The Future is Equal

Where We Work

Solomon Islands

A boat in the Ocean, text Solomon Islands

Country profile:

Solomon Islands is an archipelago of more than 900 islands in the South Pacific. The people in this country face significant challenges across the areas of climate resilience, gender equity and inclusive governance. 

Recent research shows climate finance flows are increasing, but that does not necessarily mean that climate finance is adequate or that finance is translating into concrete benefits on the ground.

Women in Solomon Islands face a number of systemic and deep-rooted barriers to full participation, including heavily male-dominated decision-making systems and practices, reinforced by gender stereotypes that portray women as less able than men to lead or make decisions.

Women are often prevented from gaining leadership positions because of low levels of education, a high burden of family care responsibility, high levels of violence, and underlying discriminatory social norms. As a result, women’s voices and priorities are often absent or secondary in decision-making within the household, the community, provincial government plans and national policies.

Grace looks out to her community

THE LATEST NEWS

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Oxfam on flood watch in Solomon Islands

Oxfam is monitoring Tropical Storm Raquel, which has the potential to see a repeat of the type of flash flooding in the Solomon Islands that caused extensive damage to Honiara last year …
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Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation for Solomon’s recovery work

Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless …
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Solomons floods: floods update

When disastrous flooding hit the Solomon Islands, your donations helped provide emergency assistance and continue to help people rebuild their means of earning a living …

Aerial image of Solomon Islands

Bangladesh

Rohingya refugee camps and image of three women

COUNTRY PROFILE

In August 2017 a brutal military crackdown on Rohingya people in Myanmar caused more than 700,000 people to flee across the border in search of safety in Bangladesh. In the years since then, Rohingya families have continued to escape into Bangladesh, finding shelter in one of the many refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar region. 

There are close to a million Rohingya refugees in the 34 camps, which include the world’s largest refugee camp (Kutupalong Balukhali mega camp) which hosts more than 630,000 refugees packed into an area of just 13 square kilometers.

Heavy monsoon rains in Southeast Bangladesh can lead to severe flooding and landslides throughout the camps. Rainwater inundates homes and shops and damages critical infrastructure like toilets and waterpoints—heightening the risk of water-borne illness. 

Your support can help us continue this important work and scale up our efforts to reach more families with clean water, nutritious food, and a safer, well-lit environment. 

Refugee camp in Cox's Bazaar

KEY STATISTICS

  • Over 980,000 refugees and asylum seekers have fled Myanmar since the mass exodus in August 2017. 
  • As of February 2022, about 923,179 refugees, or over 94% of people who fled Myanmar, live in Cox’s Bazar. The Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps are the largest and most densely populated camps in the world.
  • Women, girls and boys make up more than 75% of the refugee population. There are about 194,091 families living in Cox’s Bazar.

Key projects

Oxfam is working with the government of Bangladesh and other humanitarian agencies to improve conidtions in the camps.

We have already reached more than 266,000 people in the Rohingya camps and host communities with multiple hygiene and gender protection programmes.

  • We have installed a sewage facility which initially served 50,000 people, and will eventually serve more than 100,000.
  • We are drilling wells, installing water points, toilets and showers, and distributing water purification tablets. To help local communities cope with water shortages, we are providing around 385,000 liters of chlorinated water daily in the Teknaf area.
  • We’re helping people stay healthy and hygienic by distributing soap and other essentials, and working with community-based volunteers to emphasize the importance of clean water and good hygiene.
  • We have installed solar-powered lights around the camps and provided torches and portable solar lanterns so that refugees – especially women – feel safer leaving their shelters after dark to reach water points and toilets.
  • We’re also providing 24,000 households with vouchers that can be exchanged at local markets for nutritious vegetables and ingredients to supplement their basic rations.
  • Oxfam is treating water for the megacamp using electricity generated from solar panels, cleaning 100,000L of water per day.
Water being delivered inside Cox's Bazaar

By supporting Oxfam you will

  • Help to provide water and sanitation and adapting to better deal with the crowded conditions.
  • Install sewage facilities that will eventually service over 100,000 people.
  • Drill wells and install water points, toilets and showers.
  • Help local communities cope with water shortages through deliveries of chlorinated water.
  • Help people stay healthy and hygienic with soap and other essentials.
  • Support and train community-based volunteers to emphasize the importance of clean water and good hygiene.
Kids playing a game

The latest news

Papua New Guinea

Oxfam is helping to improve the lives of people in rural Papua New Guinea.

