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Archives for May 10, 2021

Global Report On Food Crisis ‘Grim’

Global Report On Food Crisis 'Grim'

The Global Report on Food Crises 2021 was released last week reiterating the need for inclusive and sustainable food systems across the world. The report is described as ‘grim’ by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres due to the shocking number of people who are in desperate need of food and good nutrition. As Guterres explains, “Conflict is the main reason [for the need], combined with climate disruption and economic shocks, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

In a statement, Oxfam International’s Global Advisor for Emergency Food Security and Livelihoods Emily Farr said,“Oxfam is deeply concerned by the findings from the Global Report on Food Crises released today, which show that the confluence of conflict, economic shocks including from COVID-19, and extreme weather exacerbated by climate change has radically increased extreme hunger and inequality around the globe. Over the last year, 20 million more people – equivalent to the population of Mumbai – were pushed into a hunger crisis, but this is only an escalation of a deadly trend: there has been a 56% increase in the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity in the 39 countries monitored in the report since 2016. 

“Conflict is driving extreme hunger, and its impact is only growing. It is an unacceptable failure and violation of human rights that in countries like Syria, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, more than half the population does not have access to enough food to meet their basic needs, or that 15.8 million children in the 55 profiled countries are suffering from the severe weight loss called wasting due to poor nutrition and disease. 

“The warnings keep coming – from the farmers unable to grow enough food to eat and sell, from the community and civil society leaders calling for more support before food crises spiral out of control, from the UN calling for a global ceasefire in light of the pandemic. This report is unfortunate proof that these warnings have gone unheeded, and that millions of lives are on the line. 

This report underscores that the current efforts to fight hunger are falling short. The international community must work together, right now, to stop this terrifying trajectory.It’s time to take our hard-learned lessons and apply them in a radical new approach to address the drivers of hunger: conflict, poverty, inequality and climate change. With the political will, urgent and strategic funding, and local communities and women in the lead, we can address this. We’re calling on the international community to remember that these staggering statistics each represent someone enduring great and needless suffering – and to act with renewed urgency, cooperation, and generosity to tackle hunger now.”   

Read the full Global Report on Food Crises here: GRFC 2021 | 



For more information and interview opportunities please contact: 

DAVID BULL | Media Lead Oxfam New Zealand | +64 0274 179 724 

Oxfam India welcomes the US decision to back IP waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

The Biden Administration has caused a domino effect following the news that the USA will support the People’s Vaccine. World leaders are taking to Twitter to announce their support of the waiver including the New Zealand Government.

This news is especially critical for India where infections are soaring to over 400,000 new cases per day. Vaccines are in short supply, and the country has significant untapped capacity to produce for India’s needs and for the rest of the world. In a statement release by Oxfam India, CEO Amitabh Behar said:

“We awake today in India with some fresh new hope that there is a genuine solution possible ahead of us – that we have been heard – and that our country as well others suffering the horrific effects of rampant Covid-19 infections and death will not be forgotten and left behind.

“I am in a city where every fifteen minutes a family is losing a loved one. I am in a country which is the world’s pharmacy hub and yet people here are dying, gasping for breath. There is no-one I think in India who doesn’t know of friends or family or colleagues who have not had Covid. We are a country that is united in fearful expectation but now given a life-line in the possibility of more vaccines, which India requires quickly and in large numbers. The US decision to back the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines has taken us one step closer to having a true peoples’ vaccine – behind which India can throw its own manufacturing weight.”

Oxfam New Zealand has been a part of the choir lobbying for the New Zealand Government to back the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines and also welcomes the USA’s support. Jo Spratt Communications and Advocacy Director of Oxfam New Zealand said:

“This is a huge first step to make sure that everyone, everywhere can get a vaccine, and put an end to this pandemic that is causing so much suffering. But the fight is not over. Leaders in Europe and other rich nations must follow the Biden Administration’s lead and ensure the waiver covers all coronavirus technologies – things like PPE, ventilators and tests. We will be watching as EU and India leaders meet on Saturday 8th May, and hope Europe will signal its clear support for the TRIPS waiver.”

Notes to editors

The People’s Vaccine Alliance is a movement of health, humanitarian and human rights organisations, past and present world leaders, health experts, faith leaders and economists advocating that COVID-19 vaccines are manufactured rapidly and at scale, as global common goods, free of intellectual property protections and made available to all people, in all countries, free of charge. 

For more information and interview opportunities please contact:

DAVID BULL | Media Lead Oxfam New Zealand | +64 0274 179 724