Press Releases

Oxfam Ireland online Christmas shop now open

  • Oxfam's online Christmas shop is back this year!

  • Go green and power people this Christmas with Oxfam’s online gift range 

  • Check out our amazing gift range of the latest Tech and gadgets

Oxfam Ireland have officially relaunched their online Christmas shop calling on people to do something precious this Christmas by giving gifts that support both people and planet. 

The charity is calling on the public to shop with purpose this year by visiting their new online pop-up shop to browse their wide range of gifts. Each gift makes a lasting impact by supporting small traders the world over and helping to raise vital funds for Oxfam’s global work to beat poverty.

This year we also have an incredible range of the latest tech and gadgets available from our Christmas shop

The Sourced by Oxfam range contains an abundance of festive food, gifts and eco-products that are made with care, protect the planet, and help the women and men who produce them to earn a decent living – providing them with a way to lift themselves out of poverty. Present ideas in this year’s gift range include Zaytoun's Extra Virgin Olive Oil (€28). This Fairtrade oil is sourced from family-owned olive groves in Palestine. Zaytoun is an award-winning social enterprise where 100 percent of profits are reinvested into furthering their mission of supporting Palestinian farmers by paying a fair price - enabling them to fund community projects and invest in farming tools. 

Michael McIlwaine, Oxfam Ireland’s Head of Retail, said: “This Christmas, we’re asking people to give something different by shopping more sustainably on our new online shop. 

“Everything in our range of gifts is guaranteed to last longer than your festive bottle of wine or foodie hamper as all of them contribute to our mission to beat poverty for good by raising vital funds for our work across the world.

“From supporting development projects that transform lives in Rwanda, Tanzania and beyond, to saving lives through emergency responses in places like Yemen – where millions of people already on the brink of famine now face a deadly winter freeze – your gift will make a difference for people most in need and help to protect our shared planet.

“Last year alone, the generosity of people shopping at Oxfam, especially at Christmas time, raised enough money to fund life-changing projects that positively impacted the lives of 7.9 million people across 10 countries – including supporting women to develop businesses and earn an income, getting safe, clean water to people in desperate need, and helping communities prepare for extreme weather events.”

In addition to their online shop, Oxfam also offer their Unwrapped gift collection. With Unwrapped, you are guaranteed to find the perfect card – be it for a winter birthday or wedding, or a quick hello or season’s greetings - in support a cause you or your recipient care about, such as climate change or access to education. People can add a personal message to their gift card either online (e-card) or by hand (Oxfam post you out your Unwrapped card). 

McIlwaine concluded: “Why not commit to give something different as one of your gifts this year? Whether that’s your workplace Kris Kringle or family stocking fillers, Oxfam’s online shop and Unwrapped gift range has you covered.” 

Visit the new Oxfam online shop via https://shop.oxfamireland.org/

To see Oxfam’s full range of Unwrapped gifts, visit oxfamireland.org/unwrapped

Posted In:

Oxfam Ireland online Christmas shop now open

  • Oxfam's online Christmas shop is back this year!

  • Go green and power people this Christmas with Oxfam’s online gift range 

  • Check out our amazing gift range of the latest Tech and gadgets

Oxfam Ireland have officially relaunched their online Christmas shop calling on people to do something precious this Christmas by giving gifts that support both people and planet. 

The charity is calling on the public to shop with purpose this year by visiting their new online pop-up shop to browse their wide range of gifts. Each gift makes a lasting impact by supporting small traders the world over and helping to raise vital funds for Oxfam’s global work to beat poverty.

This year we also have an incredible range of the latest tech and gadgets available from our Christmas shop

The Sourced by Oxfam range contains an abundance of festive food, gifts and eco-products that are made with care, protect the planet, and help the women and men who produce them to earn a decent living – providing them with a way to lift themselves out of poverty. Present ideas in this year’s gift range include Zaytoun's Extra Virgin Olive Oil (€28). This Fairtrade oil is sourced from family-owned olive groves in Palestine. Zaytoun is an award-winning social enterprise where 100 percent of profits are reinvested into furthering their mission of supporting Palestinian farmers by paying a fair price - enabling them to fund community projects and invest in farming tools. 

Michael McIlwaine, Oxfam Ireland’s Head of Retail, said: “This Christmas, we’re asking people to give something different by shopping more sustainably on our new online shop. 

“Everything in our range of gifts is guaranteed to last longer than your festive bottle of wine or foodie hamper as all of them contribute to our mission to beat poverty for good by raising vital funds for our work across the world.

“From supporting development projects that transform lives in Rwanda, Tanzania and beyond, to saving lives through emergency responses in places like Yemen – where millions of people already on the brink of famine now face a deadly winter freeze – your gift will make a difference for people most in need and help to protect our shared planet.

