Scottish Government’s announcement of partner countries for international development work

Following a public consultation on how Scotland can support some of the world’s most vulnerable people most effectively, Alasdair Allan MSP, the Minister for International Development, has announced that the Scottish Government will focus on Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda and Pakistan as their four partner countries to deliver its international work programme.

Oxfam welcomes the Scottish Government’s decision to concentrate its geographical focus. The proposed reduction in the number of countries supported is consistent with the findings of the Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland (NIDOS) report. Oxfam already works in each of the partner countries announced by the Scottish Government and we will also continue to work in the countries which the Scottish Government
have previously supported.

 As we stated in our response to the Scottish Government’s consultation, aid allocation must always be consistent with three core purposes: fighting poverty, reducing inequality particularly gender inequality and meeting humanitarian need. It is right that the Scottish Government will spend the next few months undertaking a listening and learning exercise with those partner countries to identify their needs and establish how Scotland’s expertise and help can assist with their requirements in a way which is consistent with those core purposes.

Equally important is that the Scottish Government has a robust exit strategy put in place to minimise the impact on those countries affected by the change of geographical focus. The need to celebrate positive outcomes achieved during the lifetime of the partnership working should also be paramount.

Once the Government’s learning exercise in over we look forward to the Scottish Government publishing its official International strategy. We note from the consultation responses that issues such as global citizenship education, human rights, gender and climate justice and how Scotland will imbed the UN Sustainable Development Goals are key themes that the Scottish Government will have to assess when developing its official strategy. Oxfam Scotland will be ready to play our part in assisting with this process.

Oxfam Scotland was pleased to take part in the Government’s participative consultation process and the fact that 91 organisations and 38 individuals also responded to the consultation shows the appetite for Scotland to be an active, responsible Global Citizen. 

Oxfam’s work in the Scottish Government’s four partner countries:


Oxfam Scotland launched an emergency appeal in July of this year to provide urgent help to millions of people affected by Southern Africa’s worst drought in 35 years. Around 6.5 million people in Malawi, 40 percent of the population are facing severe food shortages. The first £70,000 donated by the public will be matched pound for pound by the Scottish Government. Donations to this appeal will contribute to the £12 million pounds Oxfam needs to reach 650,000 people across five districts in
Malawi, with life-saving humanitarian aid, as well as long-term support to build farmers’ resilience against future shocks. In addition to the emergency response, Oxfam is working with thousands of smallholder farmers, particularly women, in Malawi as part of a three-year project funded by the Scottish Government.


Oxfam has been working in Zambia since the early 1980s. Working with partners and stakeholders, our programmes include developing sustainable livelihoods within the context of HIV and AIDS, health and education, water and sanitation, and strengthening community capacity to cope with disasters.”


Oxfam has been engaged in Rwanda since the 1960s and physically present since 1982, delivering humanitarian response, water and sanitation, conflict management and sustainable livelihoods projects. Today, Oxfam acts as a catalyst and facilitator, bringing people together to influence how change happens and ensure it benefits the poorest and most vulnerable. Working with civil society, private sector and government bodies, we create partnerships, build capacity and facilitate access to skills, knowledge and technical expertise.


Oxfam has been working in Pakistan since 1973. We support local partners and work with government authorities to improve the livelihoods those living in poverty, and provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by disasters and conflict.