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  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Eric Munoz
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The past decade has witnessed a resurgence of interest in investing in agriculture. In 2003, heads of state from across Africa committed to allocate at least 10 per cent of their national budgets on an annual basis to agriculture and, through their commitment to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), to reduce poverty through agriculture-led growth.1 More recently, at the 2009 G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, world leaders responded to the global spike in food prices by pledging to provide $22bn over three years to promote food security in developing countries.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Demographics, Development, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ellie Kemp, Ben Murphy
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: More than six months after famine was declared by the United Nations (UN), Somaliais still in the throes of its worst humanitarian crisis in decades. More than 325,000 children are suffering acute malnutrition inside Somalia, and 31per centof the total population are estimated to be in crisis, while hundreds of thousands have fled to neighbouring countries.
  • Topic: Security, Humanitarian Aid, Islam, Poverty, United Nations, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom
  • Author: Jean Denis Crola
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Harvests in Africa's Sahel region from the 2011/12 season are down sharply compared with last year and have been later than usual, extending the previous 'hunger gap' period. A further aggravating factor for the people of the region is that local grain prices failed to drop as they generally do in the period after the harvest. In December 2011, prices reached levels that were 80% above their five-year averages and remained at high levels, compromising access to adequate food for vulnerable populations. Together with the main agencies involved in the crisis, Oxfam, ROPPA, RBM, APESS, POSCAO and WILDAF estimate that more than 18 million people are currently in a situation of food insecurity in the Sahel.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Demographics, Poverty, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Kate Geary
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Today, stories of communities driven from their lands, often at the barrel of a gun, left destitute and unable to feed their families, have become all too familiar . As the scale and pace of large - scale land acquisitions increases globally, evidence is mounting that the land rush is out of control and that the price being paid by affected communities is unacceptably high. A huge amount of land has been sold off or leased out globally in the past decade: an area eight times the size of the UK. In poor countries , foreign investors bought up an area of land the size of London every six days between 2000 and 2010. Commercial interest in land could accelerate once again as recent food price spikes motivate rich countries to secure their own food supplies and make land a more secure and attractive option for investors and speculators. The 2008 boom in food prices is widely recognized as having triggered a surge in investor interest in land : from mid - 2008 – 2009 reported agricultural land deals by foreign investors in developing countries rocketed by around 200 per cent .
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Poverty, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom
  • Author: Lucia Wegner, Gine Zwart
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Against a background of increasing food insecurity, agriculture in developing countries must undergo a significant transformation in order to increase production and respond to climate change. It is estimated that feeding 8.2 billion people – an additional 1.4 billion – in 2030 would require raising overall food production by some 50 per cent between 2005/07 and 2030. Feeding a larger urban population in a context of increasing scarcity of land and water, while also adopting more sustainable production methods, is a daunting challenge. In Africa, where it is predicted that population levels will double during the same period, the challenge will be even more acute.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Poverty, Science and Technology, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Dirk Willenbockel
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This report is a contribution to the Oxfam report: 'Growing a Better Future'. It explores a range of scenarios for food price increases to 2030 through the GLOBE model. Over and above providing a global perspective, the research provides disaggregated results for a range of countries and country groups identified by Oxfam.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Economics, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steve Jennings
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This report analyses the number of reported disasters in those regions where the majority of the world's poor and vulnerable people live: sub-Saharan Africa, South and South-East Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. It presents analysis of the trends in the number of reported disasters, assesses what country-level factors influence the reported number of disasters, and compares the findings with independent published studies.
  • Topic: Poverty, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, Caribbean
  • Author: Senait Regassa, Christina Givey, Gina E. Castillo
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate variability in Ethiopia is not new—its diverse agro-ecological zones have brought a dazzling variety of micro-climates, and corresponding weather patterns, and people have developed ways to respond successfully to these challenges. But now, in addition to the usual struggles, Ethiopians living in poverty are additionally suffering the effects of climate change—both more variable climate and more extreme weather events. Women, men, families, and whole communities are struggling with how to understand this new variability, identify new patterns, and establish what resources they need to be able to move beyond reacting and coping to adapting to the new realities and being resilient. Policy makers, likewise, face the daunting challenge of how to refine policies, especially investments in and related to agriculture, to focus on poverty and vulnerability reduction in context of the new realities of climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Katerina Kyrili, Matthew Martin
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The financial crisis has hit developing countries hard, driving millions more people into poverty and reversing several years of rapid progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For most of the poorest people, the impact will depend on what governments do with their budgets–how much they spend to fight against the crisis, protect the poorest, and revive progress towards the MDGs. This report examines what 56 low-income countries have done in 2009 and are planning to do in 2010. It is unique in drawing on budget documents issued in June–December 2009, and therefore in being able to describe what is happening in detail, in order to look ahead to 2010 and beyond. This study is particularly timely as the deadline for countries to reach the MDGs is now only five years away.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Third World, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Liberia's newly approved water and sanitation policy states that water is life' and sanitation is dignity'. These powerful statements signal a welcome commitment in a country where safe water and decent sanitation have long been absent for the vast majority of the population, with catastrophic impacts on life and social welfare. The key challenge for the Government of Liberia, and the donors who support it, will be to turn this commitment into positive outcomes for Liberia's 3.5 million people. This report therefore focuses on the questions that will be crucial in this process. Firstly, is the water and sanitation sector in Liberia prioritised to reflect this commitment? Are there clear, actionable plans to make this commitment a reality? Does Liberia have resources and sufficient support to ensure that communities stop risking their lives and dignity? Finally, what challenges remain and what can be done to address them?
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jan Cappelle
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The cocoa tree is an important source of income for millions of farming families in equatorial regions. Cocoa originates in the river valleys of the Amazon and the Orinoco in South America. Its discoverers, the Maya people, gave it the name 'cocoa' (or 'God's food'). Cocoa was introduced to Europe in the fifteenth century. Cocoa imports were heavily taxed, and as a result it was consumed as a drink only by the wealthy. Investment from Great Britain and The Netherlands, combined with the launch of the chocolate bar in 1842 by Cadbury, resulted in a greater demand for chocolate. This led to the gradual expansion of cocoa production, spreading to Africa in 1870.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Britain, Africa, Europe, South America, Netherlands, Amazon Basin
  • Author: Caroline Pearce, Sébastien Fourmy, Hetty Kovach
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has been democratic since 1991, and the international community considers it to have, overall, a well-performing government and economy. But this should not mask the huge scale of the challenges facing Mali in realising even the most basic rights of its citizens. This challenge is increased by the country's vulnerability to shocks, such as the food and fuel crises.
  • Topic: Education, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: John Magrath, Elvis Sukali
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A wind of climate change is blowing through the southern African nation of Malawi, bringing confusion to fisherfolk and farmers alike.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Gender Issues, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Malawi
  • Author: Emily Alpert, Melinda Smale
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2008, world food prices reached their highest peak since the early 1970s. Food stocked on grocery store shelves was out of reach. Riots ensued. Millions were afflicted. Another 100 million people were pushed into the ranks of the hungry, raising the total to nearly one billion worldwide. And these numbers could climb again as food prices remain high, and continue to rise in many local markets.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change is having a destructive impact on many groups around the world. Pastoralists in East Africa have been adapting to climate variability for millennia and their adaptability ought to enable them to cope with this growing challenge. This paper explains the policies required to enable sustainable and productive pastoralist communities to cope with the impact of climate change and generate sustainable livelihoods.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, East Africa