Oxfam’s vision is of a just world without poverty and suffering. If people are empowered to help themselves, and to help others in their communities, a chain reaction of change can be set in motion. Oxfam calls this lifting lives for good. To spread that change and make it last, political solutions are needed to tackle the root causes of poverty and create societies where empowered individuals can thrive.
But right now, two major injustices – inequality and climate change – are threatening to undermine the efforts of millions of people to escape poverty and hunger. By concentrating wealth and power in the hands of the few, inequality robs the poorest people of even the minimal support they need to lift their lives and means their voices increasingly go unheard. Through its devastating impacts on crops and livelihoods, climate change is undoing poor people’s efforts to feed their families and overcome poverty.
The countdown to 2015 – the deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals and curbing global carbon emissions – is fast approaching; 2015 is also the year of the UK general election. At this critical point, Oxfam’s message is clear: inequality and climate change can be overcome. What will UK political leaders do to tackle these major issues – and lift lives for good?