Country profile

Amongst the country’s towering mountains, deep valleys and tropical forests lie a multitude of communities all with their own languages, cultures and histories. Rural Papua New Guinea is home to 80% of the population, yet these families have seen few benefits from the country’s thriving gas and oil industry due to corruption across political, legal and state institutions.

These barriers combined with challenging physical geography and poor infrastructure, such as roads, have stunted economic development in these rural areas. This makes it hard for locals to sustainably engage in anything more than subsistence farming as often transporting their crops to the larger, lucrative markets in the cities is unaffordable. Unsurprisingly, income inequality in PNG is the highest in the Asia Pacific region. Growth-fuelled inflation is causing further imbalances, meaning basic items are often too expensive for rural farmers.

Statistics from the UNDP Human Development Report and The World Factbook:

  • Capital: Port Moresby
  • Population: 7,027,332 (2018)
  • The largest island in the Pacific
  • 80% of the population live in rural areas
  • 39.9% of the population lives below the basic needs poverty line (2021)
  • 69.2% of the population have no access to limited-standard drinking water (2021)
  • 79.8% have no access to limited-standard sanitation (2021)
  • 82.6% have no access to electricity (2021)
  • 93.7% of employed women are engaged in informal employment like subsistence agriculture and local trading. (2019)
  • 70% of women experience a form of physical and sexual assault in their lifetime, and are five times more likely to be victimised at home than on the street. (2017)
PNG Website image

Key projects

Oxfam Aotearoa currently supports Oxfam in Papua New Guinea to implement two programs. HARVEST (a livelihoods project) and FLOW (a water and sanitation project). Oxfam in Papua New Guinea is also running a third project around gender justice.

Oxfam’s HARVEST project works with local partners to improve the income and lives of over 2,000 families so they can send their kids to school, access decent healthcare and reliably put nutritious food on the table.

We’re helping farming families boost the quality and quantity of their vegetable yields by improving planting and pest-control techniques. This means they can shift from subsistence to market-oriented farming.

With more knowledge, these farmers can then access larger, more profitable markets. We’re also partnering with two local honey businesses to train and support beekeepers. On-site experts provide and replenish low-cost supplies, create market connections, and give advice through the ‘Honey Hotline.’ This has doubled the incomes of many families so far.

As their incomes grow, we help women and men develop financial management skills to jointly plan, budget, and save for their financial goals. To improve the security of their savings, we also link them with community-savings providers.

Learn more here: HARVEST Programme in Papua New Guinea.pdf

 
 Oxfam’s FLOW programme works with local partners to improve access to basic sanitation and safe water, and promote hygiene practices in rural schools and health facilities in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

About half of Papua New Guinea’s population live in the Highlands (approximately 3 million people) but many of these people have limited or no access to clean water or sanitation services.

By building water tanks, latrines, showers and by promoting good hygiene, we’re helping over 32,000 people stay healthy. In addition, installing private toilets in schools means that teenage girls can continue their education, rather than staying home on days they have their periods.

Image of a boy drinking water, and a girl in a classroom below
Three children smiling and holding onions

By supporting Oxfam you will

  • Help farmers adapt to climate change so that they can grow, harvest, process and market their crops to earn a better income.
  • Increase the skills and knowledge of local beekeepers and vegetable farmers to maximise their yields.
  • Help ensure that women have an equal say in their families’ financial decisions and can safely access financial services.
  • Improve health through improved education and increased access to clean water, new toilets and showers, in rural schools and health facilities.
  • Build awareness among government stakeholders about the importance of funding and maintaining water and hygiene infrastructure in schools, health centres and other public spaces.

