Press Releases

25 humanitarian organisations and NGOs urge EU leaders to “provide a lifeline” to Afghan refugees at the Forum on providing protection for Afghans at risk

25 humanitarian organisations and NGOs are jointly urging EU leaders to expand safe and legal pathways from Afghanistan and the region. The call reiterates recommendations outlined in a joint statement released on 16 September that called on the EU and its Member States to live up to their commitments to refugee protection and humanitarian leadership, and share responsibilities with countries neighbouring Afghanistan. The upcoming Forum on providing protection for Afghans at risk, planned for Thursday 7 October, provides a key chance for them to do so.

The organisations are pressing leaders to seize this opportunity to:

  1. Make ambitious pledges to resettle at least 36,000 refugees identified by UNHCR as in need of resettlement across different regions in 2022. This must be in addition to launching a dedicated scheme to resettle Afghan refugees from neighbouring countries, including those in a protracted situation.

    Resettlement can provide a durable solution for refugees in need, while strengthening the capacity of states in the region to continue offering protection.

  3. In addition to resettlement, use all available legal pathways to immediately bring people in need of protection to safety from Afghanistan and the region, with predictable and secure protection upon arrival. This includes, for instance, an expanded and flexible use of family reunification, humanitarian visas, community sponsorships, as well as higher education scholarship and work visas.

    Such pathways will provide a lifeline to people with urgent protection needs, and prevent them from making dangerous border crossings in search of safety. It remains crucial, however, that evacuations and humanitarian admissions remain additional to resettlement and are not counted towards annual resettlement quotas.

  5. Uphold access to a fair and full asylum process for Afghan and other nationals in Europe, while supporting their inclusion, integration and participation in society. These pathways to safety cannot replace the right for Afghan and other asylum seekers to seek protection in Europe, no matter how they reach the territory. Among others, all rejected asylum cases of Afghan nationals must be urgently reviewed, deportations to the region must be formally suspended in line with the principle of non-refoulement, and any pushbacks or denial of access to asylum or reception for asylum seekers in Europe must be promptly investigated and sanctioned by EU institutions.

In recent weeks, the European Commission, European Parliament, regions and cities, and civil society have led the way in showing solidarity with Afghan refugees and calling for significant and urgent pathways to safety. European leaders must now follow suit.


Notes to editors

Read the joint statement released on 16 September that called on the EU and its Member States to live up to their commitments to refugee protection and humanitarian leadership, and share responsibilities with countries neighbouring Afghanistan.

Third COVID wave engulfs Yemen with 99 per cent of people unvaccinated

Photo of Salam Qassem*. Photo: KaffMedia/Oxfam

Yemenis are battling a third wave of COVID, which threatens 99 per cent of the population who are unvaccinated, Oxfam said today.

Recorded cases of COVID have tripled and the death rate has risen by more than fivefold (420 per cent) in the last month. Excluded from these figures are countless undiagnosed deaths of people in their homes due to the scarcity of tests and hospital beds. Nor does the official death toll of 1649 include the vast majority of Yemeni people who live in the north of the country where COVID-related data is not available.

Despite promises that COVAX, the global initiative to deliver vaccines, would achieve at least 23 per cent vaccination coverage in all member countries by the end of this year, less than one per cent of Yemen’s 30.5 million people have so far received one dose and only 0.05 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated.

Half-way through the year the COVAX scheme was already short by 88 per cent of the promised doses for Yemen, having delivered just 511,000 of 4.2 million. Fears that Yemen’s only source of vaccines to date will fail the country again increased last week when the initiative announced it was a half a billion doses short of its global supply target.

Muhsin Siddiquey, Oxfam’s in Yemen’s country director, said: “Yemen has the one of the highest COVID fatality rates in the world – it simply can’t cope with this virus. The conflict has decimated the already fragile healthcare system. Many people are very weak because they can’t afford to feed themselves properly or to buy basic medicines. Others are unable to afford the cost of transportation to a medical centre because of the ongoing fuel crisis.

“Vaccination is a simple solution that would save lives, but the international community is failing the people of Yemen who need doses now. We need the vaccines that have been promised but it is also shameful that having bought up all the vaccines for themselves rich countries like the UK and Germany are blocking the solutions that would see the rights and recipes of these lifesaving vaccines shared so that more can be produced for countries like Yemen. Protecting lives should be more important than protecting the outsized profits of pharmaceutical corporations who have already made billions from this crisis.”

