The Future is Equal


The People’s Vaccine Alliance – a journey to be proud of

Now and then, Oxfam and its supporters are part of something that defines who we are. Our history is punctuated with our part in big struggles. Always, together with others.

Sometimes we win; often we don’t, at least immediately – but we always take the side of those on the sharp end of our deeply unequal world.

Well, we’ve been at it again. Oxfam for the last two years has taken a historic side in the fight against vaccine apartheid. Last month marked a milestone in that struggle. We today want to recognize that journey (so far). And to thank people for their role in creating and powering this movement.

When COVID-19 began, we immediately knew that the vaccine would be vital to saving lives and ending the pandemic. But we also knew – through our history of work on access to medicines – that powerful big pharmaceutical corporations would use this opportunity to restrict supply, to put the opportunity for unprecedented profits before the lives of millions. With others, Oxfam set up the People’s Vaccine Alliance.

The ambitious idea? To break the powerful monopolies held over Covid-19 vaccines and technologies by some of the most powerful companies on earth, who in turn were protected by the richest governments on earth in a colonial manner. The collective aim? To help save the lives of millions of people from a deadly virus, and the compounding economic impacts, by developing countries being able to control their own vaccine supply. What it would look like? People from all walks of life coming together around the world in solidarity – joined by evidence, science, influential voices, united in hope that they have the power to demand better.

The journey

It began in May 2020, right at the inception of the pandemic, when we and others asked President Rhamaphosa of South Africa – who became the global leader on ending vaccine apartheid at the World Trade Organization – to come together with other world leaders on this issue. Since then Oxfam as part of the people’s vaccine alliance has produced powerful research – and got out the data to millions of people across the world. We’ve taken on the pharma companies directly – even directly in their AGM’s. We’ve mobilized millions and ensured voices from developing countries were heard. We’ve worked very closely with influential thought leaders and won over 150 former world leaders and Nobel Laureates behind this cause; worked with epidemiologists, health and economic experts, activists, celebrities and public figures the world over who have stood alongside us. We’ve fought to win over the public imagination (see this fun video).

Most importantly, some fifteen million people have joined us on this journey.  A people’s movement.

And we saw 100 governments come on board. We even saw the US government come out in favour of a version of the proposal we pushed for a year ago – which was unprecedented. We saw a significant shift in the dial in the international community.

Where we stand today

Last month we saw a decision that was not something to celebrate about, but at the same time showed how far we have come. An agreement was made at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on vaccines and intellectual property.  In no way was it the comprehensive waiving of intellectual property (IP) we had fought for, and we said so, together with many others.  It was a weak text pushed through by bullying rich nations.

Nevertheless, despite all its flaws, it represents one clear thing: the recognition by rich nations that intellectual property and the monopolies of big pharmaceutical corporations are a block; and that this system is broken.  The EU and others had consistently said that IP was not an issue in access to vaccines; now in the last few months they have changed tack, admitting that it was and then seeking to force through this weak agreement instead.

Our collective efforts were pivotal to forcing this turn around. Even the head of the WTO – who has been criticized for favouring rich countries – took the time out to criticize our efforts.

It’s been an unforgettable journey so far. We don’t want to single out individual affiliates and countries. We know how everyone has played a part. We want to thank you all.

The fight continues!

By no means have we won. The struggle continues. We must break those monopolies which have cost us – and we say this without exaggeration – millions of lives. But we have played our part in progress. We have to keep fighting for more. We have also helped build the secretariat for an entire new institution, backed by millions of dollars from donors, that has an exciting future head of it. The momentum we have created will help us to fight for a people’s vaccine – but also for universal healthcare, access to life-saving medicines, and for fighting inequality.

We especially feel proud that Oxfam has helped unite hundreds of organizations worldwide, and millions of people. We have played our part in uniting different movements – from trade to access to medicines to health to inequality to human rights and more.

They are clear – as we all must be – about an Oxfam that takes sides. That stands in solidarity with the many, against the rich and the powerful. That puts life over profit. That’s what defines us. We hope we can all feel proud about that.

Meet Joanne – A compassionate and determined supporter

Joanne and her partner

Today, we write to celebrate Jo, a compassionate and determined supporter of Oxfam Aotearoa.

Jo and her partner are parents to two young children (and a garden full of animals!). Jo, just like us, is driven by a passion for justice and the belief in a more just, sustainable world.

