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Encyclopedia > Oxfam
Oxfam International logo
Oxfam International logo

Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 organizations working with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.[1]


The Oxfam International Secretariat leads, facilitates and supports collaboration between the Oxfam affiliates to increase Oxfam International’s impact on poverty and injustice through advocacy campaigns, development programs and emergency response.


Oxfam was originally founded in England in 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief by a group of Quakers, social activists, and Oxford academics;[2] this is now Oxfam Great Britain, still based in Oxford, UK. It was one of a number of local committees formed in support of the National Famine Relief Committee. Their mission was to persuade the UK government to allow food relief through the Allied blockade for the starving citizens of Nazi-occupied Greece. The first overseas Oxfam was founded in Canada in 1963. The committee changed its name to its telegraph address, OXFAM, in 1965. For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A famine is a phenomenon in which a large percentage of the population of a region or country are so undernourished that death by starvation becomes increasingly common. ... The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ... This article is about the city of Oxford in England. ... Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see 1963 (disambiguation). ... Telegraphy (from the Greek words tele = far away and grapho = write) is the long distance transmission of written messages without physical transport of letters, originally over wire. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

History and beginnings

The original Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, from which Oxfam takes its name, was a group of concerned citizens such as Canon Theodore Richard Milford (18961987), Professor Gilbert Murray and his wife Lady Mary, Cecil Jackson-Cole and Sir Alan Pim. A famine is a phenomenon in which a large percentage of the population of a region or country are so undernourished that death by starvation becomes increasingly common. ... Canons, Bruges A Canon of the Seminary, Sint Niklaas, Flanders. ... Year 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar). ... This article is about the year 1987. ... Gilbert Murray (or George Gilbert Aime) (January 2, 1866 - 1957) was a British classical scholar and diplomat. ...


Oxfam's work

Oxfam clothing and shoe bank
Oxfam clothing and shoe bank

Though Oxfam's initial concern was the provision of food to relieve famine, over the years Oxfam has developed strategies to combat the causes of famine. In addition to food and medicine Oxfam also provides tools to enable people to become self-supporting and opens markets of international trade where crafts and produce from poorer regions of the world can be sold at a fair price to benefit the producer. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x2048, 1514 KB) Oxfam clothing and shoe bank. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x2048, 1514 KB) Oxfam clothing and shoe bank. ...


Oxfam's program has three main points of focus: development work, which tries to lift communities out of poverty with long-term, sustainable solutions based on their needs; humanitarian work, assisting those immediately affected by conflict and natural disasters (which often leads in to longer-term development work), especially in the field of water and sanitation; and lobbyist, advocacy and popular campaigning, trying to affect policy decisions on the causes of conflict at local, national, and international levels. Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... E. Coli bacteria under magnification Sanitation is the hygienic disposal or recycling of waste, as well as the policy and practice of protecting health through hygienic measures. ... Lobbying is the practice of private advocacy with the goal of influencing a governing body, in order to ensure that an individuals or organizations point of view is represented in the government. ... Advocacy is the act of arguing on behalf of a particular issue, idea or person. ...


Oxfam works on trade justice, fair trade, education, debt and aid, livelihoods, health, HIV/AIDS, gender equality, conflict (campaigning for an international arms trade treaty) and natural disasters, democracy and human rights, and climate change. Make Trade Fair is a campaign organized by Oxfam International to promote fair trade among governments, institutions, and multinational corporations. ... For the product certification system ( ), see Fairtrade certification. ... For other uses, see Debt (disambiguation). ... This article should be merged with [[{{{with}}}]] development aid and humanitarian aid Foreign aid, international aid or development assistance is when one country helps another country through some form of donation. ... The standard of living refers to the quality and quantity of goods and services available to people and the way these services and goods are distributed within a population. ... Species Human immunodeficiency virus 1 Human immunodeficiency virus 2 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS, a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections). ... For other uses, see AIDS (disambiguation). ... Equal Rights redirects here. ... For other uses, see Conflict (disambiguation). ... This article is about the natural disasters caused by natural hazards. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 450,000 years For current global climate change, see Global warming. ...


Shops

Oxfam shop on Drury Lane in Covent Garden, London.
Oxfam shop on Drury Lane in Covent Garden, London.

The first permanent Oxfam gift shop opened in February 1948 on the ground floor of 17 Broad Street, Oxford, England, a lease on which building had been taken by the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (later Oxfam) the previous November. Today Oxfam operates approximately 750 shops throughout Britain as well as a number in other countries. Over 70 of the organization's shops in the UK are specialist Oxfam bookshops, making them the largest retailer of second-hand books in the United Kingdom. Oxfam Canada sold off its Bridgehead fair trade business, which in 2000 became the Bridgehead Coffee chain which continues to promote fair trade coffee and related products. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1624 KB) Summary Oxfam shop 23 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5RH Photo by User:Edward, taken 17 December 2005 Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Drury Lane Oxfam Metadata This file contains additional information... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1624 KB) Summary Oxfam shop 23 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5RH Photo by User:Edward, taken 17 December 2005 Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Drury Lane Oxfam Metadata This file contains additional information... Drury Lane is a street in the Covent Garden area of London, running between Aldwych and High Holborn. ... Covent Garden is a district in London, located on the easternmost parts of the City of Westminster and the southwest corner of the London Borough of Camden. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Oxfam is the largest retailer of second hand books in Europe, selling around 12 million per year. ... // Originally founded in 1981 in Toronto by Oxfam, Bridgehead is a small fair trade coffeehouse chain which now has seven outlets in Ottawa, Canada. ...


