Review 2008

For the developing world, 2008 has been an ‘annus horribilis’. The rapid rise in food prices has been compounded by turmoil on world financial markets. People spending over two-thirds of their income on food have little choice but to go hungry when food prices double.

It has also been a year of floods in East India, drought in East Africa, particularly Ethiopia, a devastating cyclone in Myanmar and earthquake in China. Less reported events have been the decline in agricultural crop yields in many developing countries and the spread of diseases such as malaria. These are the impacts that climate change models have been predicting.

But thankfully, there has also been progress. At the grassroots level, we have supported inspiring people and communities to show what can be achieved. Over the past year, our community-based work in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Bougainville, East Timor, Papua and Indonesia has continued to grow and strengthen. We have been able to extend our impact far beyond the community through inspiring others to action and of organic producers, supported the Vanuatu government with developing an integrated water management strategy and built a national coalition for gun control in Papua New Guinea.

Oxfam’s campaigns have contributed to changing some important policies. Working with many others, we have contributed to putting human rights and development at the heart of negotiations on climate change. Our research has highlighted the impacts of the rush for biofuels on food security and the environment. Our research and support for civil society has strengthened the voice of developing countries in trade negotiations particularly in the Pacific.

And we have responded quickly to disasters, ensuring that the poor and vulnerable are given emergency assistance and support to rebuild their lives.

This has been achieved because of your involvement – our supporters, as campaigners, volunteers and generous donors.

For the year ending June 30, 2008

Where the money comes from

Government grants for development programmes 34%
Government grants for emergencies 7%
Emergency appeals from the public 6%
Oxfam International affiliates and other NGO grants 14%
Public donations and events 37%
Interest and trading 2%


Where the money goes

Development programme 49%
Emergency response 12%
Programme management 6%
Advocacy and development education 12%
Communications 2%
Essential administration 3%
Raising further funds 16%


The overall programme expenditure is 79% and includes the following areas:


Development programme (49%) is our long term work directly with communities in poverty overseas, such as providing safe water in Papua New Guinea or support for impoverished farmers in East Timor.

Emergency response (12%) is our overseas humanitarian relief work, which during 2008 included essential help for people who had fled the violence in Darfur, and whose lives had been devastated by Cyclone Nargis in Mayanmar and the Sichuan earthquake in China.

Programme management (6%) is essential work undertaken by our staff to ensure our programmes are well set up and monitored, and are delivering the best possible results for people in need.

Advocacy and development education (12%) is work done both in NZ and overseas to tackle the underlying causes of extreme poverty; we focus on changing the policies and practices that keep people in poverty such as unfair trade rules.

Download the annual report

A full financial report is available upon request