Iffat, Oxfam public health promotor, talks to Rohingya refugees

Image: Abbie Trayler-Smith/ Oxfam

Our world is changing, and Oxfam must change too. With your support, we’re transforming how we work with people to overcome poverty and build a safer, fairer future for all of us. A future where, once we emerge from a devastating global pandemic, Oxfam can support a just recovery for the poorest and most marginalised communities.

Over the next 10 years we want to redefine and reshape Oxfam’s presence in the world. We will become a more balanced global network, working more with partners that are part of the social fabric of the places where we operate, being led by them and delivering change through them. This work will be led by our feminist approach, more conscious of where power sits and ensuring all the people we work with are treated with equal dignity and respect.

Oxfam will focus its efforts and resources on making change happen where it’s needed most.

This includes fragile places where people struggling to overcome poverty are held back by conflict and humanitarian catastrophe. If we don’t act globally, 80% of the world’s poorest people could be living in places like these by 2030.

We will tackle the injustices we care most about and the new challenges we face together as a global community. And here at home, we’ll offer new ways for people to take action with us, and we will build our much-loved local Oxfam charity shops into stronger community hubs.

Oxfam had already started to make changes to the way it works, before we paused to respond – first and foremost – to the global pandemic that is reshaping our world. The coronavirus has, of course, created financial uncertainty for all of us – and that has an impact on Oxfam too. The closure of our shops and cancellation of fundraising events due to coronavirus has cost Oxfam around £5 million per month. We need to make changes faster now, to be effective and financially resilient for the future.

While coronavirus has created so much uncertainty, what is clear is that the people we work with need us now more than ever.

The devastating health, economic and social impacts are already being felt by the some of the world’s most vulnerable communities – and without urgent action, half a billion people could be forced into poverty. So, our new strategy supports us to play our part in helping the world respond to and recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Through your generosity, Oxfam has achieved so much over the past 78 years – and we are now entering a new phase. Our work has never been more important, and as we make these important transformational changes, your support is needed more than ever. “We’re in this together” is more than a phrase for our time – we believe it’s the only way we can rebuild a fairer, safer future for all of us.

Oxfam’s presence in the world

Oxfam will focus its efforts and resources on making change happen where it’s needed most in in the world, this means working on fewer issues and in fewer countries to make us a stronger partner and global actor in our fight to beat poverty.

As a global confederation, Oxfam has also made decisions on its presence around the world and that has meant making the difficult decision to phase our work out gradually from 18 countries. A rapidly changing and challenging landscape has meant we needed to make swift decisions, but these changes are built on a strong foundation of strategic thinking to make Oxfam stronger, more sustainable, and more impactful in the future. We will phase out of countries respectfully and responsibly with our local partner organisations, honouring all our existing contracts and relationships.

The countries we will no longer work in are: Afghanistan, Benin, Burundi, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Haiti, Liberia, Mauritania, Pakistan, Paraguay, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania and Thailand.

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