 

The latest news

Papua New Guinea

A mother carries her young child on her shoulder.

Oxfam: New Zealand must do more for PNG – urgently

Papua New Guinea faces a deadly pandemic of misinformationIn response to the New Zealand government sending a medical and logistics support team to Papua New Guinea (PNG) over the weekend, Oxfam Aotearoa says that while essential supplies and support is …
Papua New Guinea

Oxfam concerned with the recent spike in PNG COVID-19 cases

Oxfam in PNG with its local partners is deeply concerned with the recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases reported in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The recent increase within the communities exposes many people, particularly the most vulnerable, to …
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Here’s how we’re helping rural farmers in Papua New Guinea

The onions from Steven Bare’s garden in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea bring more smiles than tears. He’s thrilled to harvest another bumper crop. Steven and his wife Maria have turned their family’s fortunes around since taking part …

Vanuatu

Florian holds her woven bags, with text 'Vanuatu'

Country profile

Vanuatu is a lush archipelago of more than 80 scattered volcanic islands and has been ranked every year for the past 10 years as the world’s most at-risk country for natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. Agriculture, fishing, offshore financial services and tourism are the main drivers of Vanuatu’s economy, yet border closures brought on by Covid-19 have had a devastating impact on the tourism sector, dramatically reducing the number of jobs available to young people.

The World Risk Index found Vanuatu to be the world’s most at-risk country for natural hazards. Because Vanuatu is so vulnerable to natural disasters, it has been critically important to improve how we can deliver aid in the wake of a destructive cyclone, flood or storm. Life has changed dramatically in Vanuatu over the past few decades. Young people must navigate an economy of high unemployment, low wages and expensive housing. Ni-Vanuatu youth have limited access to secondary education, with only 11.9% of young people staying on through Grade 13 (the final year of secondary school). Many must leave school early because they cannot afford the tuition and fees, and must instead earn money to help support their families. In addition to the pandemic, Tropical Cyclone Harold made landfall in Vanuatu in April 2020, causing major destruction to parts of the country and impacting staff, students and their families. This has left Ni-Vanuatu youth in the precarious position of being unable to afford advanced education but with only limited low-wage opportunities elsewhere.

97% of the country’s poor population live in rural areas, which are often remote and have limited infrastructure. Only 18% of those living in rural areas complete secondary education, and about 20% of the population in rural areas have never been to school at all. Vanuatu’s young people are the country’s biggest resource – with the right opportunities, these young people will be the leaders of Vanuatu’s social and economic development.

Key statistics

  • Capital: Port Vila
  • Population: 307,150 (2020)
  • Population below the basic needs poverty line: 15.9% (2021)
  • Infant mortality rate: 21.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2021)
  • Life expectancy at birth: 65.31 (2020)
  • Population affected by natural disasters: 64% (2021)
  • Vanuatu ranks 140/189 countries on the UNDP’s Human Development Index (2020)
  • The average annual income per person in Vanuatu is US$5,593. By comparison, in New Zealand it is US$39,583 (Sources: World Inequality Database, 2021 and Statz NZ, 2021)
  • Children go to school for an average of just 6.8 years (2017)
  • There are currently zero seats held by women in Vanuatu’s Parliament
A child smiles holding a goat

KEY PROJECTS

Oxfam’s Enhancing Youth Employment and Leadership programme (EYEL) partners with Youth Challenge Vanuatu (YCV) to help bridge the gap between young people eager to learn and work and the jobs that they could succeed in. Through training programmes in leadership, business and computer skills, as well as internship placements, YCV supports young people to build the skills that will make them competitive in the job market and even offer start-up grants for young entrepreneurs.

This project was officially started in April 2018 and is set to finish around June 2023. The overall objective is to increase the number of young men and women, including marginalised youth, that are leading economic and social development in Vanuatu.