“Last year alone, the generosity of people shopping at Oxfam, especially at Christmas time, raised enough money to fund life-changing projects that positively impacted the lives of 7.9 million people across 10 countries – including supporting women to develop businesses and earn an income, getting safe, clean water to people in desperate need, and helping communities prepare for extreme weather events.”

In addition to their online shop, Oxfam also offer their Unwrapped gift collection. With Unwrapped, you are guaranteed to find the perfect card – be it for a winter birthday or wedding, or a quick hello or season’s greetings - in support a cause you or your recipient care about, such as climate change or access to education. People can add a personal message to their gift card either online (e-card) or by hand (Oxfam post you out your Unwrapped card). 

McIlwaine concluded: “Why not commit to give something different as one of your gifts this year? Whether that’s your workplace Kris Kringle or family stocking fillers, Oxfam’s online shop and Unwrapped gift range has you covered.” 

Visit the new Oxfam online shop via https://shop.oxfamireland.org/

To see Oxfam’s full range of Unwrapped gifts, visit oxfamireland.org/unwrapped

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COP26 Deserves A Guarded Welcome

13th November 2021.

As COP26 reached a deal in Glasgow, Oxfam Ireland has given a guarded welcome to an agreement that does not go far enough to avert the risks and injustices of climate change.

According to the charity, while there has been incremental progress in several policy areas, this compromise agreement does not contain the urgent measures required for the planetary and humanitarian emergency we face.

The charity is calling on all nation states to turn the focus of action to national levels, in order to hold to global heating to 1.5 degree Celsius.

Focus must also turn to real measures of international solidarity in order to redress the global injustices of climate change.

Commenting on the deal agreed in Glasgow, Simon Murtagh, Senior Policy and Research Coordinator for Oxfam Ireland said: “At every level, COP26 did not deliver the goals we sought urgent action on.

“The process couldn’t deliver for small island states facing immediate destruction. Nor could it deliver for two million Kenyans currently left destitute by the effects of climate change, nor for millions more in Yemen, Madagascar or central America, who face hunger and destitution caused by climate change.

“At COP26, developing countries and small island states strongly made their voices heard, demanding justice and accountability in historic terms.

“Their words and actions did make a difference and improved the outcome of the conference on a number of levels, politically as well as technically.

“The results were a better wording to restrict global warming to 1.5C, a fairer balance of mitigation and adaptation policies, vital to the developing world, but a failure to move forward on the crucial issue of Loss and Damage.”

Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland added: “It is possible to see green shoots of progress in the agreement from COP26.

“The agreement to double the level of climate finance allocated to adaptation measures, vital to the developing world, represents real progress, as does the mention of fossil fuels and coal as the drivers of global warming that must be phased out.

“We understand that the improved measures in climate finance were supported by Ireland and by the EU.

“It is now left to us, and to all nations at COP26, to return home and drive emissions down through policies agreed by all social partners, government and citizens.

“For our part in Ireland, we must reach the 7% average reduction per year in Green House Gases (GHGs), set out in the Programme for Government, sooner rather than later.

“We owe it to our children, and to the people of the world facing the deadly effects of climate change right now, to make an urgent, just transition.

“In all our ways of living and working, we must act now to create a fairer, more sustainable world following COP26.” 

ENDS

Contact: Darragh McGirr, Alice PR & Events, media@alicepr.com, 086-2599369

New report reveals just 14% of pledged Covid vaccines delivered to low-income countries

21 October 2021

  • Pharmaceutical companies and developed nations have delivered just 14 percent of vaccines pledged to low-income countries
  • Ireland has given little more than a quarter of promised doses as it continues to block moves to share vaccine technology and recipes

Developing countries have been hit with an endless tide of broken promises from rich countries and pharmaceutical companies, who are failing to deliver billions of doses they promised while blocking the real solutions to vaccine inequality, according to a new report by the global People’s Vaccine Alliance.

The report, A Dose of Reality, which was published today, found that of the 1.8 billion Covid-19 vaccine donations pledged by developed nations, just 261 million doses – or 14 percent – have been delivered so far. In addition, western pharmaceutical companies have delivered just 12 percent of the doses they allocated to COVAX, the initiative designed to help low- and middle-income countries get fair access to vaccines.

To date, Ireland has delivered just 335,500 of the 1.3 million vaccines it promised to low-income countries – a little over a quarter (26 percent) of its target. At the same time, the EU – including Ireland – has refused to support the proposal by more than 100 nations to waive patents on vaccines and Covid-related technologies, while leading pharmaceutical companies have failed to openly share their technology with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to enable developing countries to make their own vaccines and save lives.