Jo was first introduced to Oxfam as a teenager when she lived in the UK, and has been supporting our mission ever since. Working at the New Zealand border, Jo is committed to keeping our country safe during a period of much uncertainty, “It’s definitely my happy place – I’m surrounded by committed people and no two days are the same”.

“Poverty limits everyone’s potential – from life expectancy to learning to taking your place in the world and society. If we can fix that, the world will be an amazing place for everyone to live in.”

“Oxfam has such a broad outlook – from political to local, environment to trade, short term disaster recovery to long term sustainability projects – all supporting communities across the world to have a brighter future.”

Having donated towards Oxfam through monthly gifts, appeals and Unwrapped over the years; she decided to take the next step in her support by including a gift in her Will to Oxfam Aotearoa.

Jo made this decision as a reflection of her core values, promising a special gift to the world; “I feel pleased that I’ll be able to make that one final meaningful contribution as I leave this world which has been so good to me but which isn’t the easiest place for so many people.”

Jo told us that she wants to encourage supporters to think about creating a legacy of their own;
“If you can afford it, do it – the money could make a big difference to a community supported by Oxfam. This is your last chance to make that contribution!”

Financial Intermediary subproject data exposed for the first time

“I had tears in my eyes when I saw my flooded home and village. Every time I think about my life before our village was flooded, I long to go back to that time.”

Bong Kheun, resident of Srekor village, now fully submerged by the Lower Sesan 2 Dam

“We, community members affected by the Lower Sesan 2 Hydropower Project in Stung Treng Province, Cambodia, are writing to you to seek your assistance in addressing our ongoing concerns about the Project and the impacts it has caused to our lives. We understand that VietinBank is a key shareholder in the joint venture company that owns and operates the project…”

Letter from affected communities to VietinBank, November 2020

The grim story of the communities affected by the Lower Sesan 2 dam, a hydropower project in Cambodia, is but one of many – a familiar cycle of inadequate consultation, lack of fair and appropriate compensation, and forced displacement from ancestral homes, property, and livelihoods under extreme pressure. Compounding these issues is lack of access to the basic information of who is funding the project that is irrevocably altering the lives and future of their communities. The Lower Sesan 2 Dam is being partly funded by VietinBank and ABBank, two financial intermediary (FI) clients of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). It was only through the support of international NGOs with access to financial databases that the communities affected by Lower Sesan 2 discovered the financial link to the World Bank’s private sector arm and filed a case at its accountability mechanism in 2018 – years into their attempted engagement with project financiers.

Another example is a recent  complaint filed at the Independent Complaints Mechanism (ICM) describing how FirstRand Bank’s investment in New Liberty Gold Mine is linked to significant environmental and social impacts on several communities in Liberia.  FirstRand Bank is a financial intermediary of Germany’s DEG, France’s Proparco, and FMO from The Netherlands, three European based Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). Community leaders in Liberia say the mining company has taken their homes and farms, polluted their water, and broken promises to provide jobs, schools and other facilities.  Another common trend between these two cases is that it was difficult for affected communities to know who are the financiers behind the project that is affecting them, let alone what protections they have and how to seek redress.

Financial intermediaries represent the nexus between development finance and commercial banking. In other words, private sector banks that receive financing from a development finance institution (DFI). DFIs use private sector banks as financial intermediaries on the premise that it will expand their development finance reach and raise the standards of the financial sector. Financial intermediaries can include commercial banks, private equity funds, leasing and insurance companies. The big question and big concern is whether DFIs can mobilize commercial finance without compromising their development mandates — with transparency and environmental and social standards as a core part of that.

Graphic showing paths for DFIs to channel funds through
Paths for DFIs to channel funds through financial intermediaries to finance projects of varying levels of risk. The risk levels shown in the graphic relate to environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk and it does not include other forms of risk such as financial risks. Photo: Oxfam International

The disclosure of such basic information is important given that financial intermediary lending continues to neglect principles and standards that most development banks have in place in terms of transparency. For this reason, in 2021, Oxfam International partnered with the Profundo, the International Accountability Project and the Early Warning System to contribute to bridging this transparency gap by making information on high-risk sub-clients and sub-projects of IFC and FMO’s financial intermediary investments accessible within the database.

The Early Warning System is an initiative that seeks to ensure communities have access to verified information on projects proposed and funded by development banks that are likely to impact them. As part of Oxfam International’s Open Books’s report and research, this collaboration launches a new initiative which organizes and makes public, for the first time, new, accessible information on the high-risk sub-projects of 318 financial intermediary investments made by IFC and FMO which impact people and the environment in at least 76 countries. The data includes financial intermediary investments from 2017 through 2020. In addition to illustrating the ownership structures of these sub-clients, where this information is available, the Early Warning System database also connects each private actor to other investments made by development banks in the same company.  In total, relationships among 12,800 private actors are documented and now public. The value of these investments is $38.2 billion USD.