Oxfam Aotearoa’s partnership with Youth Challenge Vanuatu has improved young people’s access to education and work experience. After completing YCV’s programmes, Ni-Vanuatu youth have more experience, confidence, and the skills necessary to secure jobs that pay a living wage.

Oxfam’s UnBlocked Cash Project 
The massive number of people requiring humanitarian assistance has been growing in recent years due to climate-caused disasters. Vanautu is particularly prone to climate-caused disasters and has suffered extensive damage from Category 5 cyclones (TC Pam and TC Harold) in recent years.

Oxfam’s UnBlocked Cash project is set to tackle this challenge. It offers an opportunity to improve how aid is delivered without compromising the dignity of beneficiaries. Using blockchain technology, beneficiaries receive “tap-and-pay” cards which they can use to purchase the goods or services they need. Local vendors can process payments using smartphones with a pre-installed app. This system saves costs and reduces delivery time for distributing aid, brings more transparency and accountability to the process, and ensures that people in need are able to get the things they need, rather than make do with whatever supplies are being made available.

The project originated in 2019 in areas of Vanuatu where the severity of Tropical Cyclone Harold and COVID-19 restrictions had significantly reduced income and livelihoods, particularly amongst households with pre-existing vulnerabilities. Oxfam’s UnBlocked Cash project won the European Union 2020 Horizon Prize for Blockchain for Social Good in Aid category, supporting further scaling of the project beyond the Pacific region. It has also been selected as the winner of the 2020 World Summit Awards in the Inclusion & Empowerment category.

Drawing from what we learned in Vanuatu, this project has been scaled out to Papua New Guinea, where heavy rains in April 2020 caused floods and landslides in several provinces, and will be deployed to Solomon Islands next year.

The latest news

Vanuatu

Youth Challenge Vanuatu student Glenda Mass uses the e-learning platform from Upskill.

Youth Challenge Vanuatu launches E-learning pilot to support youth during disasters and beyond

It is a familiar conundrum around the world during the coronavirus pandemic – students crammed into home offices or at … Read More
Vanuatu tropical cyclone Harold

Oxfam coordinates response to tropical cyclone Harold

Oxfam teams in the Pacific are working with partner agencies and governments in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, to plan a … Read More
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Oxfam monitoring Cyclone Donna: latest news

UPDATE: 12:00pm 09/05/2017 An update has been sent out from Oxfam’s regional office in Vanuatu. The worst affected people are … Read More
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Shanine’s Poultry Farm

It’s not uncommon for children in Vanuatu to stop attending school at 10 years old – there are not enough … Read More
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High risk of cyclone hitting Vanuatu: Oxfam monitoring

Oxfam is closely monitoring after a cyclone warning was issued for Vanuatu, as numerous provinces brace for damaging gale-force winds … Read More

Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste is a nation comprising half of the island of Timor, in Southeast Asia. Timor-Leste is highly vulnerable to climate-related disasters, and is considered the seventh most disaster-prone country in the world. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by the negative consequences of drought, landslides, and floods. Gender-based violence is prevalent across Timor-Leste and research shows that climate emergencies can lead to further increases in domestic violence.

Timor-Leste is home to about 1.3 million people and is one of the poorest countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Almost half the population lives below the poverty line. According to the UNDP Human Development Report, Timor Leste is among the bottom six Asian countries with a low Human Development Index and the highest Multidimensional Poverty Index.

Although it is well-placed to serve the Asian market, there are many hurdles to establishing a thriving business in Timor-Leste, including poor roads and access to banking services. Agriculture dominates the economy, accounting for 15 percent of GDP and approximately 39 percent of employment. Insufficient food production and an under-developed local market have led to a dependency on imports of rice and other commodities. Malnutrition and poor health are widespread and most rural households suffer from food shortages for at least one month of the year.