Jim Clarken, Oxfam Ireland Chief Executive, said: “Developed nations like Ireland and pharmaceutical companies are shamefully failing to deliver on their promises while blocking the actual solution; ensuring developing nations have the ability to make their own vaccines.

“It is painfully clear that the developing world cannot rely on the largesse and charity of developed nations and pharmaceutical companies, and hundreds of thousands of people are dying from Covid-19 as a result. It should be clear by now that we can’t donate our way out of this pandemic.”

This new report, A Dose of Reality, outlines that relying on pharmaceutical companies has undermined the COVAX initiative, firstly by not allocating it enough doses, and secondly by delivering far less than they agreed. Of the 994 million doses allocated to COVAX by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Pfizer/BioNTech, just 120 million (12 percent) have actually been delivered. This equates to 15 times less than the 1.8 billion doses delivered to rich countries by these companies. Moreover, both Johnson & Johnson and Moderna are yet to deliver a single dose.

Clarken added: “The failure of rich country donations and the failure of COVAX have the same root cause – we have given over control of vaccine supply to a small number of pharmaceutical companies who are prioritising their own profits.

“These companies can’t produce enough to vaccinate the world, they are artificially constraining the supply, and they will always put their rich customers at the front of the line. 

“The only way to end the pandemic is to share the technology and know-how with other qualified manufacturers so that everyone, everywhere can have access to these lifesaving vaccines.”

The WHO has said that it must be a global priority to get doses to developing countries by the end of this year, but the report emphasises that rich countries are not listening. They are working to a timetable of delivering an inadequate supply of doses by some time in 2022, which is likely to lead to countless unnecessary deaths.

Clarken said: “Across the world, health workers are dying and children are losing parents and grandparents. With 99 percent of people in low-income countries still not vaccinated, we have had enough of these too little, too late gestures.

“Governments must stop allowing pharmaceutical companies to play god while raking in astronomical profits and start delivering actual action that will save lives.”

To deflect growing pressure to share their vaccine technology free of intellectual property restrictions, leading western pharmaceutical corporations have consistently over-exaggerated their projected production volumes, claiming there will soon be enough for everyone while delivering the overwhelming majority of their stock to rich nations. It should be remembered that over $100 billion in taxpayers’ money went into helping develop these vaccines.

Collectively, the four companies claimed they would manufacture an estimated 7.5 billion vaccines in 2021. However, with less than three months until the end of the year, they have delivered just half this number. Forecasts suggest the companies will produce 6.2 billion vaccines by the end of the year, a 1.3 billion shortfall on their projections.

ENDS

To arrange an interview, please contact:

Joanne O’Connor | joanne.oconnor@oxfam.org | 083 198 1869

Notes to editors:

All statistics are reference available in the full report: A Dose of Reality: How rich countries and pharmaceutical corporations are breaking their vaccine promises  

The headline stats that rich nations have only delivered 14 per cent of promised doses refers to doses donated by the G7 and ‘Team Europe’ which includes the EU, Norway and Iceland.

So far COVAX has received directly from pharmaceutical companies:

  • 104 million (14 percent) of the 720 million doses promised by Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • 16 million (40 percent) of the 40 million promised by Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Zero doses of the 200 million promised by Johnson & Johnson
  • and zero doses of the 30 million promised by Moderna

Only 1.3 percent of people in low-income countries are fully vaccinated.

Health data analytics group Airfinity forecast that Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Pfizer/BioNTech will produce 6.2 billion doses by the end of the year, a 17 percent shortfall of the original forecasts, which translates into more than 1.3 billion missing vaccine doses.

All the figures come from Airfinity and are correct as of 12 October 2021.

Oxfam, a founding member the global People’s Vaccine Campaign, while Oxfam Ireland is a founding member of the People’s Vaccine Alliance Ireland, which is calling on the Irish Government to:

  • Use its voice within the EU to support the TRIPS waiver.
  • Endorse the WHO Covid Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) to facilitate the sharing of know-how by pharmaceutical companies to increase vaccine production.
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COVID-19 recovery in West Africa is “austerity on steroids” and sets the region on a destructive path ahead

 

Austerity, spiraling debt and vaccine inequity will bring the inequality crisis to levels never reached before, reveals new index.

West African governments are planning to “slash and burn” their way out of COVID-19 induced economic loss, reveals new analysis from Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) today. The organizations are calling for an urgent change of course as West African governments are preparing their annual budgets and participating in the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF, which are crucial discussions to focus the recovery on fighting inequality and poverty.

