Recently at The Broadcast PR Business we have been taking an international financial focus in our discussions with journalists and opinion formers and campaigners, and in particular have been looking at the work of the World Bank.
Next month Oxfam talks to the World Bank about what can be done to protect farmers in developing countries most vulnerable to land deals, ie land sold to foreign investors.
In our interview with Oxfam, Lucy Brinicombe said:
‘The World Bank has responded to our campaign to raise awareness of this issue of land deals where crops are grown to create bio-fuel rather than for food and when food is actually harvested, it is often exported abroad. Leaving land idle can also create profits, but this hurts local communities. In addition, women do not have the same rights to land as men and they are often victims in losing what is seen as marginal land.’
Oxfam raised £160,000 last year on International Women’s Day and world-wide fund-raising events are being held today.
Oxfam’s Georgia Best added:
‘We are investing in female honey-farmers in Ethiopia which transforms the lives of these women and brings in much need extra income into their families. 70% of people living in poverty in the world are women, but as well as helping women to provide for themselves, we tackle many issues of violence and lack of healthcare that blight their lives. Oxfam is supporting the training of mid-wives in Ghana since 75 women a week die in childbirth.’
Meanwhile the World Bank has released a survey of 4,000 men and women in 20 countries which suggests that women’s sense of empowerment is growing. But on the issue of farming, it says that Africa has the potential to create a trillion-dollar food market, but farmers need better access to capital, electricity and technology to help them grow and trade their products’.