Oxfam Australia’s 2008 – 2009 Annual Report

Media Releases article written on the 24 Mar 2010

Oxfam Australia’s Annual Report released today shows that despite a difficult global financial environment, the aid agency helped more than four million people around the world by supplying basics like clean water and helping to build livelihoods during the 2008 – 2009 financial year.

Oxfam Australia’s Executive Director Andrew Hewett said the agency was grateful for the support the Australian public showed Oxfam throughout the global financial crisis.

“Like other agencies we struggled with the impact of the financial crisis and without continued public support we could not have helped as many people as we did,” Mr Hewett said.

Mr Hewett said there was a 22 per cent increase in the agency’s spending on programs in East Asia, which funded more work on preparing for disasters in Laos and Indonesia, and a 17 per cent increase in spending on programs in the Pacific.

However like many other agencies, Oxfam was affected by the global financial downturn in 2008 – 2009. The sharp fall in the Australian dollar at the beginning of the crisis increased the cost of many of the agency’s overseas programs which are funded in US dollars, and meant losses on foreign exchange transactions. The downturn on world financial markets also meant the agency recorded some losses from its invested reserves, which are maintained to cushion the impact of any downturn in income, and a drop in consumer confidence affected Oxfam Shops.

The annual report also shows that more than 2,000 volunteers gave more than 97,000 hours of service to help Oxfam’s work.

“We do thank all our volunteers for their efforts – they are an essential part of Oxfam’s work,” Mr Hewett said.

Oxfam Australia’s Annual Report is available on the agency’s website and in hard copy. Oxfam Australia was the winner of the 2009 Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Transparency Award for its 2009 Annual Report.

For more information contact:
Kate Thwaites on 0407 515 559, email katethwaites@oxfam.org.au