Together we can achieve a fairer world without poverty. Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries.
One person in three in the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is determined to change that world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty.
Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. We save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. And we campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them.
In all we do, Oxfam works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.
Our purpose and beliefs
Our vision is a just world without poverty. We want a world where people are valued and treated equally, enjoy their rights as full citizens, and can influence decisions affecting their lives.
Our purpose is to help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty. We are part of a global movement for change, empowering people to create a future that is secure, just, and free from poverty.
Achieving our Purpose
We use a combination of rights-based sustainable development programs, public education, campaigns, advocacy, and humanitarian assistance in disasters and conflicts.
We challenge the structural causes of the injustice of poverty, and work with allies and partners locally and globally.
Everyone has a right to realize their potential, and to live free of poverty in a secure and more equitable world. We believe that with the necessary action and political will, this world is possible.
People have a right to life and security; to a sustainable livelihood; to be heard; to have an identity; and to have access to basic social services. We subscribe to all international covenants on rights, and to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In poverty, people have little power and are denied an effective voice. Poverty means little income, too few assets, lack of access to basic services and opportunities, deep inequalities, ongoing insecurity and little opportunity for development.
Poverty is rooted in inequality, and in human action or inaction. It can be worsened by natural disasters, human violence, oppression and environmental damage, and maintained by institutions and economic means.
Women and girls are often the most oppressed by poverty; their needs and rights must be central to eliminating it.
We face unprecedented changes and challenges this century, including climate change, famines and food price crises, increasing humanitarian crises, energy limitations, proliferation of weapons, urbanization, and natural resources shortages. To meet these challenges, we need global co-operation and cohesion.
Governments should be accountable to their people, and all society’s institutions –corporations, organizations and groups including us – should be accountable for the impact of their actions.
We are secular, open-minded and pluralistic. We welcome all beliefs that advance human rights.
We are a confederation of affiliates, seeking maximum impact by building on our respective strengths. By working together, we enhance our collective impact and cost effectiveness, and contribute to a just world without poverty.
History of Oxfam International
Oxfam International was formed in 1995 by a group of independent non-governmental organizations. Their aim was to work together for greater impact on the international stage to reduce poverty and injustice.
The name “Oxfam” comes from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Britain in 1942. The group campaigned for food supplies to be sent through an allied naval blockade to starving women and children in enemy-occupied Greece during the Second World War.
As well as becoming a world leader in the delivery of emergency relief, Oxfam International implements long-term development programs in vulnerable communities. We are also part of a global movement, campaigning with others, for instance, to end unfair trade rules, demand better health and education services for all, and to combat climate change.
Today, there are 17 member organizations of the Oxfam International confederation. They are based in: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Quebec, Spain and the United States.
The Oxfam International Secretariat is based in Oxford, UK. The Secretariat runs advocacy offices in Addis Ababa, Brasilia, Brussels, Geneva, New York and Washington DC.