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Raymond C. Offenheiser
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Raymond C. Offenheiser is the President of Oxfam America, a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. Oxfam America is one of the 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, which works with people in more than 90 countries to save lives, develop long-term solutions to poverty, and campaign for social change.

With more than 30 years of international development experience as a field programmer, grant maker and executive in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the United States, Offenheiser is a recognized leader on issues such as poverty alleviation, human rights, inequality, foreign policy and international development. He serves as a resource and frequent commentator in the media and before diverse public fora on such issues as foreign aid, global poverty, humanitarian relief, international agriculture, human rights, climate change, global trade policies and corporate social responsibility.

Entries by Raymond C. Offenheiser

A Post-Katrina Disaster Checklist: Water, Food, Community Organizing

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 10:09 AM

Photo credit: Minor Sinclair/Oxfam America

When Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast ten years ago, the fundamentals of disaster relief poured in: water, sanitation, food, shelter. But looking back, we can see that the most effective tool for the...

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On World Humanitarian Day, Thank the Local Aid Workers

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 3:51 PM

Photo credit: Aubrey Wade / Oxfam

Today, World Humanitarian Day, commemorates the twenty-two aid workers killed in a bombing at the UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 and is dedicated to those who risk their lives every day to provide...

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SEC's waiting game must end for oil, mining transparency

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 8:11 AM


The next time you fill up your car or buy a gold necklace for your mother, you may be surprised to learn that the companies that brought you these products made massive payments to foreign governments in order to have access to the...

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Life in a Conflict Zone: Why the South Sudanese are Longing for Peace

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 6:25 PM


Peter spoke softly, looking at the ground as he explained how he arrived at this displaced persons camp on the outskirts of Juba, capital city of the world's newest nation, South Sudan. When fighting started between two government factions in December 2013, Peter...

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The Suffering of Others

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 8:24 AM

An eye-witness to a massacre in Honduras shows a scar on his face from a gunshot wound explaining, "There was a hail of bullets. I ran and got shot in the mouth."

An indigenous woman in northeast Cambodia says, "We work very hard now. We do not have enough food...

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Words Are Not Enough. We Need Action to Show We Are With Innocent Syrians

(1) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 5:33 PM


Syria has been at war for four years now, with horrific consequences for the 22 million people who live there, or have fled, and causing overwhelming strain on neighboring countries. This conflict is only getting worse: More than 210,000 have lost their lives,...

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Why Mobilizing Communities Is Crucial in the Fight Against Ebola

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 11:27 AM


The UN had set an ambitious target of having Ebola under control by January 1, but we are a long way from zero cases. To stop running behind Ebola and get ahead of the disease in 2015, we need to do...

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The Role of the Private Sector in Humanitarian Crises

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 9:42 AM


Ebola is a humanitarian crisis first and foremost, but it is also a mounting economic disaster for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

This is not hard to imagine when you start adding up the secondary impacts of the crisis....

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The Tradeoffs of Tax Dodging

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 9:55 AM

The gap between the rich and the poor is extreme and growing. In fact, the number of billionaires across the globe has actually doubled since the 2008 financial crisis. Extreme inequality is a defining issue of our time but it is not inevitable; it is the consequence of...

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Concrete Action Needed This Week from the World Bank and IMF to Combat Inequality

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 5:55 PM

At this week's annual meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the topic of inequality is buzzing. And rightly so given that extreme economic inequality is one of the largest barriers to ending extreme poverty. Buzz is great, but urgent and concrete actions are what we...

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Achieving Impact in Development Requires the IFC to Learn From Its Failures

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 11:33 AM

Jin Yong Cai, executive vice president of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) -- the private sector arm of the World Bank Group -- recently wrote an engaging blog post, "Achieving impact in development requires us to venture into tough places," stressing that ending poverty requires the IFC to...

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World Bank Group's For-profit Health Investments Fail to Reduce Inequality in Access to Health Care

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 1:04 PM


A few months ago, I looked at the World Bank Group's commitment to "shared prosperity," Bank-speak for reducing inequality, and challenged the Bank to take concrete actions to address this critical priority.

Promisingly, the Bank Group has recently

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A Lifeline at Risk

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 4:24 PM

The money that Somali migrants in the United States and around the world send to their friends and family in Somalia comprises over a third of the country's entire economy. More than 40 percent of families depend on help from abroad to meet their most basic needs. But U.S. Treasury...

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A Window of Opportunity in South Sudan

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 2:25 PM


A ceasefire deal offers a glimmer of hope for South Sudan, but world leaders must act quickly to address an emerging humanitarian crisis and secure a path to peace and stability. World leaders are meeting in Oslo this week and the outcome will...

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Snacks and Storms: Standing on the Sidelines

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 3:48 PM

This week 15,000 food industry professionals will converge on Chicago for the annual Sweets and Snacks Expo, where more than 300 new products will be unveiled, all vying to be named the "most innovative."

With taste sensations like General Mills's Wasabi Chex Chips, which promise, "flavors so bold,...

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Consensus On Inequality: So What's the Plan?

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 6:05 PM

If we continue down the same path of austerity, tax policies, and investment opportunities written by and for the wealthy, we will continue to undermine the best efforts of people trying to work their way out of poverty.

World leaders gathered in Washington, DC at the World Bank and International...

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Bankrupting a Nation -- Not the Best Way to Achieve Health Care

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 3:49 PM

This week, as the spring meetings are hosted by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., recent negligent and unaligned behavior from the World Bank's private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, has garnered attention.

As a means to improving healthcare in Lesotho,...

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The Private Sector and Poverty: Harnessing Firepower, Recognizing Limits

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 2:51 PM

Jobs, innovation, wealth creation: the private sector has great potential to pull people out of poverty. And as developing countries open their doors to greater trade and investment, the reach, influence and impact of private companies grows. It's this power to affect the lives of the poor people -- not...

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The Bitter Secret of Sugar

(3) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 10:46 AM

Keo Chhorn, 63, is a father-of-six in south-western Cambodia. He and his wife worked the seven acres of land that have been in their family for 30 years to grow watermelon, rice and cashews, earning more than a thousand dollars a year and putting food on the table. That's until...

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Somalia's Lifeline Under Threat

(0) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 8:34 AM

In the midst of Somalia's 2011 famine and its worst drought in decades, Oxfam's Somali partners called on us not to find more money for their emergency programs, but to raise alarm that the stream of money Somalis receive from family and friends abroad was in danger of drying up....

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