Govts, donors failing women farmers in climate change fight: Oxfam

ISLAMABAD: An Oxfam analysis of policies and public investments in six countries shows that women farmers are not getting the resources they need to feed their families and communities and adapt to climate change.

This exposes a sham in the rhetoric and commitments by countries and donors to shore up the agricultural sector and to focus support on women farmers.

The findings come in year of rising hunger, fueled by conflicts and super-charged weather events. A brutal drought in East Africa pushed millions to the brink of famine; several Category Five hurricanes slammed into the Caribbean and the United States; flooding in South Asia killed more than a thousand people.

Oxfam looked at agricultural policies and public investments in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania and found two major problems. First, very little money is going to support small-scale farmers and helping them become more resilient to climate change. Second, it’s almost impossible to know how much is really reaching women farmers, a group especially threatened by climate change.

“Climate change is not some far-off threat; it’s here now and putting lives in danger,” said Rashmi Mistry, the head of Oxfam’s GROW campaign. “Governments are breaking their promises to give more resources to farmers. Women on the front lines of climate change can’t continue to struggle on while waiting for money to trickle down to them. Investing directly in women farmers not only helps them and their families, it bolsters the food security for entire communities.”

Oxfam is calling on donor governments to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and step up their funding aimed at helping communities adapt to climate change. Developing countries must increase funding specifically for women farmers. African countries must also honor the Maputo Declaration that commits 10 percent of all government spending to go on agriculture development.

These commitments offer huge benefits. Discriminatory attitudes and policies mean women farmers produce about 20 to 30 percent less than men – closing this gap would lift millions out of hunger and poverty.

The countries investigated by Oxfam are all struggling to get enough climate adaptation funding. In Pakistan, just 26 percent of the $1.17 billion in climate finance they received in 2014 went to adaptation. Worse still, as of this May, Nigeria has received only $15 million for adaptation—a sliver of what others have had. As of last year, multilateral adaptation funding for small-scale farmers totaled just $345 million, far short of the many billions that estimates show developing countries will need.

To make matters worse, Oxfam found that governments do almost nothing to make sure women farmers benefit from these insufficient amounts of climate and agriculture funding. For example, in Nigeria, climate adaptation policies simply “encourage” women to participate in initiatives, but go no further.

These policies do little to support the specific needs of women farmers, like improving their access to land, credit, technical training, seeds, amongst others.

“Poverty discriminates against women, and it is policies and attitudes of countries such as these that reveal why that happens. If governments don’t adopt policies that clearly target women farmers, then they’ll be forgotten and left at the mercy of climate disasters they did nothing to cause.

“We assume our governments are also worried about worsening global hunger and the inequality and poverty that drives it. But the kind of mealy-mouthed, underfunded policies that Oxfam has investigated will only make people begin to seriously doubt it,” said Mistry.

Col Saadat Ullah distributes pries among students

RAWALPINDI: To encourage the spirit of healthy competition and to promote co-curricular activities among students, Directorate of Federal Government Educational Institutions Cantonment and Garrison, annually organises Sports and Co-curricular activities.

In keeping with this tradition, competitions were held among the schools of FGEI Chaklala Region. In this regard a Prize Distribution Ceremony was held here on Friday, under the auspices of FGEI (C/G) Chakala Region at FG Public School No 1 (Boys) Tariqabad Rwp.

According to Spokesan Wajid Masaud, Deputy Director Chaklala Region, Col Saadat Ullah, was the chief guest on this occasion. Sports Secretary /Principal Irfan Khan Raja, Principals of Chaklala Region, Sports Incharges and students also attended the ceremony.

The ceremony comprised of two segments- Welcome address and Inter Schools Prize Distribution. This was followed by the welcome address of Principal / Sports Secretary Raja Irfan Khan. He welcomed the chief guest Col Saadatullah and paid rich tributes to him as an academician, orator, administrator and kind personality. He also mentioned the historical development of the FGEI Rawalpindi Region and its mission to provide affordable education and holistic grooming of our future torch-bearers.

In the second part of the ceremony organised for Prize Distribution, certificates and trophies were presented by the chief guest to all the winners at the inter schools level. On the basis of overall performance in sports and co-curricular activities, the trophy for best school in the region went to FG Public School No 2 Boys Tariqabad Rawalpindi.

According to spokesman of FGEIs C/G Rawalpindi Region Wajid Masaud addressing the players, Chief guest Deputy Director FGEIs (C/G) Chaklala Region, Col Saadat Ullah said that FGEIs (C/G) had an outstanding tradition in the field of sports and maintained its excellence over the rival institutions.

He said that FGEIs (C/G) is one of the finest sports nurseries for producing sportsmen for national teams as it had maintained its tradition of excellence in sports.

He added that FGEIs (C/G) Rawalpindi provided ample sports facilities to the students in different games such as as cricket, hockey, football, basket ball, table tennis and athletics.

FGEIs (C/G) Rawalpindi has also produced outstanding sportsmen and athletes in the country who represented Pakistan abroad. According to spokesman of FGEIs C/G Rawalpindi Region Wajid Masaud, among others, Principal/Sports Secretary Boys Raja Irfan Khan, Principal Mohammad Anwar, Principal Mohammad Afzal Tahir, Principal Abdul Ghaffar Raja, team incharges of institutions and players of Rawalpindi region were also present at the ceremony.