Over four million Yemenis have been displaced during the conflict with around two million living in Marib, currently the site of fierce fighting. Conditions in the camps are dire, many people have no access to clean water, sanitation facilities or healthcare. Salma Qassem*, a midwife who has been living one of Marib’s camps for the last two years, said:

“I was first displaced six years ago. Some people here do not believe COVID exists. Though we have had many cases here in the camps, people haven’t yet realised that the pandemic is spreading. Shelter is the biggest obstacle for Internally Displaced People like us. Some people want to follow the precautions, but they can’t afford it for economic reasons. It is very difficult in terms of isolation for us to face COVID here in the camp especially if anyone is affected, how and where shall we isolate them? “

According to the UN two out of three Yemenis lack access to healthcare services. Seven years on from the start of the conflict, only an estimated half of healthcare facilities are still operating. An estimated 20 million Yemenis need healthcare assistance including 5.9 million children. Sources report that Yemen’s doctors in public hospitals have been working unpaid with some sleeping in hospitals and clinics as they cannot afford accommodation.

This year the UN requested donor countries to provide $3.9 billion for essential humanitarian aid – so far less than half has been donated with healthcare only receiving 11 per cent of the funds it needs.


*Name changed to protect identity

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Generation thrift -Oxfam encourage young shoppers to be Second Hand September champions

  • Saying yes to second hand? You’re not the only one –join Oxfam for Second Hand September
  • Oxfam calls on people to say yes to pre-loved clothes for month of September

30 August 2021

Oxfam Ireland is gearing up for their third annual Second Hand September campaign across the island of Ireland. By asking people to say yes to second hand clothes for 30 days, the aid agency wants to raise awareness about the harm and impact throwaway fashion has on both our planet and its people, as well as the role their shops and trading activities play in offering a solution.

Oxfam started #SecondHandSeptember in 2019, amid growing demand from shoppers wanting more sustainable and ethical clothing options. A demand that continues to grow, with ThredUp’s ninth annual report revealing that 33 million people in the US alone bought second hand clothes for the very first time in 2020.

Trevor Anderson, Director of Trading with Oxfam Ireland said:“People are starting to see just how much pressure throwaway fashion is putting on our planet and people, and how unsustainable it is. Our retail teams have noted an increase in younger people shopping Oxfam and we believe this reflects a growing movement of more conscientious and ethically driven consumers in Ireland–and thrifting, or shopping second hand, offers people an alternative, more sustainable option.

“We have seen through the Fridays For Future climate strikes, both here at home and globally, that it’s young people driving home the urgent need for climate action. That is why we are calling on them to be Second Hand September champions -to join us in our campaign and help spread the word about the impact fast fashion is having on our environment, as well as its impact on the women and men who make our clothes –a majority of whom don’t earn a living wage for their work.

“Amid a world in parts burning, in parts flooding and in parts starving, people using their own political power and behaviours to push big corporations and governments in the right direction is about as powerful a tool as we could wish for in bringing about positive change. By shifting our habits and consumer choices to more sustainable ones, we can all play a role and be changemakers for our collective future.”

Oxfam Ireland has 47 shops across the island of Ireland that accept and sell pre-loved clothes, shoes, accessories, handbags and more, diverting them from landfill, with even more items up for grabs on Fashion Relief TV, their interactive (always on!) shopping channel with Broadcaster Lorraine Keane. Their teams of 600 strong staff and volunteers are ready and waiting to support people on their journey to more sustainable clothing choices.

Anderson concluded: “Climate change is happening now and is already one of the most harmful drivers of increasing hunger and starvation, migration, poverty and inequality all over the world. We need to start recognising the links between our choices and policies in relatively wealthy countries like Ireland, and their impact in many of the places Oxfam works –from garment workers in Dhaka, to Pacific Island communities bearing the brunt of our climate emergency.

“By joining Oxfam’s Second Hand September movement, collectively we can send a message to our political leaders and the fashion industry, asking them to change their policies and practices to better protect the people who make our clothes and the planet we all share, and together we can inspire others to join us in saying yes to second hand.”

To learn more about Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign, visit:


To arrange an interview, or for any other media queries relating to Second Hand September, please contact: or call +353 1 672 7662

Images free for use (credit: Oxfam Ireland):

Notes to the editor:

  • A survey commissioned by Oxfam and conducted by Empathy Research in 2019 revealed that:
    • Six in 10 Irish people (63%) see their local charity shop as playing a key role in sustainable fashion
    • 76% donate unwanted items to charity shops because it reduces the amount of clothes being thrown away
    • 62% buy pre-loved clothes and accessories because it gives items a second chance to be worn and enjoyed.
  • ThredUp 2021 Resale Report can be downloaded here.
  • See the Irish charity Shop Association for further stats on Charity Shops and their impact in Ireland
  • Oxfam works across many areas of fashion: collaborating with big brands to recycle and reuse stock; joining forces with fashion houses to improve conditions in their supply chains; fighting to improve workers’ rights; and campaigning for climate action.
  • Across its programmes, Oxfam is tackling the impact of the climate crisis. They work with communities to prepare for unpredictable weather and disasters as a result of climate change and are there to help when the worst does happen, from drought to floods and earthquakes.
  • Oxfam has 47 shops across the island of Ireland. To find your nearest Oxfam shop, visit
  • Broadcaster Lorraine Keane founded Fashion Relief in 2018 with Oxfam Ireland. Fashion Relief is a fundraiser extraordinaire that offers people the unique opportunity to bag a bargain from the wardrobe of their style icon or beloved brand, boutique or designer, more recently pivoting to an online interactive shopping channel where people can view and shop from the comfort of their home. There are some amazing items available to buy on – In addition, Fashion Relief has a pop-up shop at the Frascati Shopping Centre in Blackrock where people can also view a selection of wedding dresses from Oxfam's Bridal Rooms.
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Oxfam reaction to IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (WGI AR6)

9 August 2021

Responding to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), Oxfam Ireland said:

“Amid a world in parts burning, in parts drowning and in parts starving, the IPCC today tables the most compelling wake-up call yet for global industry to switch from oil, gas and coal to renewables. Governments must use law to compel this urgent change. Citizens must use their own political power and behaviours to push big polluting corporations and governments in the right direction. There is no Plan B.

“The world’s highest-level of political and scientific consensus, the IPCC, describes humanity’s slimmest chance to keep global warming to 1.5°C and avert planetary ruin. It sets the agenda for a make-or-break climate summit in Glasgow later this year. This report is yet more unimpeachable proof that climate change is happening now, and that global warming is already one of the most harmful drivers of worsening hunger and starvation, migration, poverty and inequality all over the world. 

“In recent years, with 1°C of global heating, there have been deadly cyclones in Asia and Central America, floods in Europe and the UK, huge locust swarms across Africa, and unprecedented heatwaves and wildfires across the US, Turkey, Greece and Australia ―all turbo-charged by climate change. Over the past 10 years, more people have been forced from their homes by extreme weather-related disasters than for any other single reason ―20 million a year, or one person every two seconds. The number of climate-related disasters has tripled in 30 years. Since 2000, the UN estimates that 1.23 million people have died and 4.2 billion have been affected by droughts, floods and wildfires. 

“The richest one percent of people in the world, approximately 63 million people, are responsible for more than twice as much carbon pollution as the 3.1 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. The people with money and power will be able to buy some protection against the effects of global warming for longer than people without those privileges and resources ―but not forever. No one is safe. This report is clear that we are at the stage now when self-preservation is either a collective process or a failed one. 

“Global warming is a base factor behind all of today’s huge regressions in human development. The main perpetrators of global warming ―that is, rich countries that have reaped massive wealth by burning fossil fuels― must be the ones to cut their emissions first, fastest and furthest. They must also pay their climate debt to developing countries by scaling up finance to help them adapt to the effects of climate change and transition to clean energy. Other major polluters don’t get a free pass and must also drastically cut emissions. The world has as much to gain in terms of human safety, development, opportunity and jobs by running a global economy on renewables, as it has to lose in continuing business-as-usual.

“Very few nations ―and none of the world’s wealthy nations― have submitted climate plans consistent with keeping warming below 2°C, let alone 1.5°C. If global emissions continue to increase, the 1.5°C threshold could be breached as early as the next decade. The IPCC report must spur governments to act together and build a fairer and greener global economy to ensure the world stays within 1.5°C of warming. They must cement this in Glasgow. Wealthy country governments must meet their $100 billion-a-year promise to help the poorest countries grapple with the climate crisis ―according to Oxfam, not only have they failed to deliver on their promise, but over-inflated reports of their contributions by as much as three times.”



Caroline Reid, Communications Manager, 087 912 3165

Notes to editors

Extreme weather-related disasters were the number one driver of internal displacement over the last decade, forcing more than 20 million people a year ―one person every two seconds― to leave their homes. For more information, download Oxfam’s briefing  Forced from Home.

According to the UN, a sharp rise in the number of droughts, floods and wildfires has claimed 1.23 million lives and affected 4.2 billion people since 2000.

The richest one percent were responsible for 15 percent of emissions added to the atmosphere between 1990 and 2015 ―more than all the citizens of the EU and more than twice that of the poorest half of humanity (7 percent). The richest 10 percent accounted for over half (52 percent) of emissions during this time. For more information, download Oxfam’s report Confronting Carbon Inequality.

Oxfam’s Climate Finance Shadow Report 2020 offers an assessment of progress towards the $100 billion goal. It considers how climate finance is being counted and spent, where it is going, how close we are to the $100 billion goal, and what lessons need to be learned for climate finance post-2020.

Oxfam recently reported that there has been a six-fold increase in people suffering famine-like conditions since pandemic began.

Oxfam supports a range of climate projects across the world and works with local communities most impacted by the climate crisis. For example, we are helping rural farming communities in Uganda and Zimbabwe build resilience against the effects of changing rainfall patterns, supporting Indigenous people and communities to defend their forest and land rights in the Amazon, restoring degraded lands through agroforestry in the Sahel and Bolivia, and helping rural farming communities in Timor-Leste earn a decent income


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‘Net zero’ carbon targets are dangerous distractions from the priority of cutting emissions says new Oxfam report

Tuesday 3rd August 2021

  • Achieving ‘net zero’ by 2050 with land use alone would require at least 1.6 billion hectares of new forests - that's five times the size of India 
  • Land-hungry ‘net zero’ schemes could force an 80 percent rise in global food prices while allowing rich nations and corporates to continue “dirty business-as-usual”  
  • Society-wide change required for Ireland to reach its 2030 ambition  

Using land alone to remove the world’s carbon emissions to achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050 would require at least 1.6 billion hectares of new forests, equivalent to five times the size of India or more than all the farmland on the planet, reveals a new Oxfam report today.

Oxfam’s report “Tightening the Net” says that too many governments and corporations are hiding behind unreliable, unproven and unrealistic ’carbon removal’ schemes in order to claim their 2050 climate change plans will be ‘net zero’. At the same time, they are failing to cut emissions quickly or deeply enough to avert catastrophic climate breakdown. Their sudden rush of ‘net zero’ promises are over-relying on vast swathes of land to plant trees in order to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. 

To limit warming below 1.5°C and prevent irreversible damage from climate change, the world collectively should be on track to cut 2010 carbon emissions level by 45 percent by 2030, with the sharpest being made by the biggest emitters. Countries’ current plans to cut emissions will achieve only around one percent reduction in global emissions by 2030.

Jim Clarken, Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland said: “The climate crisis is already devastating agriculture globally. It is driving worsening humanitarian crises, hunger, and migration. Poor and vulnerable people, particularly women farmers and Indigenous people, are being affected first and worst. 

“’Net zero’ should be based on ‘real zero’ targets that require drastic and genuine cuts in emissions, phasing out fossil fuels and investing in clean energy and supply chains. Instead, too many ‘net zero’ commitments provide a fig leaf for climate inaction. They are a dangerous gamble with our planet’s future.

“Nature and land-based carbon removal schemes are an important part of the mix of efforts needed to stop global emissions, but they must be pursued in a much more cautious way. Under current plans, there is simply not enough land in the world to realise them all. They could instead spark even more hunger, land grabs and human rights abuses, while polluters use them as an alibi to keep polluting.”

Oxfam recently reported that global food prices have risen by 40 percent in the past year, which has contributed to 20 million more people falling into catastrophic conditions of hunger and a six-fold increase in famine-like conditions. If used at scale, land-based carbon removal methods such as mass tree planting could see global food prices surging by 80 percent by 2050.

In the run-up to the Glasgow COP this year, more than 120 countries, including the world’s top three emitters ―the US, China and the EU― have pledged to reach ‘net-zero’ by mid-century. Most of these pledges are vague and not backed by measurable plans. 

Clarken continued: “‘Net-zero’ might sound like a good idea, but over-relying on planting trees and as-yet-unproven technology instead of genuinely shifting away from fossil fuelled-dependent economies is a dangerous folly. We will be hoodwinked by ‘net zero’ targets if all they amount to are smokescreens for dirty business-as-usual.

“Land is a finite and precious resource. It is what millions of small-scale farmers and Indigenous people around the world depend upon for their livelihoods.”

With less than 100 days left until the UN climate talks in Glasgow, governments and corporations need a much stronger focus on swiftly and deeply cutting carbon emissions in the near-term, starting at home and with their own operations and supply chains. If ‘net-zero’ targets are used, they should be measurable, transparent and prioritise dramatically slashing emissions by 2030. Removing emissions is not a substitute for cutting emissions, and these should be counted separately. 

"There are no magic fixes to reach ‘net zero’ and Ireland should not expect offsets in low and middle income countries to come to the rescue if we miss our emission targets. The society-wide change that is required for Ireland to reach its 2030 ambition and ‘net zero’ by no later than 2050 can only be achieved if it is fully supported by a broad supportive national policy framework, including our fiscal policies, sustainable finance, spatial policy, and the national and EU research ecosystem.

“Ireland’s pathway to ‘net zero’ will not affect all groups equally at the same time. Actions to support individuals and communities in undertaking the necessary changes are, therefore, important considerations for policy design in all sectors of the economy,” Clarken concluded.



Caroline Reid, Communications Manager, 087 912 3165

Notes to editors:

  • Download Oxfam’s report: “Tightening the Net.”
  • Download the summary report here.
  • According to the IPCC, large-scale afforestation could increase food prices by about 80 percent by 2050. This would push millions more people into hunger.  
  • The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, spanning over 5.5 million square kilometres.
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