Tuesday 14th February, 2017
Oxfam Ireland is entering formal discussions with GOAL on a potential merger that, if successful, will see the organisations coming together under the name Oxfam GOAL to create a global development agency headquartered and rooted in Ireland, delivering a broad programme combining humanitarian and development work with evidence-based advocacy and campaigns.
The announcement follows approval from the boards of both organisations to explore the possibility of a merger which both parties believe could achieve stronger results, save more lives and support more people to lift themselves out of poverty.
GOAL and Oxfam Ireland believe a successful merger would result in greater impact for people in poverty and crisis and increase effectiveness. Coming together will increase the scale and scope of the organisations’ humanitarian and development programmes around the world and strengthen their voice as advocates for the communities they support.
Oxfam Ireland Chief Executive Jim Clarken said: “We are very excited by the prospect of a successful merger. GOAL’s action-oriented approach and first responder ethos is core to their DNA and has saved millions of lives. Oxfam’s approach of practical action and people-led response, challenging the structures and systems that keep people locked in poverty, has led to real change across the world. Bringing our organisations together will increase our scale, which means we can deliver greater impact for people in poverty and in crisis. We believe it will create new energy and dynamism through sharing programmatic, geographic and other synergies.”
Commenting on the proposed merger, GOAL General Manager, Celine Fitzgerald said: “In looking to its future, GOAL has assessed the merits of continuing as a standalone entity or achieving a step change in scale and impact in the delivery of humanitarian support and advocacy. A merger with Oxfam would create a strong organisation in Ireland with a true global reach, saving and changing the lives of millions of the poorest and most vulnerable people on our planet for the better. Accordingly, both parties have now engaged in a formal process to assess the practicalities and impacts of a merged entity.”
GOAL and Oxfam already share key areas of focus and work in many of the same countries.
Both organisations have long-standing operations in Ireland – Oxfam since the 1950s, while GOAL celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Following a successful merger, the new organisation will remain part of the global Oxfam confederation, which currently has 19 affiliates and works in over 90 countries.
Pending the outcome of formal discussions both organisations will continue to deliver their respective aid programmes whilst also assessing how to combine the best of both organisations to increase the overall reach and impact of resources and programmes.
“As we begin a robust due diligence exercise and examine the possibility of a merger over the coming weeks, I’d like to assure our donors and supporters that we will continue with our life-saving and life-changing work as normal. Any partnership with GOAL will retain and respect both of our unique heritages to create a better organisation rooted in the Irish tradition of social justice,” Mr Clarken added.
Notes to editors:
About Oxfam: The global Oxfam confederation has 19 affiliate members and works in over 90 countries. Oxfam was founded in 1942 to campaign for food supplies to be sent through an allied naval blockade to starving people in Greece during the Second World War.
Present in Ireland since the 1950s, Oxfam Ireland is a secular organisation with offices in Dublin and Belfast and shops across the island, supported by over 2,000 volunteers and 136 staff.
As well as being a world leader in the delivery of emergency relief, Oxfam implements long-term development programmes in vulnerable communities. Oxfam also campaigns on global issues that keep people poor or hit poor people hardest, like inequality and discrimination against women and to demand better health and education services for all.
There are 19 member organisations of the Oxfam International confederation. They are based in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Quebec, South Africa, Spain and the United States.
About GOAL: GOAL is an international humanitarian agency dedicated to the alleviation of suffering amongst the poorest of the poor. It was founded in 1977.
GOAL has almost 3,000 staff working across 17 countries. In the year ending December 2015, GOAL’s total income exceeded €209m, while total expenditure was €201 million.
Since its inception, GOAL has sent almost 3,000 international staff to work in the developing world, alongside many thousands of local staff. It has spent in excess of €1 billion on the delivery of aid to the poor in more than 50 countries.