The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII) shows that 14 out of 16 West African nations intend to cut their national budgets by a combined $26.8 billion over the next five years in an effort to partly plug the $48.7 billion lost in 2020 alone across the entire region due to the pandemic. Such austerity has been encouraged by the IMF, through its COVID-19 loans. 

This massive raid on public finances could push millions more West Africans into poverty and hunger and potentially trigger the worst inequality crisis in decades.  Women will be impacted more severely due to their very high concentration in low paid informal jobs and unpaid care work.  Meanwhile, the collective net worth of West Africa’s three wealthiest men surged by $6.4 billion in the first 17 months of the pandemic ―enough to lift 18 million people out of extreme poverty.

This plan is austerity on steroids. Rather than investing toward a positive new future for the people of West Africa, the region’s governments are instead reaching back to a 1980s playbook ―despite it being a hugely discredited one. The danger is that these governments will cut their way into worsening poverty and skyrocketing inequality.

This comes at a time when the region has lost the equivalent of seven million jobs, infection rates are increasing, there is no vaccine in sight for the vast majority of people and the Sahel is facing one of its worst hunger crisis. This is not the time for governments to be ripping away the public goods, support and services that millions of people need.

The index ranks 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States and Mauritania (ECOWAS+) on their policies on public services, tax, workers’ rights, smallholder agriculture and pandemic response spending, all areas pivotal to reducing inequality and weathering the COVID-19 storm. 

The index highlights that West African governments are again the least committed to reducing inequality in Africa. Most support measures in response to COVID-19 were temporary and did little to reduce inequality, while triggering a sharp increase in debt ―debt servicing in 2020-2021 will siphon off about 61.7 percent of government revenue in West Africa. The support programs have been replaced with austerity measures as COVID-19 infection rates are increasing in many countries of the region. Less than 4 percent of West Africans are fully vaccinated.

Sierra Leone ranks low (13th) on the index. Its government was trying to implement anti-inequality policies before COVID and sharply increased education and health spending. But large corporations pocketed 92 percent of government pandemic support funding, while only 1.5 percent was spent on social protection. Sierra Leone’s $860 million upcoming spending cuts (2022-26) are equivalent to two and a half times its annual healthcare budget.

Nigeria was the region’s worst performing country in tackling inequality going into the pandemic. Nigeria’s health budget (as a percentage of its overall budget) is the third lowest in the world (3.6 percent) and 40 percent of its population does not have access to healthcare services. Nigeria loses $2.9 billion a year from tax incentives to corporations but in 2021 increased value-added taxes (VAT), which apply to everyday products like food and clothing and fall disproportionately on poor people, from 5 percent to 7.5 percent.

Mali has the highest level of income equality among ECOWAS countries with a tax rate on the richest people that is 9% higher than the world average. But it ranks last on healthcare spending, devoting less than 5 percent of its annual budget on health. Nearly 38 percent of Mali’s population (8 million people) have no access to healthcare and 6.5 percent of households face catastrophic healthcare costs spending each year. Women’s labor rights are often not respected and they lack legal protection from marital rape and sexual harassment. Mali plans to slash its budget by $3.3 billion over the next five years.

Burkina Faso ranks middle (9th) on the Index. It spends nearly 23% of its budget on education, the highest share in the region and 9th in the world. But the wealthiest 20% of the population has 44% of the income, and in rural areas, 47.5% of the population lives in poverty. According to the IMF, such a level of inequality reduces Gross National Product growth by at least 1% per year. The government plans to cut $1.27 billion through 2026.

If the governments of West Africa were to increase fairly their tax revenue by 1 percent in the next five years, they would raise $56.89 billion. This is more than enough to cancel the planned $26.8 billion budget cuts and build 600 fully-equipped hospitals across West Africa.

West Africa is at a crossroads. Will the region come out of COVID-19 with policies which exacerbate inequality, or implement a recovery plan that works for everyone and not only for the privileged few?

The pandemic has taught us it is urgent to invest massively in public education, health and social protection and to use more progressive taxation of income and wealth to pay for this. We also need to increase worker’s rights ― especially for women who disproportionately take on the most precarious jobs.

Oxfam and DFI published in 2019 the first “West African Commitment to Reduce Inequality (CRI) index” showing that West African governments were the least engaged across the continent in reducing inequality.

Download “Adding Fuel to Fire: How IMF Demands for Austerity Will Drive Up Inequality Around the World” for more in-depth analysis on austerity measures encouraged by the IMF through its COVID-19 loans. Between March 1, 2020 and March 15, 2021, all countries in West Africa received IMF emergency support to respond to the pandemic through various types of loans. For more information on austerity measures encouraged in the loans received by West African countries refer to Annex 1 and Annex 2 of the report.

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