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  • Author: Jessica Hamer, Maria Dolores Bernabe, Mark Fried
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Asia is at a Crossroads. Rising inequality poses a dire threat to continued prosperity in Asia, where an estimated 500 million people remain trapped in extreme poverty, most of them women and girls. The huge gap between rich and poor hinders economic growth, undermines democratic institutions and can trigger conflict. If Asia's policymakers hold tight to yesterday's truths, hoping against hope that growth and prosperity will trickle down to all, they will put everyone's welfare at risk. But if there are courageous leaders, willing to tackle inequality head-on, they can ensure inclusive and sustainable development for all of Asia's people. Oxfam is calling on Asia's governments to make a determined effort to combat discrimination and improve policies on taxation and social spending. This is needed now if the region is to secure a stable and prosperous future.
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ellen T. Hoen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world, with 8.2 million deaths in 2012. More than 60 percent of the world's new cases of cancer occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America and these regions account for 70 percent of the world's cancer deaths. In low- and middle-income countries, expensive treatments for cancer are not widely available. Unsustainable cancer medication pricing has increasingly become a global issue, creating access challenges in low-and middle-income but also high-income countries. This report describes recent developments within the pricing of medicines for the treatment of cancer, discusses what lessons can be drawn from HIV/AIDS treatment scale-up and makes recommendations to help increase access to treatment for people with cancer.
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Asia
  • Author: Joel Rodriguez
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The most powerful storm ever to hit the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda) has affected about 16 million people. Four million people have been displaced; the majority of them are fisherfolk, and small-scale farmers and farm workers.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Daniel Fitzpatrick, Caroline Compton
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, the Philippines authorities pledged to 'build back better' – a vision designed to ensure that affected communities were stronger and more resilient in the face of future storms. Significant efforts and some important steps have been taken by various authorities to begin fulfilling that vision.
  • Topic: Security, Environment
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Steph Cousins
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate-related disasters and food crises are devastating thousands of lives and holding back development across Asia. A year on from the devastating super-typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Oxfam calls for governments across Asia, backed by regional and global institutions and fair contributions from wealthy countries, to ramp up efforts to address these challenges. Without greater investment in climate and disaster-resilient development and more effective assistance for those at risk, super-typhoon Haiyan-scale disasters could fast become the norm, not the exception.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Environment, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Shaheen Chughtai, Helen McElhinney
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Six months after the flood disaster began, this briefing paper evaluates the humanitarian response so far, the continuing crisis, and the challenges that lie ahead. It looks at the immediate reconstruction task, as well as the underlying socio-economic and political issues that need to be tackled by the Government of Pakistan, backed by the international aid community, in order to help vulnerable Pakistanis rebuild stronger, safer communities and a more equitable and self-reliant country.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Ashley Jackson
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Every half hour, an average of one Afghan woman dies from pregnancy-related complications, another dies of tuberculosis and 14 children die, largely from preventable causes. Eight years after the fall of the Taliban, the humanitarian and development needs in Afghanistan remain acute.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Ashley Jackson
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Kabul Conference marks the ninth international conference on Afghanistan in nearly as many years. The conference aims to present a new set of development programs and shore up international support for civilian efforts. It will also follow up on commitments made on anticorruption and reconciliation during the London Conference in January 2010. Yet much of the hope and optimism that marked the earlier conferences such as the Bonn Conference in 2001, which set out the parameters for the interim government, and the Paris Conference in 2006, which outlined a strategy for reconstruction and development, is now gone.
