The global fight against poverty is entering a new era: today it is important not simply to address poverty itself but to challenge the structural causes of poverty, thus making poverty alleviation work increasingly difficult.
In the past, organisations like Oxfam would go to villages and build wells and schools. Today, infrastructure undreamed of even 20 years ago is being built across the developing world. And, indeed, many hundreds of millions have been pulled from poverty. However, the very poorest in the world remain powerless, vulnerable and often hungry - it is estimated that around 800 million people around the world go to bed hungry every night.
So what can Oxfam Hong Kong do to help abolish poverty and the injustices and suffering that accompany it? We send our people to areas of natural disaster, we work more than ever with local partners to empower people living in poverty through education, advocacy work and building sustainable livelihoods. Our work is in the poorest parts of China, the poorest areas in the rest of Asia and in Africa.
But we also work with other Oxfam affiliates around the world - many from the global south / developing countries - to press for changes in global trade practices, fair taxes and action on climate change and against corruption. We focus on issues that harm the chances of the world’s poorest people but which they are not in a position to speak up on for themselves.
Over its nearly 40 years of existence Oxfam Hong Kong has a proud history of helping the poorest and most vulnerable around the world while keeping our administrative costs low and transparent.
Our world is now changing fast and Oxfam Hong Kong is changing with it. With the ongoing support of our loyal supporters we will continue to work with the world’s poorest but also be willing to speak ‘truth unto power’ on their behalf.
After more than 30 years as a supporter of Oxfam Hong Kong I am extremely proud to have been asked to chair Oxfam Hong Kong at this exciting time of change.