5 ways you helped Oxfam fight for a more equal future

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María Esther Argueta, a leader in her community’s Civil Protection Commission, takes part in an earthquake emergency drill in Carolina, Santa Clara, El Salvador. Photo: Elizabeth Stevens/Oxfam

Your support in 2022 has helped Oxfam and partners tackle emergencies, strengthen communities, and speak out against injustices.

Looking back on 2022, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. Heading into year three of the pandemic, crises after crises have increased global inequality. From droughts and flooding, rising cases of extreme hunger, protracted war in Ukraine, and risings costs of basic goods that have impacted all of us, there’s no denying that this has been a difficult year. And yet, we at Oxfam remain optimistic.

These challenges have galvanized us into action and have forced us to adjust the way we operate in real time to best meet the needs of the people we work with. No crisis or community exists in a silo, and neither should Oxfam’s projects or campaigns. The only way to make real change happen is to invest in our network of partners, and your support has enabled us to do just that.

Here’s what your partnership achieved this year:

You helped us respond to hunger crises in East Africa

Oxfam is providing water by truck delivery to an area hosting people displaced by drought in Galcidle, in the Sanaag region of Somaliland. Photo: Abdiaziz Adani/Oxfam

People in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan are facing down extreme hunger as a result of climate-induced weather shocks, conflict, COVID-19, and rising costs of food. More than 28 million people in East Africa make do without reliable access to food. According to the UN, people in South Sudan have resorted to eating leaves to survive. Oxfam’s CEO Abby Maxman visited Somaliland and Ethiopia this fall and spoke with people like Safiya Aden, who had been displaced from her village in Somaliland after drought killed most of her livestock and forced her to flee. After spending five long days on the road with her children and five remaining goats, the family found refuge at Dur Dur camp. There, she received food, water, and material for a shelter.

Thanks to your support, Oxfam is working with partners across East Africa to reach more than 2 million people across the four countries. This includes aid in the form of cash, food, seeds, tools, and livestock distributions to displaced people like Aden, as well as supporting women cooperatives, rehabilitating water access points, and educating community groups about the increase of gender-based violence and need for protection during periods of conflict and hunger.

You stood with us as we called for environmental justice

Oxfam campaigners participated in a Fridays for Future march in New York City in September 2022, one of many such events around the world calling for action on climate change. Karelia Pallan / Oxfam America

With your help, Oxfam used evidence, research, and the power of the people to influence climate action and become a vital voice and ally in the climate justice community.

One of our focuses this year was advocating for climate finance to repay vulnerable communities that had suffered loss—of lives, property, and livelihoods—as well as damage from the impacts of climate change due to outside entities, like fossil fuel corporations. Collaborating with other civil society groups and organizations like the Climate Action Network, we lobbied key decision makers from the UN Secretary General to country and regional negotiators to bolster communities that both contribute the least to climate change and are most impacted. Coming out of COP27, the UN established a Loss and Damage Fund, which if properly funded, has the potential to be monumental achievement for people on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

In September, we learned that Senator Joe Manchin was trying to cut a “Dirty Deal” that would permit energy reform to the benefit of fossil fuel companies. We called for action to prevent further detriment to the lives of already marginalized people, and our activist community responded. Combined with the voices of other climate activists, we were too loud to be ignored and the legislation did not pass.

You helped us provide aid to millions of people impacted by the war in Ukraine

eLiberare, an association that fights against human trafficking and sexual exploitation, operates a mobile unit that travels around Romania offering counselling sessions and prevention training to Ukrainian refugees. Photo: Ioana Moldovan/Oxfam

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Oxfam appealed to our donors to help the 17.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to spring into action to tend to the immediate needs of people displaced within Ukraine as well as neighboring countries Poland, Romania, and Moldova. As of October 30, Oxfam and partners have reached more than 600,000 people across Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and Moldova with food, shelter, and immediate medical attention.

And now, nearly 10 months after the war began, the organizations we work with are expanding operations, shifting from serving people in transit, to helping refugees acclimate to their new surroundings. They are now providing cash, employment assistance, legal aid, and as the temperatures drop, winter clothes, sleeping bags, and materials to help winterize homes and shelters.

Read about how partners in Romania are adjusting their response to meet the long-term needs of refugees.

You continued to fight for a more just immigration system

Photo: James Rodríguez/Oxfam America

A recent study from Oxfam and Tahirih Justice Center found that deterrence policies—policies that stop refugees and asylum seekers from crossing US borders—place migrants in harm’s way and have greatly exacerbated the risk and prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) at the border. That is why we as an organization have been so outspoken about unjust migration policies. This year, while there is still more to do, we finally saw some progress.

In August we said goodbye to the inhumane policy known as “Remain in Mexico” that forced asylum seekers to remain in Mexico as they awaited hearings in the US immigration courts. November brought another win in court—a ruling put on hold by the US Supreme Court—as Judge Sullivan of the DC District Court ruled that Biden is violating the Convention Against Torture for expelling refugees back to countries where they face torture and other forms of persecution.

You demanded that companies are held accountable for their roles in increasing inequality

Illustration: Sandra Stowe/Oxfam

As an organization, Oxfam rejects the extreme concentration of wealth and power that drives inequality, and we challenge corporations that place greater value on profits than people’s lives. One way we raise our voices is through shareholder influencing. As a shareholder that advocates for responsible corporate governance, Oxfam challenges companies for their lack of transparency and their broader lack of social responsibility and uses its shares in the companies to hold the company to account.

This year, as a part of our campaign to make vaccines free and accessible to everyone, Oxfam filed shareholder resolutions with Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson, putting pressure on the companies to share their vaccine technology. We also went after oil companies for dodging taxes. In November, we filed shareholder resolutions confronting Exxon, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips on their lack of transparency around tax practices.

None of this would have been possible without the support and partnership of our Oxfam community. Thank you for all that you do to enable us to continue fighting for a more equal future.

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Oxfam is a global movement of people fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. Together we offer lifesaving support in times of crisis and advocate for economic justice, gender equality, and climate action.

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Oxfam is a global organization that fights inequality to end poverty and injustice. Let’s build a more equal future—together.