Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Kampala. 1st March 2022. Oxfam in Uganda has today launched a 10-year Strategy providing a road map towards ending inequality in the country.

Speaking at the launch event, the Oxfam in Uganda Country Director, Francis Shanty Odokorach, said that together against inequality, as the strategy is named, is not merely a title. It is a call, a great opportunity – and, more than that, a responsibility – to all come together to make this country more equal and fairer for everyone to live and enjoy their rights.

According to Odokorach, there is no greater time than now to rethink our strategies. “People in Uganda who were marginalized before the coronavirus appeared have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and related measures to curb it like the lockdowns. Studies are showing that inequality deepened during the pandemic.” This inequality is not inevitable. It is a question of power, a question of policy choices.

A recent Oxfam report, inequality kills, shows that the wealth of the world’s 10 richest men has doubled since the pandemic began. At the same time, the incomes of 99% of humanity are worse off because of COVID-19. The 2021 DFI, Oxfam and partner Commitment to reducing inequality index report showed that Uganda ranks low in addressing inequality. It revealed that Uganda was unprepared for the Corona Virus Pandemic.

From the loss of lives, business closure, loss of jobs, land evictions and the crisis of teenage pregnancies in the country, Covid-19 has created new and bigger challenges that need sustained joint efforts to address. Across our country today, too many people feel unsupported, unheard, and frustrated. This must change.

The strategy commits to six new shifts, including a new pillar on gender justice and women’s rights that will allow Oxfam to work with women and girls in all their diversity, undertaking urban programming, transformative approach to partnerships, Transformative education that promotes education that enables learners to know their rights, practice critical thinking, and use their voice to challenge and change the status quo, an integrated approach to programming and embracing digital integration tapping into the power of vibrant youth across the country to build strong movements against poverty and injustice.

These shifts will be realized through 4 pillars: humanitarian response and preparedness, governance and accountability, Resilient Livelihoods and Gender Justice and Women’s Rights. The shifts alongside the approaches, Oxfam believes, will go a long way in confronting the drivers of inequality in the country.

According to Oxfam, the process of generating the strategy was consultative and inclusive. “We consulted with diverse stakeholders, including the communities we represent, to ensure our work is relevant to them and their needs.” Most of the shifts are in our approaches – we seek to work more and better with others. We are open to diverse partnerships to tap into their unique value and enable us to speak with one voice, facilitate collective action, and share best practices.” Odokorach

For complementarity and leverage, the strategy is aligned with; The Oxfam global strategic framework that unites Oxfam towards achieving a just and sustainable future. It is equally aligned to the Government of Uganda (GOU) third National Development Plan 2015-2020 (NDPIII), and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Our conviction for change comes from our past experiences and the big and small changes we have created together with our partners,” he says

“When I visit some of the communities we serve, I am inspired by how they are taking charge of their lives, seizing the opportunities availed to them and how they are beating the odds. The women, men, youth, and children have the willpower. They just need an enabling environment and services.”

While we all have a role to play, the Government has a greater role in ensuring that policies are progressive, there is increased spending in social sectors that benefit the most vulnerable, that the land of these communities from which they derive their living is protected, and they are opening opportunities to work jointly with civil society in addressing the drivers of inequality.

In his concluding remarks at the launch, Odokoroch called on the various stakeholders, especially the Government to urgently respond to the critical issues the country is grappling with. The crisis of teenage pregnancies that has kept many adolescents out of school, access to vaccines for all, including refugees, making the tax system progressive, addressing the ongoing land evictions and more investment for humanitarian and development work.

Odokorach called on everyone to join Oxfam in Uganda on the 10-year journey towards ending inequality. “The role of partnerships and allies in this strategy is indispensable,” Odokorach said.


Notes to Editors

The strategy can be accessed here: https://uganda.oxfam.org/latest/policy-paper/oxfam-uganda-country-strategic-framework

For More Information, contact: Dorah Ntunga, Media, and Communications Coordinator /Oxfam