Explore the sub-clients and sub-projects of IFC and FMO’s financial intermediary investments using this interactive data visualization. Click the project title to view project documentation in the Early Warning System Database. Download the entire list of sub-projects and sub-clients using the button on the bottom left of the visualization.

Development banks like IFC and FMO, among others, are increasingly channeling their financial support through financial intermediaries (60 and 40 per cent of their total portfolio respectively) on the premise that financial intermediaries will expand the reach of development finance and raise the standards of the finance sector. However, some of the devastating impacts of this approach to financing development projects has been well-documented in a number of projects leaving behind serious environmental destruction and entire communities being forcibly evicted.

The opacity and lack of transparency around financial intermediary investments made by development finance institutions means weak enforcement of environmental and social standards, lack of clarity regarding where such development finance ends up, and what the development impacts of such investments are. And importantly, that communities affected by these high-risk projects are left behind suffering the negative impacts not knowing who is behind those investments and what protections they have. 

This year some DFIs have started a process of amending or reviewing their policies on transparency and/or financial intermediaries like the European Investment Bank where civil society has engaged providing inputs on how to improve their transparency practices. 

We understand that FMO will open a public consultation process on a new Position Statement on Financial Intermediary Lending before the end of the year. FMO states that transparency on their financing and investments are fundamental to fulfilling their development mandate. Unfortunately, in practice, FMO does not disclose any information about sub projects supported via its investment in Financial Intermediary clients. 

Last year the IFC became a leader among its peers by committing to require its financial intermediary clients including commercial banks to “annually report the name, location by city, and sector for subprojects funded by the proceeds from IFC”; however, we are still waiting to see how IFC discloses such basic financial intermediary subproject information in practice. We certainly expect that other DFIs will follow IFC’s lead. Meanwhile, public disclosure of information about the companies and sub-projects being financed by development finance institutions’ financial intermediary clients remains sparse and inadequate.

Publish What You Fund’s graphic
Source: Publish What You Fund’s Report:  Financial Intermediaries Workstream 5 Working Paper. Financial intermediary sub-investment disclosure of basic information. Traffic light code: Green: disclosure was found; Orange: disclosure found in some; Red: no disclosure.

While there are still legitimate questions and challenges about how to disclose sub-project information of financial intermediaries, we maintain the position that access to such information is a right itself, and that (lack of) disclosure of such information by development banks and their financial intermediaries is a choice and not a legal roadblock. Development banks and their financial intermediary clients should commit to a time-bound transparency and disclosure reform agenda of disaggregated higher risk subproject-level information, develop a comprehensive transparency policy, and set up appropriate mechanisms for subproject information disclosure of higher risk subprojects and activities they engage on regardless of the financial instrument used.

This disclosure policy and system should be a core component of their environmental and social management systems and policies. While recognizing that this is the responsibility of development finance institutions like IFC and FMO to do themselves, with this financial intermediary data and through the Early Warning System, we wanted to exemplify that such disclosure is possible.

It took two NGOs and a research agency significant amount of time, resources, and working hours to put this financial intermediary data together, while it should be a basic right to have access to this information. The question is why getting access to such basic information is made so hard when development institutions like IFC, FMO, and other DFIs should have this information at their fingertips and make it accessible?


Read additional information about the Financial Intermediary data.

This post was co-authored by Christian Donaldson, Economic Justice Senior Policy Advisor at Oxfam International’s Washington Office, Imke Greven, Policy Advisor Land Rights at Oxfam Novib, and Ryan Schlief, Executive Director at the International Accountability Project.

5 things to boost Climate Commission’s plan to cut NZs pollution

5 things that can boost the Climate Commission’s plan to cut New Zealand’s pollution

You might have heard about the Climate Commission’s draft plan for New Zealand’s climate action over the next 15 years. This is a crucial opportunity to put a roadmap in place that will allow Aotearoa to play our part in overcoming the climate challenge and ensuring our action will stand with those facing the impacts of climate breakdown right now. It covers a lot, so here we highlight four good things, and five areas for improvement. You can have your say too. The Climate Commission is seeking submissions up until March 28th. 

