Hairy Biker and Strictly contestant Dave Myers visits Cambodia to see how Oxfam is helping lift lives for good

Posted by Claire Wilkinson Senior PR Press Officer

15th Jan 2014

Today, one half of the Hairy Bikers Dave Myers helps launch Oxfam's new good enough to eat report, fresh from his trip to Cambodia where he visited the charities projects to help boost food security.

On his first trip with the charity, Myers visited a rural village where Oxfam has been training local farmers to use a new method of rice cultivation. This method uses less seed and labour but produces more rice. Oxfam has been working closely with women associations in Cambodia to provide new skills and opportunities to inspire business start-ups. Myers visited one particular project where the charity has given women leaders mobile phones to access and share free information on market prices and weather conditions so they know when to plant and harvest their crops. The biker spoke to a woman who has used this method to initiate her own mushroom business with other women in the local community.

 Myers said: "During this trip I was able to see for myself how the simplest of solutions can have a positive ripple effect to individuals, their communities and beyond. I spoke to a farmer, using traditional methods all his life, now so convinced by the positive results of these new ways that he is spreading the word to others. I spoke to inspirational women, who with the help they have received have been able to grow their own businesses. They are now ambitious to expand and feel empowered in their local communities. All of the people I spoke to told me how far-reaching this support has been, with this extra income enabling them to send their children to school, opening up their future life choices."

One in three people in Cambodia drink dirty water, with an average family spending up to half of their income on medicines. On the last day of his trip, Myers visited one of Oxfam's water and sanitation projects in Kratie province. Here the charity has been supporting women entrepreneurs to produce affordable clean water and improve hygiene practices, which has helped raise the status of women, reduce poverty and the spread of water born diseases.

 

Myers cont: "I've been really inspired by what I have seen on this trip. It is amazing to be able to witness firsthand how far my donation goes with Oxfam, providing people with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty and change their lives for good."

 

The Cambodia trip was organised as part of the Good Enough to Eat index, launching today. It is the first of its kind, comparing data from 125 countries to create a global snapshot of the different challenges people face in getting the food they need to eat. The index comes at a time when one in eight people in the world go hungry despite there being enough to feed everyone, and highlights how distribution and prices are important factors. It brings together data on whether people have enough to eat, can afford to eat, the quality of food and the health outcomes of people's diet.

 

Overall The Netherlands, followed by France and Switzerland in joint second are the best places for people to eat in the index, while Chad is the worst followed by Angola then Ethiopia. The UK is among the worst performers in Western Europe on whether citizens can afford to eat, sharing 21st position with Cyprus and with only Austrians and Icelanders fairing worse.

 

In Cambodia, ranked 89th lowest overall on the index, Myers saw how Oxfam is working worldwide to provide long-term solutions that will help people grow enough food to eat and make a living. 

This trip and the Good Enough to Eat index follows the launch of Oxfam's new fundraising campaign Lift Lives for Good, which aims to show how simple solutions on the ground can bring lasting change to individuals and in turn their communities and beyond. The campaign is also calling for action on two major challenges that can exacerbate food poverty - inequality and climate change. 

Oxfam is calling on UK public support - however small - to help it lift lives for good. To donate £4 text LIFT to 70064 or click here for more information: www.oxfam.org.uk/lift.

ENDS


For more information, access to more pictures and interviews with Dave please contact: Claire Wilkinson, Oxfam Press Office +44 (0)1865 473648 | +44 (0)7825 196769| cwilkinson@oxfam.org.uk

 

A selection of photos  from Dave's trip taken by Thomas Cristofoletti, with more available on request: http://wordsandpictures.oxfam.org.uk/?c=15305&k=3756d158e0

 

Dave's short film by Adam Cottam can be embedded online: http://youtu.be/Lx4tf5sG1i8

For more information on the global food index story contact Lucy Brinicombe, 07786 110054 / lbrinicombe@oxfam.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors


Lift Lives for Good aims to inspire the UK public about what their support for Oxfam can achieve. A lift can empower people to make change, helping them to alter the course of their lives, so in turn they can lift others around them, setting in motion a process of change that spreads throughout their community. So by supporting Oxfam people are not just lifting one person, they're lifting the lives of entire communities - now and for good.

The Good Enough to Eat index looks at four core concerns for consumers around the world, using two measures to help assess the challenges:

1. Do people have enough to eat? - Measured by levels of undernourishment and underweight children
2. Can people afford to eat? - Measured by food price levels compared to other goods and services and food price volatility
3. Is food of good quality? - Measured by diet diversification and access to clean and safe water
4. What are the health outcomes of people's diet? - Measured by diabetes and obesity.

The measures were selected for their relevance and ability to measure the four core questions. Sources used are credible and from internationally recognised organisations - The Food and Agriculture Organisation, The World Health Organisation and the International Labour Organisation. To create a globally comparable index, the sources have global coverage, scoring between 134 and 200 countries and territories.

As each of the sources used different scales in measuring the countries, a process to standardise them so that they could be compared was used. The standard MIN / MAX rescaling method was used, generating a new measure of 0-100, where 0 points is the minimum score (best) and 100 points is the maximum (worst). The process is based on identifying the minimum and maximum scores out of all the countries from the original data and measuring how far each other country is from these maximum and minimum values.

All countries that had data for each measure were included in the process to ensure that the final result was a globally credible. However, only the countries that had data for all eight measures were included in the final index, with one exception. For those countries that scored 0 (best) for the undernourishment measure there was no data available for the underweight children measure. As a result, a logical assumption has been applied that they would also score 0 (best) for the underweight children measure. The Good Enough to Eat database therefore includes 125 countries. The raw data of all countries is also available.

Good Enough to Eat Table - the best and worst





Core Questions and Measures



Best Country



Worst Country



Good Enough to Eat (Combined Scores)



The Netherlands (6)



Chad (50)



1.Enough to Eat



Multiple countries (28 score 0)



Burundi (89)



Undernourishment



Multiple (62 countries score 0)



Burundi (100)



Underweight Children



Multiple (28 countries score 0)



India (96)



2.Afford to Eat



USA (6)



Angola (90)



Food Price Level (relative to other goods and services)



The Netherlands (6)



Guinea (100)



Food Price Inflation Volatility



Japan, Canada and the US (1)



Angola and Zimbabwe (100)^



3.Food Quality



Iceland (0)



Madagascar (86)



Diet Diversification



Iceland (0)



Bangladesh and Lesotho (98)



Access to Clean and Safe Water



Multiple (32 countries score 0)



Mozambique (75)



4.Unhealthy Eating



Cambodia (1)



Saudi Arabia (54)



Diabetes



Cambodia (0)



Saudi Arabia (61)



Obesity



Bangladesh, Nepal and Ethiopia (0)



Kuwait (58)





Blog post written by Claire Wilkinson

Senior PR Press Officer

More by Claire Wilkinson