Hunger could kill more than Covid-19, Oxfam warns

BBC World Service

More people could die from hunger as a result of the coronavirus pandemic than from the disease itself, an international charity warns.

Oxfam says the crisis has disrupted harvests, food supplies and remittances in the poorest countries.

It says middle-income countries such as South Africa, India and Brazil, have also been badly hit, with many people losing their jobs during lockdowns.

According to official figures, there have so far been more than 500,000 virus related deaths around the world. About 12 million people have been infected.

The charity has tweeted a link to its report:

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Lockdown clear outs may provide charity shops with 'gems'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Charity shops are expected to be a treasure trove of "gems" when they reopen due to people clearing out their homes during lockdown.

Oxfam has opened its shop on Mutley Plain in Plymouth this week and says the stores in Launceston and Newquay will reopen next Monday.

The charity says despite a raft of safety measures it will be an "exciting shopping experience".

Oxfam in Plymouth

Oxfam to shut down offices in 18 countries

Oxfam signage is pictured outside a high street branch of an Oxfam charity shop in south London
Getty Images

Oxfam has said it will shut down its offices in 18 countries, putting hundreds of jobs at risk, as the financial strain of the coronavirus crisis takes its toll.

The UK-based charity said the pandemic had forced it to bring forward a planned reorganisation of its global operations.

The changes, announced on Wednesday, will affect around 1,450 out of 5,000 programme staff, and 700 out of 1,900 partner organisations, the charity said.

The charity said it will retain its physical presence in 48 countries, while honouring its existing commitments to partners and donors.

“We’ve been planning this for some time but we are now accelerating key decisions in light of the effects of the global pandemic,” Chema Vera, Oxfam’s international interim executive director, said in a statement.

She gave a bleak account of Oxfam’s finances, explaining how shop closures and cancelled fund-raising events had led to a loss of income.

“The coronavirus has made Oxfam’s work helping the world’s most vulnerable people more vital than ever while, at the same time, it is impacting on our capacity to deliver,” Vera said.

“We are enormously grateful to our donors and supporters whose continuing generosity is helping us rise to this unprecedented challenge.”

Read more: Virus-hit charities 'need substantial support'

Closing the wealth gap

What's the best way to greater equality and faster growth?
The gap between the super-rich and the rest of the world is widening, as wealth continues to be owned by a small minority, according to a new report by global non-profit, Oxfam. Over 2,000 of the world's billionaires have more wealth than nearly 60 per cent of the planet’s population.

The contrast is even sharper for developing countries such as India, where some 74% of the money generated goes to the richest 10%, the charity says.

So what's the best way to greater equality and faster growth? How can we raise the living standards of the poor, especially the poorest 40%? And how can more women get economic benefit for their unpaid care work?

Presenter: Devina Gupta

Contributors: Manav Subodh, co-founder, 1M1B (1 Million for 1 Billion); Ranu Bhogal, director of policy, research & campaigns, Oxfam India; Naghma Mulla, chief operating officer, EdelGive Foundation

Oxfam slams BP's 'shiny promises'

Oxfam sign
PA Media

Back to BP and Oxfam's climate policy advisor Kiri Hanks is not at all convinced by new boss Bernard Looney's "transition to net zero".

"BP appears to be using shiny net zero promises as a cover to continue extracting oil and gas," she warned, adding:

If we are to prevent a climate catastrophe, companies like BP must commit to keeping fossil fuels in the ground and invest meaningfully in low-carbon technologies. BP is vague on the details of its plan, but it should not rely on using carbon offsetting schemes as a licence to continue polluting. Poorer countries should not be bribed to grow forests instead of food to enable business as usual in rich nations.