6 ways you helped Oxfam fight inequality this year

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Emily Eberly/Oxfam America

In a year of continued struggle and upheaval, you never stopped showing up in the fight against inequality.

As 2021 comes to a close, we are amazed by Oxfam’s supporters and their dedication to ending poverty and injustice in the US and around world. This year was not easy—with an ongoing pandemic, continued societal upheaval, and crisis after crisis flooding the headlines—but you continued to show up and make your voices heard.

Here are some of the ways you made a difference in 2021.

1. You helped the most vulnerable survive COVID-19 in India.

When the second wave of COVID-19 hit India in April this year, it created a public health crisis that overwhelmed hospitals and left people literally dying in the streets. Within a month, there were more than 100,000 deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to over 300,000—the third highest in the world behind the United States and Brazil.

Through your donations and support, Oxfam was able to provide medical equipment such as oxygen tanks, beds, PPE kits, and more to frontline health workers at hospitals across India, and we worked with 60 partners to provide hygiene kits, thermometers, and oxygen level meters to families.

In addition to providing material resources, Oxfam has urged the Indian government to assist migrant workers returning to their homes with free COVID-19 tests, cash, shelter and isolation centers for those needing them, as well as to increase efforts to prevent violence against women.

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Oxfam staff Nikhil Wagh and Parmeshwar Patil carrying an oxygen concentrator into the Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital. Oxfam has distributed two oxygen concentrators and 50 safety kits for frontline health service providers in Pune, Maharashtra state. Oxfam India

2. You raised your voice on behalf of asylum seekers.

More than 11,000 of you joined us in demanding that the Biden administration put an end to Title 42, the cruel and unlawful policy used to send asylum seekers back into harm's way. Seeking asylum is a legal means of entering the country, and preventing asylum seekers from filing their claims is a violation of their human rights.

Alongside the ACLU, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, RAICES, and Texas Civil Rights Project, Oxfam is continuing to pursue legal action against the Biden administration to halt Title 42 and uphold the rights of asylum seekers. Your advocacy efforts enable us to continue to fight injustice at the border.

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3. You demanded a People’s Vaccine.

Oxfam co-founded the People’s Vaccine Alliance campaign in order to fight for a patent-free, mass-produced, and fairly distributed vaccine available free of charge to everyone, everywhere. In partnership with Health Gap, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, Partners In Health, and many more organizations, we were able to deliver three million signatures to the Biden administration. Because of your advocacy we were able to successfully urge the administration to support a waiver of World Trade Organization intellectual property rules to make the vaccine more accessible for those most in need.

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We need a People's Vaccine: a patent-free, mass-produced vaccine that is distributed fairly and made available free of charge, to every individual, rich and poor alike, in every country. Sandra Stowe / Oxfam America

4. You responded to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

In May of this year, Gaza was devastated by rocket attacks and shelling in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, resulting in nearly 450,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance, and over 100,000 displaced people. Contributions from people like you allowed Oxfam to work with local aid organizations in Gaza to provide blankets and mattresses, hygiene items, and the material needs to supply drinking water for 400,000 people. We also were able to give cash to farmers so they could restart their work. Oxfam plans to aid 19 schools in repairing their water and sanitation systems.

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An escalation in the conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel has brought extensive damage to residential and commercial buildings, schools, roads, electricity network and water installations, and agricultural lands in Gaza. Fady Hanona

5. You supported ongoing humanitarian work in Bangladesh, Yemen, Ethiopia, and other countries.

Oxfam supporters remain crucial in our ongoing humanitarian work in places like Bangladesh, where Oxfam and local partners have been assisting Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar and are now living in dangerous, overcrowded conditions.

In Yemen, your support has enabled us to assist 3 million people since 2015. This year, because of donations from people like you, we were able to provide aid to those in the Marib region who were recently displaced by fighting in the area. We delivered cash to more than 2,000 families and desludged 55,000 liters of sewage from latrines each day.

Along with local partners, Oxfam continues to offer assistance to those displaced by fighting in Tigray region of Ethiopia. With your support, we are advocating for all parties to observe a cease-fire, prioritize the safety of civilians, re-establish public services, and grant aid agencies unconditional and safe access to help those at risk of severe hunger.

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Families seeking safety in Marib, including this man and his six-year-old son, have had to flee fighting multiple times. Kaff Media / Oxfam

6. You fought inequality worsened by the pandemic.

If there’s one thing that become abundantly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that inequality makes everything worse. This year you continued to join us in our fight for equality and justice. Nearly 100,000 of you advocated for COVID-19 recovery that addresses the root causes of poverty and injustice. You demanded that our elected officials invest in child care, paid leave, fair taxation, equitable vaccines access, fossil-free energy, and more. Because of you, our voice is louder than ever.

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Emily Eberly/Oxfam America

This year has not been easy for any of us, and yet you have remained dedicated to tackling inequality at its roots. Your support has helped people living in poverty across the globe, whether they were impacted by COVID-19, surviving a conflict, or fighting for their rights.  None of this work would be possible without you. 

Help us keep up the fight against inequality.

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