Oxfam reached almost 2 million more people in fight against poverty as it continues to bounce back from COVID
- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/ea3ris/
Oxfam GB’s work with communities around the world to save and change lives reached 9.8 million people in 2022/23, an increase of 1.8 million from the previous year, according to its annual report published today.
The international organisation’s overall income for 2022/23 continued to bounce back towards pre-pandemic levels, with total revenue of £400.6 million, though general reserves fell by £6.5 million. The charity spent over £20 million more on its humanitarian and development programmes than the previous year, investing more than £250 million on its work to tackle poverty and inequality.
This included providing emergency aid for 820,000 people caught up in the ongoing hunger crisis in parts of East Africa, from drilling new boreholes in South Sudan and providing cash to buy food in Kenya and Ethiopia to installing solar lights in Somali displacement camps to keep people safe at night. In Pakistan, Oxfam worked with local partners to provide shelter, food, water, and hygiene kits for over 375,000 people affected by the floods. Oxfam also continued its Ukraine response, reaching over 1.1 million people in Ukraine and surrounding countries and at the end of the financial year mounted a response to the Türkiye Syria earthquake.
The number of people Oxfam reached remains lower than pre-pandemic levels, as a result of the organisation’s strategic decision to concentrate its effort where it is most needed and can have the most impact. The charity continued its shift towards empowering local organisations and allocated £66 million in grants to almost 450 partners across the world.
Oxfam Chief Executive, Danny Sriskandarajah, said: “This year we’ve had to respond to alarming levels of global hunger and inequality, as well as the havoc being wrought by the climate crisis. From the dreadful floods in Pakistan to the devastating drought in East Africa, Oxfam has been there, thanks to the remarkable generosity of our supporters and the amazing work of our staff and volunteers.”
Oxfam’s high street shops performed well, with particular growth in sales of women’s clothing - thanks to its Secondhand September initiative which won the Charity Retail Association campaign of the year and its third fashion show which opened February’s London Fashion Week.
Oxfam’s high street shops also saw a rise in book sales. However, increased retail expenditure, driven largely by the steep rise in energy bills, saw net retail income fall to £16 million, £5.5 million less than the previous year. The charity’s income from donations and legacies was up by £5.2 million from the previous year to £143.1 million. While regular giving fell slightly by £0.5 million to £41.9 million, funding from the Disasters Emergency Committee was up by £20 million to £39.1 million, following a number of appeals.
The rise in overall income allowed Oxfam to maintain reserves within the minimum level set by trustees after the charity was forced to draw heavily on its reserves during the COVID pandemic. General reserves for 2022/23 were £38.1 million, a drop from the previous year, when reserves were £44.6 million.
Danny Sriskandarajah said: “Despite the challenge of rising costs, we’ve seen a strong performance across our shops and a rise in overall income. This has enabled us to work with local partners and communities to save or improve millions of lives, while at the same time maintaining the financial resilience of our organisation. It is important that we maintain strong reserves to ensure that Oxfam can weather future financial shocks and that along with our partners can continue to make a positive impact in the years to come.”
A campaigning highlight for Oxfam in 2022/23 was working with the Kenyan climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti to call for world leaders to set up a loss and damage fund. Elizabeth’s call was joined by 141,000 Oxfam supporters and the fund was agreed at COP27 - a huge win for the climate movement which followed over thirty years of campaigning by activists and communities across the world. Oxfam will continue to push for governments to make the biggest polluters pay into that fund, so new finance can be generated rather than being diverted from existing aid budgets.
As part of its ongoing commitment to better protect all those with whom it works, Oxfam has been working to strengthen its own network of safeguarding focal points in all countries where it has a presence as well as supporting partners to implement safeguarding plans and manage allegations. In 2022/23 Oxfam’s Safeguarding Team concluded 41 investigations.
For more information, or to receive a copy of Oxfam’s 2022/23 Annual Report, please contact: The Oxfam Media Team on: 07748 761999 / firstname.lastname@example.org