One of the key issues facing the people of Timor-Leste is a lack of skills in key areas from government planning to community self-determination. Capacity to deliver essential services remains weak and the rebuilding of infrastructure and civil administration remains a huge challenge.

 

Quick facts from the World Bank, UN Human Development Report, and UNICEF:

  • Capital of Timor-Leste: Dili
  • Population: 1,343,875 (2022)
  • GDP per capita (USD): $1,442.73 (2021)
  • Human Development Index: 0.606, rank 141 (2021)
  • Language: Official languages are Portuguese and Tetum
  • Religion: Roman Catholic (97.6%)
  • Adult Literacy: 68.1 (2021)
  • Life expectancy: 69.5 years (2021)
  • Government: Republic
  • Access to safe water: 78% (2021)
  • Access to toilets: 60.4% (2021)
  • Access to electricity: 72.6% (2021)
  • Infant mortality rate (per 1000 live births): 37 (2021)
  • People living below the national poverty line: 41.8% (2021)
A woman waters her garden from a green watering can

KEY PROJECTS

A woman smiles as she sits beside a garden

Timor-Leste Women and Land Project 

In Timor-Leste, women’s mobility, security, advancement and voice are influenced by a range of highly restrictive patriarchal social norms. Women frequently have less control over the assets on which their livelihoods depend, especially land.

An important aspect of improving women’s land rights will be making sure that formal and informal leaders recognise the how important it is that women have these rights in the first place. 

A lady stares towards the camera near a plant

Timor-Leste Climate Finance Project

For climate finance to provide the best possible return and the most impact, it must get to where it is most needed. Women and other vulnerable groups in Timor-Leste have not yet been able to adequately, equitably and optimally access or benefit from climate finance.

To put it simply, for women to get more access to this funding, they need to be at the table when the decisions are being made.

Past projects

Oxfam’s IMPACT programme worked to support economic self-reliance and resilience in rural communities by helping farming businesses to thrive. Oxfam continues to support research into high-value crops, identifying market opportunities for candlenut, mung beans, red beans, shallots and onions. Oxfam’s training has increased production of these crops in Timor-Leste and has provided farmers with wrap-around support in production, processing and marketing, so they can get the best prices for their crops. This increased income helps to make essentials like education attainable for these families and helps break the cycle of poverty.

By supporting Oxfam you will:

  • Support local efforts to improve land rights in Timor-Leste to ensure more women own and control the land they farm
  • Contribute to local legal aid for women seeking to navigate land registration processes
  • Help educate farmers about their rights and how to protect them
  • Improve women’s access to climate finance
  • Ensure that there is greater transparency around how climate finance is used, especially in how it addresses the needs of women

The latest news:

East Timor

Timor-Leste Floods

Timor-Leste’s most destructive floods in recent memory likely worsened by climate change, as COVID-19 threat looms: Oxfam

Almost half of the population of Timor-Leste’s capital has been impacted by severe flooding, according to government figures, after heavy rains fell on Dili and nearby provinces last week. Cyclone Seroja took the people of Timor-Leste by surprise, with the small nation previously not within the range of such extreme … Read More
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Profile: Anna Mosley, International Portfolio Manager

As a twenty-something backpacker with a love of languages, Anna Mosley explored remote pockets of China, Cambodia and Laos, piquing an interest in development work.  Now, fifteen years on, she has worked across Latin America and Asia supporting poor communities in remote regions. She tells us about her new role, … Read More

Tonga

Three girls walk on a clay road in their school uniforms, with text 'Tonga'

Country profile:

The Kingdom of Tonga is a remote, low-lying archipelago in the South Pacific comprised of 171 islands. Over two-thirds of the population live on the largest island of Tongatapu.

Tonga has a vulnerable small island economy and is susceptible to natural disasters. Its isolation and scattered population create economic difficulties including high transport costs and limited markets. There are very few salaried employment opportunities for young people and a high level of outward migration, with a heavy dependence on Tongans earning income outside the country and sending it back home. Those who do stay and work in Tonga are overwhelmingly engaged in work with agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

It is a constitutional monarchy undergoing political reforms. The country is slowly inching towards full democracy and addressing issues of representation, accountability and transparency.