Oxfam shops also sell fair trade products from developing communities around the world. For the product certification system ( ), see Fairtrade certification. ...


Funding

Oxfam has received funding from the Ford Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the European Union. It has an annual operating budget of over $300 million USD. The Ford Foundation is a charitable foundation incorporated in Michigan and based in New York City created to fund programs that promote democracy, reduce poverty, promote international understanding, and advance human achievement. ... The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the worlds largest charitable foundation. ... The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a major private grant-making foundation based in Chicago that has awarded more than US$3 billion since its inception in 1978. ... The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), (Philanthropy for an Interdependent World), is the principal philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. ...


Fundraising

Oxfam has a number of successful fundraising channels in addition to its shops. Over half a million people in the UK make a regular financial contribution towards its work, and vital funds are received from gifts left to the organization in people's wills. Many London Marathon competitors run to raise money for Oxfam, and Oxfam also receives funds in return for providing and organizing volunteer stewards at festivals such as Glastonbury. In conjunction with the Gurkha Welfare Trust, Oxfam also runs several Trailwalker events in Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Japan. Runners surge out of the Blackfriars Bridge underpass onto the Victoria Embankment; two miles to go The London Marathon is a road marathon that has been held each year in London since 1981, usually in April. ... The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or Glasto, is the largest[1] greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world. ... The Gurkha Welfare Trust is a British charity, established in 1969. ... Oxfam Trailwalker Logo Oxfam Trailwalker (Hong Kong) This is an event organised by Oxfam in various locations across the globe, including Hong Kong, Australia and the United Kingdom. ...


Criticism

On 26 October 2006, Oxfam accused Starbucks of asking the National Coffee Association to block a trademark application from Ethiopia for two of the country's coffee beans, Sidamo and Harar. They claim this could result in denying Ethiopian coffee farmers potential annual earnings of up to £47m. is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses of Starbuck, see Starbuck. ... GBP redirects here. ...


Robert Nelson, the head of the NCA, added that his organization initiated the opposition for economic reasons, "For the U.S. industry to exist, we must have an economically stable coffee industry in the producing world...This particular scheme is going to hurt the Ethiopian coffee farmers economically." The NCA claims the Ethiopian government was being badly advised and this move could price them out of the market.[3]


Facing more than 90,000 letters of concern, Starbucks placed pamphlets in its stores accusing Oxfam of "misleading behavior" and insisting that its "campaign need[s] to stop." On 7 November, The Economist derided Oxfam's "simplistic" stance and Ethiopia's "economically illiterate" government, arguing that Starbucks' (and Illy's) standards-based approach would ultimately benefit farmers more. [4] is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd and edited in London. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Nonetheless, on 20 June 2007 representatives of the Government of Ethiopia and senior leaders from Starbucks Coffee Company announced that they had concluded an agreement regarding distribution, marketing and licensing that recognizes the importance and integrity of Ethiopia’s speciality coffee designations. [5] is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ...


Oxfam Great Britain has been strongly criticised by other NGOs for becoming too close to Tony Blair's New Labour Government in the UK.[6] NGO redirects here. ... For other people of the same name, see Tony Blair (disambiguation) Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born May 6, 1953)[1] is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the Labour Party, and Member of Parliament for the constituency...


In 2005, the website "New Internationalist" described Oxfam as a "Big International Non-Government Organisation (BINGO)." The website criticises such organizations for being undemocratic whilst wielding enormous financial and economic clout.[7] Big International Non-Government Organisation (BINGO) is an often derogatory term applied to larger non-governmental organizations. ...


On 28 April 2007 two academics in Melbourne, Australia representing a right-wing think tank lodged a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission accusing Oxfam of misleading or deceptive conduct under the Trade Practices Act in its promotion of Fairtrade coffee.[8] The academics claimed that high certification costs and low wages for workers undermine claims that Fairtrade helps to lift producers out of poverty. These claims were subsequently dismissed by the Commission.[9] is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... The City of Melbournes coat of arms The central business district of Melbourne, viewed from the north Alternate meanings: Melbourne (disambiguation) Melbourne is the capital and largest city of the state of Victoria, and the second largest city in Australia, with a population of 52,117 in the Central... In politics, right-wing, the political right, or simply the right, are terms which refer, with no particular precision, to the segment of the political spectrum in opposition to left-wing politics. ... This article is about the institution. ... The ACCC Logo The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is an independent Australian commonwealth government authority established in 1995 from the amalgamation of the Australian Trade Practices Commission (TPC) and the Prices Surveillance Authority, to protect consumer rights, business rights and obligations, perform industry regulation and price monitoring and... The Trade Practices Act 1974 is an act of the Parliament of Australia. ...


In 2003, Oxfam Belgium produced a poster with a picture of a dripping blood orange. The poster read, "Israeli fruits have a bitter taste...reject the occupation of Palestine, don't buy Israeli fruits and vegetables."[10] Oxfam was widely criticized because of the poster’s perceived anti-Israel political message and its allusion to traditional, antisemitic blood libel rhetoric. Following publicity and pressure from the NGO Monitor, Oxfam removed the poster from their web site and Ian Anderson, the chairman of Oxfam International, issued a letter of apology. However, Oxfam maintained its support for a boycott of products grown in the West Bank and Gaza.[11] Oxfam was criticized for its policy of what has been termed "selective morality."[12] Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The occupation of Palestine is a hotly disputed issue in the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict. ... Antisemitism (alternatively spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism, also known as judeophobia) is prejudice and hostility toward Jews as a religious, racial, or ethnic group. ... Blood libels are unfounded allegations that a particular group eats people as a form of human sacrifice, often accompanied by the claim of using the blood of their victims in various rituals. ... NGO Monitor (Non-governmental organization monitor) is an Israeli non-governmental organization with the stated aim of monitoring other non-governmental organizations operating in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. ... The name Ian Anderson can mean:- Ian Anderson (singer and musician). ... Not to be confused with the Spanish name Garza or the Egyptian town of Giza. ...


References

  1. ^ Statement from the Oxfam website.
  2. ^ How Oxfam America Began. Oxfam America. Retrieved on 2008-04-16. “In 1942, a group of Quaker intellectuals, social activists, and Oxford academics”
  3. ^ BBC News, Starbucks in Ethiopia coffee row, accessed 26 October 2006
  4. ^ Oxfam vs. Starbucks: And this time, Oxfam may be wrong
  5. ^ Joint Statement: Starbucks and Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) Partner to Promote Ethiopia’s Coffee and Benefit the Country’s Coffee Farmers
  6. ^ New Statesman
  7. ^ The Big Charity Bonanza
  8. ^ Overington, Caroline. "Oxfam coffee 'harms' poor farmers", The Australian, April 28, 2007.. Retrieved on 2007-04-28. 
  9. ^ Not free, but fair: Oxfam cleared of coffee chicanery, quoted from The Age, 2007-06-28.
  10. ^ Oxfam Belgium produces political poster, NGO Monitor Digest, 2003-06-24.
  11. ^ Oxfam's Apology, NGO Monitor, 2003-07-16.
  12. ^ Israeli goods produced in the Occupied Territories: The position of Oxfam, Belgium, NGO Monitor, 2003-08-04.

2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 106th day of the year (107th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... NGO Monitor (Non-governmental organization monitor) is an Israeli non-governmental organization with the stated aim of monitoring other non-governmental organizations operating in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. ...

See also

Make Trade Fair is a campaign organized by Oxfam International to promote fair trade among governments, institutions, and multinational corporations. ... // Some Delegates from the Oxfam International Youth Parliament (OIYP) 2004 The Oxfam International Youth Parliament or Partnership (OIYP) is an initiative of Oxfam International, managed by Oxfam Australia. ... Oxfam Australia is the Australian affiliate of Oxfam International. ... Oxfam Canada, founded in 1963, is an international development agency based in Ottawa, Canada working with over 100 partner organizations in Africa and the Americas. ... A member of the international non-government organization Oxfam, Oxfam Hong Kong started in 1987 to support first projects in China (Guangdong)It began development work in Hong Kong in 1996 and starting from 2000, It has advocated fair wage for out-sourced workers in Hong Kong. ...

External links

National Oxfam websites

Campaigns

  • Make Trade Fair campaign
  • Control Arms Campaign
  • Stop Climate Chaos Campaign
  • Oxfam Fair Trade
  • Oxfam International Youth Partnership
  • Generation Why: Oxfam for students & young people
  • OXJAM - UK's Biggest Festival
  • Make Poverty History Coalition
  • Oxfam Health and Education
  • Oxfam Careers
  • Oxfam Knitting Activists

[1]


Resources and Materials

  • Cool Planet - Oxfam GB's website for teachers and children
  • Oxfam Publishing - the databased catalogue website with records of over 2000 print and online resources from Oxfam (mainly from Oxfam Great Britain but also from other members of the confederation). Many materials are downloadable as pdf files
  • Intelligent Giving Profile of Oxfam GB
  • Charity Navigator Rating of Oxfam America

Further Reading

  • Maggie Black, A Cause for Our Times: Oxfam the First 50 Years (Oxford: Oxfam, 1992). ISBN 0-85598-173-3
  • Susan Blackburn, Practical Visionaries: A Study of Community Aid Abroad (Melbourne University Press, 1993). ISBN 0-522-84562-2

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