  • Topic: Security, Development, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2009, the government of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with international backing, launched military offensives against the FDLR (Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda) and other militias in eastern DRC, with devastating humanitarian consequences: an estimated 900,000 people displaced and over 1,400 documented civilian deaths attributed to militia and government forces. In 2010 a new offensive, Amani Leo ('peace today'), continues efforts to disarm the militias, with some additional safeguards for civilian safety linked to UN peacekeeping support for the operations. However, while some areas have become safer as a result, ongoing population displacement (over 164,000 January- April 2010) and protection cluster monitoring of human rights violations (up 246% January-February in South Kivu after the launch of Amani Leo) are indications of continuing fallout for civilians. A survey conducted by Oxfam and partners in North and South Kivu in April 2010 enquired into the experiences of people in areas affected by the military operations. It found that, for 60% of respondents this year, things are worse than in 2009.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Gender Issues, Genocide, War
  • Political Geography: Asia, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Jasmine Burnley, Elizabeth Stuart
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: When the G20 meets in Seoul in November 2010, it has a big choice to make. It can either retreat into a narrow focus on its own interests, or it can prove it is capable of genuine global leadership in the face of the interlinked economic, food, and climate change crises. The G20 must adopt a Seoul 'development consensus' that confronts the challenges of the 21st century: reducing inequality and tackling global poverty through sustainable, equitable growth that gives poor women and men, and their governments, the tools they need to overcome poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Tobias Hauschild, Esmé Berkhout
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This report aims to identify key challenges arising from reform of the health-care system in Georgia, especially in primary health care, and to present some possible strategies to address them. It will be a useful reference document for Oxfam, our partners, and all those concerned with improving the provision of health care in Georgia.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Health, Reform
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Emily Alpert, Melinda Smale
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2008, world food prices reached their highest peak since the early 1970s. Food stocked on grocery store shelves was out of reach. Riots ensued. Millions were afflicted. Another 100 million people were pushed into the ranks of the hungry, raising the total to nearly one billion worldwide. And these numbers could climb again as food prices remain high, and continue to rise in many local markets.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Jules Siedenburg, Kimberly Pfeifer, Kelly Hauser
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Worldwide, 1.7 billion small-scale farmers and pastoralists are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. They live on marginal rural lands characterised by conditions such as low rainfall, sloping terrain, fragile soils, and poor market access, primarily in Africa and Asia. Such farmers are vulnerable because their farms depend directly on rainfall and temperature, yet they often have little savings and few alternative options if their crops fail or livestock die.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Afghanistan has recently embarked on the process of joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO). While increased trade can help lift countries out of poverty, the experience of countries at similar levels of development to Afghanistan's which have joined the WTO suggests that, unless great care is exercised, the terms of that member ship may adversely affect poverty reduction. This paper seeks to identify how Afghanistan can give itself the best possible chance of achieving a WTO accession package that supports its efforts to develop sustainably and to reduce poverty.
  • Topic: Development, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This paper outlines urgent action necessary to address immediate challenges in Afghanistan and to avert humanitarian disaster. It does not seek to address all issues of concern but focuses on essential policy change in development and humanitarian spheres. While aid has contributed to progress in Afghanistan, especially in social and economic infrastructure – and whilst more aid is needed – the development process has to date been too centralised, top-heavy and insufficient. It is has been prescriptive and supply-driven, rather than indigenous and responding to Afghan needs. As a result millions of Afghans, particularly in rural areas, still face severe hardship comparable with sub-Saharan Africa. Conditions of persistent poverty have been a significant factor in the spread of insecurity.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Asia
  • Author: Matt Waldman
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Existing measures to promote peace in Afghanistan are not succeeding. This is not only due to the revival of the Taliban, but also because little has been done to try to ensure that families, communities, and tribes - the fundamental units of Afghan society - get on better with each other. War has fractured the social fabric of the country and, in the context of severe and persistent poverty, local disputes have the potential to turn violent and to exacerbate the wider conflict. But there is no effective strategy to help Afghans deal with disputes in a peaceful and constructive way.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, International Cooperation, Non-Governmental Organization, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Matt Waldman
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Increasing insecurity and criminality is jeopardising progress in Afghanistan. With low government revenues, international assistance constitutes around 90% of all public expenditure in the country, thus how it is spent has an enormous impact on the lives of almost all Afghans and will determine the success of reconstruction and development. Given the links between development and security, the effectiveness of aid also has a major impact on peace and stability in the country. Yet thus far aid has been insufficient and in many cases wasteful or ineffective. There is therefore no time to lose: donors must take urgent steps to increase and improve their assistance to Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Security, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A destructive combination of earthquakes, floods, droughts and other hazards make South Asia is the world's most disaster-prone region. The effects are aggravated by climate change, unsuitable social and development policies, and environmental degradation. The effect is to slow or block development and keep millions trapped in poverty.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Irresponsible arms transfers are undermining many developing countries' chances of achieving their Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. This paper shows new evidence of how this is happening in parts of Asia, Latin America, and Africa - either by draining governments' resources or by fuelling armed violence or conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Cambodia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in East Asia, with its vulnerability to annual floods and droughts. One of the reasons why it is vulnerable to natural disasters is that the livelihoods of the majority of people depend directly upon natural resources, with a large proportion of its population occupied in agriculture and related sectors, including animal husbandry. Extreme poverty, which limits access to food, water, and other basic amenities, increases vulnerability. These characteristics heighten Cambodia's exposure to the impacts of climate change too. The Mekong region has recently been showing signs of climate change, as illustrated in our previous report on VietNam ('Drought-Management Considerations for Climate-Change Adaptation: Focus on the Mekong Region – Report (VietNam)', October 2007). There is evidence of greater climatic extremes: both declining rainfall in the dry season and more violent rainfall in the wet season, causing flash floods. Increasingly powerful typhoons also appear to be occurring.