This is a 5minute read about key areas relevant to Oxfam’s work on global equity and climate justice. To make a submission that covers more areas of what the Climate Commission is asking for feedback on, use the submission guide we prepared with a bunch of other organisations. 

4 great things about the Commission’s plan.

1. It confirms New Zealand’s international climate target needs to be boosted. 

Something that we’ve long been talking about is that New Zealand’s 2030 target for reducing pollution under the Paris Agreement is inconsistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. The Commission agrees, and recommended that New Zealand ought to do more than the average to reflect our outsized carbon footprint and past contribution to causing climate change. As a developed, relatively wealthy nation, our international target should reflect our fair share of emissions cuts. Last year, we released a report outlining what New Zealand’s fair share would be: at least 99% reductions below 1990 levels by 2030. 

2. Permanent native forests are part of the solution. 

A key aspect to the Commission’s plans is that relying solely on large pine forests to offset our emissions isn’t desirable or sustainable. As a country we need to cut our pollution at the source. There will still be a big role for forestry to meet our targets, but the Commission envisages much more of forestry’s role in absorbing carbon to be done through permanent native forests, which is great news for our biodiversity. 

3. The Commission’s plan confirmed that fossil gas is not a bridge fuel. 

Vested interests in the fossil fuel industry have tried to advocate for fossil gas as a ‘bridge’ or ‘transition’ fuel while we decarbonise away from coal. However, the Commission’s analysis shows that it is necessary and possible to cut our pollution from all fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – in order to meet our targets. We think that shifting from all fossil fuels needs to be faster than the Commission plans for, but overall the Commission’s plan helps confirm that fossil fuels are history and we need to embrace the clean, renewable future once and for all. 

4. It highlights climate finance to communities on the frontlines is a necessary part of our international action. 

New Zealand’s responsibilities for acting on climate change are not just for cutting our pollution at home, but also supporting communities in the Pacific and beyond that are on the frontlines of climate change to adapt to the impacts they are facing. Currently New Zealand has woefully low levels of climate finance compared to others. The Commission states that climate finance to developing countries can be part of New Zealand contributing to global climate action. This is great, and can potentially supplement our international target, however the focus of this finance should be on adaptation and mitigation, not solely mitigation.

5 things that can improve the Commission’s plan

5 things that can improve the Commission’s plan

1. It should boost our domestic action to be compatible with 1.5 degrees (a safe climate future) 

We know that the best chance of keeping global heating to 1.5 degrees is by cutting pollution fast in the next 10 years. The most disappointing part of the Commission’s plan is that it is not enough to meet our current Paris Agreement target for 2030. This is the same target the Commission has found to be inconsistent with limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees. We need to increase the pollution cuts in the first two ‘emissions budgets’ drafted by the Commission to set us up for a 2030 pathway consistent with 1.5 degrees. This can be done through making polluters pay for their pollution faster than planned, bringing forward end dates for fossil fuel use, and increasing direct government investment in our decarbonisation rather than relying on incentives. 

2. It should recommend a fair share target for our international climate commitment. 

It’s great that the Commission found New Zealand’s current international target under the Paris Agreement needs to be boosted. What’s needed now is to increase it in line with our fair share of pollution reductions, so that we don’t hand an unfair burden to developing nations to do our work for us and deal with the impacts. At the moment, the Commission doesn’t recommend what our fair share would be. We need them to recommend a target (or a target range) that would reflect our outsized carbon footprint and historical responsibility for causing climate change so that the government can’t get away with ignoring this advice or fudging the numbers. 

3. Agricultural climate pollution must be reduced further and faster. 

Farming is New Zealand’s largest polluting industry, contributing to around half of our country’s emissions. In its current form, the Commission’s plan largely lets agricultural emissions off the hook – it’s the area where planned reductions are most clearly not aligned with 1.5 degree pathways and the plan doesn’t anticipate any reductions in production volumes. What we need to do is make our most polluting industries pay for the damage they are causing, and reinvest that revenue in supporting farmers to diversify land uses. Cutting climate pollution from agriculture should include specific and direct regulations (such as bans and caps) on the sources of pollution, including a sinking cap on cow numbers, synthetic fertiliser and imported feed.  

4. It should redirect investment now away from roads to accelerate the green transition 

We can put much larger direct investment into accelerating the transition in transport and infrastructure. At the moment, the government has spent more on roads and other carbon intensive infrastructure in its Covid recovery spending than on climate friendly initiatives, and Auckland’s 10 year budget for transport being decided on right now is looking like it could do the same. The Commission’s plan only  forecasts $190 million per year to be spent on decarbonisation between now and 2025. There are billions of dollars in planned road and urban sprawl spending that could be redirected right now into building public and active transport, reallocating street space, and retrofitting and building energy efficient and accessible housing. There needs to be clear recommendations so the government can change track before polluting investments are locked in. 

5. It should make life better for all communities as we decarbonise 

It’s critical that taking action to cut our pollution leaves no one behind and takes us closer to a fairer, more equal and just society. The Commission’s report notes lots of ways to mitigate the impact on communities in vulnerable situations, but this needs further work to highlight the opportunities and co-benefits of doing so. One example is the opportunities to build and retrofit housing stock that will address the unacceptable shortage of accessible housing for disabled people; Another is the opportunity for native forests management and planting to move beyond consultation approaches and give management of land back to Maori to uphold Article Two of Te Tiriti or Waitangi. There is no consideration in the report of the adverse impacts of climate change on women and other genders, and the need for gender-responsive climate action. This needs to change. 

Hope that’s been useful! Want to learn more? Read the in-depth submission guide prepared by Oxfam and 10 other organisations here: 

What’s Happening With Cheque Donations?

Whats happening with cheque donations

You may be aware that New Zealand banks are moving towards eliminating cheques from their services over the next year. Your support matters. We’re here to help you navigate these changes so you can continue to donate and help end poverty.

We know that you may have preferred to donate by cheque in the past. Our minds and our goal is to make this transition as smooth and as easy as possible. We want to work together to help you find a way continue giving to Oxfam that works best for you.

There are several easy and secure ways to donate:

Website: Credit and debit cards are accepted and are completely secure so your details will be protected. This is the easiest, safest and most secure way to donate. Click here to visit our general donation page

Online Banking: Log into your internet banking and make a direct donation to our bank account.

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first part of your mailing address or email.


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Via Mail: Donate via cash, debit or credit card by following the instructions on any Oxfam donation form you have received.

In Person: If you would prefer to chat to our friendly supporter services call 0800 600 700 (toll free), they will guide you through a donation over the phone.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koe.
Thank you for your generosity and support and working with us to build a world free from poverty.

10 questions about our inequality report

Oxfam’s new report, ‘The Inequality Virus, reveals that the wealth of the ten richest men has increased by half a trillion dollars since the pandemic began – more than enough to pay for a vaccine for all and prevent anyone on Earth from falling into poverty because of the virus.  We have received lots of great questions about the report − here’s our answer to the 10 most frequently asked questions.

How can you be sure that Covid-19 will lead to a huge surge in inequality across the globe?

The IMF, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development have all said raised concerns that we will see a COVID-fuelled spike in inequality in all countries across the globe. 

These fears were echoed by a global survey of 295 economists from 79 countries, commissioned by Oxfam, where 87 percent of respondents said they expected an ‘increase’ or a ‘major increase’ in income inequality in their country as a result of the pandemic.

It is also echoed by what is happening on the ground in rich and poor countries alike. The richest in society have seen their savings increase during lockdown, but the poorest in our society have seen their incomes fall and often had to borrow to survive. 

While it will be some time before we have the data that is needed to produce a concrete measure of inequality, everything points to an increase in inequality in every country for the first time since records began unless governments act now.

What is the link between wealth, inequality, and poverty?

Our deeply unfair economies are enriching an already wealthy minority at the expense of millions of poor people. Over the last 40 years the richest 1% of the global population have captured more of the proceeds of economic growth than the poorest half of humanity combined. This inequality fuels poverty.

If the proceeds of economic activity had been shared more evenly, if governments invested in healthcare and education rather than slashing the tax bills of wealthy individuals and corporations, if companies prioritised a living wage for workers over bumper pay outs for shareholders, if access to medicines and vaccines was prioritised over the intellectual property rights and profits of big Pharma, then poverty could have been eliminated many years ago.

Why did billionaire’s wealth rebound so quickly?

Stock markets suffered the worst shock in their history when the pandemic was announced, destroying billions of dollars’ worth of financial assets. Central banks such as the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank injected billions of dollars to prevent a crash, the markets quickly rallied, and with them the fortunes of the world’s richest people who hold much of their wealth in stocks and shares. As a result, billionaires recouped their COVID-19 losses in just nine months, yet it could take the world’s poorest people more than a decade to recover. 

Why is Oxfam criticising billionaires and corporations for being successful and making a profit?

Making money is not the problem but excessive profits and extreme wealth are. These are the symptoms of a broken economic system which is benefiting a minority of people at the expense of everyone else.

Take the pharmaceutical industry. The US government invested $1 billion of US taxpayers’ money in Moderna to support the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Despite the fact the company only has the capacity to supply vaccines for less than 7% of the global population by the end of the year it is refusing to share technology and knowhow that would enable other manufacturers to produce it. Moderna has also pre-sold all the vaccines they will produce this year to rich nations for a high price, leaving nothing for developing countries. This has made the owners of Moderna very rich indeed.  This is exactly the kind of economic failure that drives extreme inequality.

Why is Oxfam criticizing wealthy people such as Carlos Slim, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, have made multimillion-dollar donations to fund vaccine research, support hospitals, and help those who are suffering during the COVID-19 crisis.

People who use their money to help others should be congratulated. However charitable giving is no substitute for wealthy people and wealthy companies paying their fair share of tax, and it does not justify them using their power and connections to lobby for unfair advantages over others.

For example, US corporate philanthropy amounts to less than $20 billion a year but corporate tax dodging cost the US an estimated $135 billion in 2017.

Why is the pandemic hurting poorer people more than wealthy people?

In every country in the world the poorest people in society have been hardest hit by the pandemic, and especially women and people from marginalised racial and ethnic groups.

These people are more likely to work in sectors −such as retail and tourism − that have suffered big job losses as a result of the pandemic, and these jobs are largely in the informal sector, so they are less likely to have redundancy, savings, or unemployment benefit to fall back on if they do get laid off.

These people are less likely to have access to decent healthcare when they are ill. They are more likely to live in crowded accommodation or work in jobs − as cleaners, shop assistants and care workers −that put them at greater risk of contracting the virus, and they are more likely to suffer underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of dying from it. 

These are people like Jean Baptiste, a 44-year-old father of three and migrant worker at a meat processing plant in the US.  The failure of the industry to implement proper safety measures has led to a series of COVID-19 outbreaks.  When Jean became ill, he was told to continue working and hide his fever. When he died the company failed to inform his family or his co-workers.  After his widow shared her story with the media, she received a card and just $100 in cash. Today she is struggling to support her children alone.  

Which governments are handling the pandemic well, and which are handling it badly?

Governments’ catastrophic failure to tackle inequality means most countries were woefully ill-equipped to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Millions of people have died or been pushed into hunger and poverty because of decades of failure to invest in public healthcare, protect workers’ rights, or provide adequate financial support for people who can’t work.  And while COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for some governments, others are still failing to act with disastrous consequences.

For example, the Kenyan government has responded to the COVID-19 crisis with tax cuts for the wealthiest and big business but has provided little additional funding for public health or to help people who have lost their income as a result of the crisis. By comparison, Argentina has introduced a temporary solidarity wealth tax that could generate over $3 billion to pay for thier COVID-19 response including medical supplies and relief for people living in poverty and small and medium-sized businesses.

How can governments afford to implement all the measures Oxfam is calling for in the middle of an unprecedented global recession?

Governments will need to invest to get economies up and running so the question is where should these investments be made? Oxfam is calling for governments to prioritize investments in areas that will deliver dignified, sustainable jobs, and not waste billions bailing out wealthy companies unless conditions are attached such as a requirement for the company to pay its fair share of tax or cut carbon pollution.

Building back fairer, greener economies will bring huge benefits for people and the planet.  A study by Climate Action Network International found that investing in renewables in the US generates almost 3 times as many jobs as investing in fossil fuels, yet G20 nations had pledged $251 billion of COVID-19 recovery funds to fossil fuel companies as of November 2020. 

Why is Oxfam calling for tax hikes at a time when tax cuts are needed to stimulate economic growth and job creation?

The idea that low taxes for the richest are good for economic growth and job creation is outdated. Gita Gopinath, the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund, recently came out in favour of one-off solidarity taxes on wealth and high incomes to help pay for the recovery, called on governments to introduce fairer tax systems, and warned against a return to austerity in the wake of the pandemic.

A strong economy depends on an educated and healthy workforce, good transport connections, a strong communications network, and the rule of law —all these things are paid for with our taxes. That is why it is essential that everyone in society pay their fair share.

Does Oxfam want to abolish billionaires?

Oxfam believes billionaires are a sign of broken economic system and that extreme wealth should be ended. We m believe the world would be a better place if there were a lot less billionaires and a lot more nurses.  

Inequality Virus Infographic