Quick facts from the UNDP Human Development Report and The World Factbook:

  • Region: Polynesia
  • Capital: Nuku’alofa
  • Population: 105,780 (July 2021 est.)
  • GDP per capita (USD): $4903 (2019)
  • Human Development Index: 0.725 (2019)
  • Language: Tongan, English
  • Adult literacy: 99.4% (2018)
  • Life expectancy: 77 years (2021)
  • Access to safe water: 99.6% (2020)
  • Access to toilets: 98.9% (2020)
  • Infant mortality rate: 12.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2021)
  • Most of the population have access to basic infrastructure and only 8.3% have no access to electricity. (2021)
  • Only 2% of land titles are owned by women. (2019)
  • 64% of women have experienced gender-based violence in their lifetime. (2020)
A man holds a fire torch surrounded by a crowd of people
TNYC deploy water desalination units in Tonga, wearing orange rests
TNYC deploy water desalination units in Tonga, wearing orange rests

Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC)

Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC) is Oxfam’s local partner in Tonga.

Established in 1991, TNYC is a civil society organisation that works with youth to encourage and empower their talents and creativity.

TNYC is the national focal point for organic farming. They promote and develop income generation opportunities through the Future Organic Farmers of Tonga (FOFT) programme. In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, it provides training, farm demonstrations and monitoring and evaluation of agricultural activities.

TNYC raise awareness of the benefits of organic farming and provide support and advice on local and international marketing strategies. They also coordinate a network of organic organisations. Collective action means that organic growers can be more effective in lobbying the government for support.

PAST PROJECTS

Oxfam’s RESULT programme worked together with The Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC) to ensure that organic farming is sustainable for farmers. 

The goal was to establish a viable youth-led and community-focused business, selling virgin coconut oil and dried vanilla bean.

A lady sits, smiling, beside her grandson

BY SUPPORTING TONGA YOU WILL

  • Help to provide hygiene kits containing essentials such as soap, reusable water buckets and food parcels.
  • Help give families the tools, raw materials, and supplies they need to rebuild their farms and fishing businesses.
  • Help build, deliver, and maintain desalination units that produce clean drinkable water from sea water.

THE LATEST NEWS

Tonga

Image of a large volcanic eruption at sea

NZ company working with Oxfam to turn seawater into drinking water in Tonga

Bay of Islands based company Open Ocean says it is pleased the desalination units developed on request of Oxfam in 2014 are still helping to save lives in Tonga today. Over the weekend, Oxfam Aotearoa finally made contact with their partner Tongan National Youth Congress (TYNC), and was told the … Read More
Aerial view of volcanic eruption

Oxfam reaction to Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai Volcanic Eruption

Following the recent eruption of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai and the ensuing tsunami, Carlos Calderόn Oxfam Aotearoa Humanitarian Lead said: “We share the concern of our Tongan whanau here in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and our heart goes out to all those impacted by this event. We are monitoring the situation as closely as … Read More
MausaTNYC

Our Cyclone Gita response continues

Mausa Halala (pictured) is a volunteer with the Tonga National Youth Congress – Oxfam’s local partner in Tonga. He and other volunteers, trained and equipped by Oxfam to provide emergency water supplies, were working within hours of the storm, purifying and distributing safe drinking water on Tongatapu and ‘Eua. Thanks to … Read More
Cyclone Gita

70% of Tongan population affected in wake of Cyclone Gita

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. Water supplies across the main island of Tongatapu have sustained significant … Read More
Cyclone Gita

Cyclone Gita heading towards Tonga: Oxfam poised to respond

Oxfam is on standby to respond to Cyclone Gita, as latest forecasts predict the storm could intensify up to a category 5 cyclone before affecting Tonga later tonight. Up to 70% of the country’s population is at risk with the severe tropical cyclone expected to pass near the populated main … Read More