Sunday, January 27, 2008

“The bitterness, it comes from inequality” Posted by Anthony McCarthy

It comes out three times a year and is only about twelve pages long but Oxfam America’s magazine is a source of some interesting news.

On page 2 of the Winter 2008 edition of Oxfam Exchange there is this item relevant to the weekend’s discussions.

Oxfam’s focus is a campaign to create equitable solutions in the [global warming] crisis. While least responsible for causing climate change, poor people bear the brunt of its impacts.

So much for them being the cause of the species demise.

There is also this on the same page:

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and other state officials insist that the state does not discriminate by race or income in awarding aid to storm victims. One program limited eligibility to families that carried regular homeowners’ insurance. Gov. Barbour was quoted in the article as having told Congress that this condition reflected the fact that “we’re not bailing out irresponsible people.” To which Ashley Tsongas, Gulf Coast policy adviser for Oxfam America, is quoted as responding. “The fact is, people who have no money choose food and medicine, and not insurance. That moral superiority doesn’t recognize the reality people face.”

While neither of these has online links yet, here is a short interview with Daniel Kiptugen, Oxfam’s Peace and Reconciliation Officer in Kenya

What do you think is really behind the current violence?

- Well in this case, the youth thought maybe the couple had been allocated their land unfairly, by outsiders. When we look at the causes of conflicts, it’s not simply what some people are saying, ethnic clashes. It’s really about poverty, about resources.

In Eldoret, there are a lot of disputes over land, and over the allocation of funds and support from the center. Who are they going to? Who are they not going to? Yes there is an ethnic aspect, but it’s more than that. Many people are coming to towns seeking employment but they can’t get it, they can’t get resources. Then despondency becomes ire. .....

I will post a links to some other stories in the print edition about the horrible results of the gold rush in Ghana and racism and discrimination in Peru if they are put online.