Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working in approximately 94 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and what it considers injustice around the world.In all Oxfam's actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives. Oxfam works directly with communities and seeks to influence the powerful, to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them. Each organization (affiliate) works together internationally to achieve a greater impact through collective efforts.
Oxfam was originally founded at 17 Broad Street in Oxford, Oxfordshire, in 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief by a group of Quakers, social activists, and Oxford academics; this is now Oxfam Great Britain, still based in Oxford. It was one of several local committees formed in support of the National Famine Relief Committee. Their mission was to persuade the British government to allow food relief through the Allied blockade for the starving citizens of occupied Greece. The first overseas Oxfam was founded in Canada in 1963. The organization changed its name to its telegraph address, OXFAM, in 1965.
"Make Trade Fair Campaign" parade organized by Oxfam during the 2005 WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference.Oxfam's programmes address the structural causes of poverty and related injustice and work primarily through local accountable organizations, seeking to enhance their effectiveness. Oxfam's stated goal is to help people directly when local capacity is insufficient or inappropriate for Oxfam’s purposes, and to assist in the development of structures which directly benefit people facing the realities of poverty and injustice.In November 2000, Oxfam adopted the rights-based approach as the framework for all the work of the Confederation and its partners. Oxfam recognizes the universality and indivisibility of human rights and has adopted these overarching aims to express these rights in practical terms:
Oxfam believes that poverty and powerlessness are avoidable and can be eliminated by human action and political will. The right to a sustainable livelihood, and the right and capacity to participate in societies and make positive changes to people's lives are basic human needs and rights which can be met. Oxfam believes that peace and substantial arms reduction are essential conditions for development and that inequalities can be significantly reduced both between rich and poor nations and within nations.