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Environment, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. The government's impressive achievements in pulling millions of people out of poverty are seriously jeopardised by the likely increase in extreme weather events such as severe rainfall and drought, and by slow climate changes like sea level rises and warming temperatures. Poor men and women are particularly at risk.A team of Oxfam researchers travelled to the two provinces of Ben Tre and Quang Tri in May 2008 to take a snapshot of how poor families are experiencing the changing climate, and how they might deal with this in the future.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Poverty and suffering could be ended in our lifetime, and our leaders must do everything in their power to make this happen. This was the clear demand of the 40 million people in 36 countries who took part in the Global Call to Action Against Poverty in 2005. A year later, in the space of just one day, 24 million people across the world stood up against poverty as part of World Poverty Day.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Asia, France, Germany, Italy
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Late in the evening of 15 November 2007, Cyclone Sidr struck Mahmouda's home and thousands of other villages across Bangladesh's southern coastal areas, leaving around 4000 people dead and millions homeless. The initial response to the disaster was prompt and vigorous, but three months after the disaster the affected communities' needs – particularly in terms of housing and livelihoods – remain staggering.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: During recent years, drought has become a common occurrence in most areas in the Mekong River Delta of the Mekong region, including nine provinces in the Southern Central and Central Highland regions in Viet Nam. The Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), has estimated that between 1 and 1.3 million people (13–17 per cent of the total population) are affected by drought in these provinces and hence are in need of assistance. Ninh Thuan province is the worst affected of these provinces.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The human drama of climate change will largely be played out in Asia, where over 60 per cent of the world's population, around four billion people, live. Over half of those live near the coast, making them directly vulnerable to sea-level rise. Disruption to the region's water cycle caused by climate change also threatens the security and productivity of the food systems upon which they depend. In acknowledgement, both of the key meetings in 2007 and 2008 to secure a global climate agreement will be in Asia.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This paper outlines urgent action necessary to address immediate challenges in Afghanistan and to avert humanitarian disaster. It does not see k to address all issues of concern but focuses on essential policy change in development and human itarian spheres.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Jo Walker
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: On 8 October 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale ripped through northern Pakistan, leaving 80,000 people dead and affecting 3 million more. The crisis is far from over: survivors of the earthquake still face dangers and difficulties as the worst of Pakistan's winter weather has now settled in. Many people are huddled in tents and shelters that give inadequate protection against the freezing temperatures, with only sporadic and insufficient supplies of food.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Steve Jennings
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A year has passed since the tsunami, and it is time to remember the many who lost their lives. It is also time to assess the effectiveness of the relief and reconstruction operations so far. This report is intended to outline the work that has been undertaken to restore and improve the livelihoods of tsunami-affected people. It recognises the poverty in which many people were living before the tsunami. It describes how the tsunami destroyed what meagre livelihoods these people had, and how it threatened to plunge millions more into poverty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Alex Renton, Robin Palmer
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: On 26 December 2004, an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that hit the coasts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives, Malaysia, Burma, the Seychelles, and Somalia.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Malaysia, India, Asia, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Somalia
  • Author: Phoenix Leung Pui Fung
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Cotton is an important crop for some of the poorest areas of China, and millions of cotton farmers depend on it for their livelihoods. Cotton's high economic returns have helped, and continue to help, bring many farmers in the poor western provinces of Gansu and Xinjiang out of poverty. Cotton production is not only essential to the development of China's textile industry; it is also a labour-intensive crop that demands a large workforce in rural areas. It has thus contributed to easing the pressures of rural underdevelopment in China, at a time when the country is faced with seriously high levels of surplus labour and lack of development potential in rural areas.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Mary Kirkbride
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Viet Nam is entering its final stages of accession negotiations. Although it is unlikely that it will achieve the goal of joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by the time of the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in December, negotiators want a swift end to the process. Analysis of progress madebetween the two Working Party meetings of April and September 2005 reveals that Working Party members are continuing to demand further concessions from the Vietnamese negotiators. If agreed to, these concessions could have potentially damaging consequences for Viet Nam's ability to safeguard the livelihoods of its poorest people.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Ben Phillips
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The 8 October 2005 earthquake–Pakistan's biggest ever natural disaster–generated sympathy and support from people around the world. The Government of Pakistan reacted swiftly and with remarkable energy. However, major and immediate challenges remain. Six weeks after the earthquake, the response is not yet being organised in a manner that ensures that peoples' rights and needs are being met, according to international humanitarian principles.Donor countries need to provide their fair share of the resources and help required.The international response needs to be co-ordinated and led through a properly resourced, empowered, and staffed UN presence.The continuing relief and reconstruction effort requires civil authority management and civil society participation, and an early handover, where practical, by the military.All those involved in the response have an obligation to ensure not merely the restoration of bearable poverty, but 'reconstruction plus'– to build back better than before. The accountable management of funds and adherence to proper building standards are key to the reconstruction effort.The international community needs to fulfil its obligations not only in the relief phase but in longer-term reconstruction too, through a package of measures on aid and debt.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia