceasefire announcement is certainly a welcome one, but is only the first step on a long road toward lasting peace.

Unless long-term solutions are found to ensure economic growth and sustainable development in Gaza, frequent military escalations will only continue, increasing insecurity for Israelis and Palestinians alike. The Israeli government’s implementation of a policy of separation – politically and physically isolating Gaza from the West Bank – has resulted in the fragmentation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and is a major obstacle to the chances of lasting peace.

The conflict between Palestinians and Israelis requires a long-term political solution that begins with a lasting ceasefire, continues with the end of the blockade of Gaza, and ends with a negotiated peace based on international law.

July 14, 2014

Across G20 countries and beyond, women are paid less than men, do most of the unpaid labour, are over-represented in part-time work, and are discriminated against in the household, in markets and in institutions. In 2012 in the Los Cabos Declaration, G20 leaders committed to tackling the barriers to women’s full economic and social participation and to expanding opportun ities for women in their countries. Oxfam supports this commitment, and calls on the G20 to go further and assess its agenda and actions on women’s rights and gender equality.

During the Australian presidency, the G20 has the chance to make good its promises for truly inclusive growth – working to make women more resilient to economic crisis through gender-sensitive economic growth and gender-equal employment policies.

June 17, 2014

In 2015 the world has a historic opportunity to set ambitious goals to end poverty and protect the planet. As the era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) comes to an end, two major injustices continue to undermine the efforts of millions of people to escape poverty and hunger: inequality and climate change.

May 20, 2014

For the food and beverage industry, climate change is a major threat. For millions of people, it means more extreme weather and greater hunger. The Big 10 companies are significant contributors to this crisis, yet they are not doing nearly enough to help tackle it.

In this paper, Oxfam calls on the Big 10 to face up to the scale of greenhouse gas emissions produced through their supply chains, and address the deforestation and unsustainable land-use practices they allow to happen.

May 14, 2014

Tax dodging by big corporations deprives governments of billions of dollars. This drives rapidly increasing inequality. Recent G20 and OECD moves to clamp down on corporate tax dodging are a first step, but these have woken up a legion of opponents set on undermining them. Most developing countries, which lose billions to corporate tax dodging annually, are also being left out of the decision making. Commercial interests must not be allowed to pursue their agenda at the cost of the public interest. All developing countries must be included in negotiations, and corporations must pay what they owe.
 

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