Humanitarian organizations are established to promote social justice, political and social security, and equitable economic opportunity for their members. According to Vaux (2016), amid the significant advantages they have in their areas of engagement, international humanitarian organizations face significant resistance and threats in their lines of service. Political intervention, a loss of will and cooperation from regions in need of help, frequent overwhelming emergencies, and a lack of sufficient funds are examples of such threats and vulnerabilities. The current research examines the forces and patterns affecting Oxfam International and UNICEF’s productivity and efficacy. Important Trends with the Greatest Impact on UNICEF and Oxfam International
The world has seen an increase in the rates of terrorism and terror attacks over the years. While such occurrences threaten human life, they are important trends in the extents of development of humanitarian organizations like UNICEF and Oxfam International. One of the key roles of UNICEF is child protection (Apte, Gomncalves and Yoho, 2016). The organization is one of the greatest supporters of global initiatives aimed at protecting vulnerable children faced with issues of violence, discriminatory activities, exploitation and abuse. According to Starr, and Van Wassenhove (2014), UNICEF achieves its roles through raising the extents of government awareness on the need for strengthening child protection policies and rights through promotion of regulations that punish exploitative activities against children. On the other hand, Oxfam International supports vulnerable communities by ensuring that they are constantly supplied with basic commodities like food. Further, Oxfam advocates for implementation of development initiatives by fostering better systems of education and healthcare delivery for all and ending unfair trade. The current increasing trends of terror attacks in specific parts of the world like Asia and Africa have led to increments in demand for the involvement of humanitarian organizations like Oxfam and UNICEF. Heiss and Johnson (2016) explain that the rise of terror sects like ISIL, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas and Abu Sayyaf has left many children vulnerable. The demand for the engagement of UNICEF and Oxfam International continues to increase with increase in terrorism.
Third world countries are in great struggle for creation of development ties with international organizations like Oxfam International. These economies have come up with poverty eradication plans, economic stimulus projects, child education initiatives and programs aimed at fostering sustainable food production for their populace. Such activities present great developmental opportunities for organizations like UNICEF and Oxfam International. According to Robinson, Oliviera and Kayden (2017), most of the underdeveloped countries lack the financial resources required to foster their visionary agenda. In this case, they call for the involvement of external bodies to spearhead such developments. For instance, UNICEF has been on the forefront in supporting Kenya’s vision of ensuring access to education among children by engaging in lunch feeding programs and supply of clean water in educational institutions. On the other hand, Oxfam International has engaged with women and children in Uganda to ensure that the surrounding economic environments are friendly. Therefore, the increasing demands for economic stability in developing countries will impact the activities of UNICEF and Oxfam International in a positive way in the next ten years.
Increasing levels of human rights’ awareness have increased the demand for the involvement of Oxfam International and UNICEF. According to Hunt (2017), the world has seen a great increment in the number of bodies fighting for human rights. These organs include civil societies, non-governmental organizations, human rights agencies and employee groups. Intensification of such activities from highly industrialized economies like the United States of America and France to the less developed countries like South Sudan and Zambia calls for the involvement of international bodies like UNICEF and Oxfam. With these trends being on the rise, it is expected that the activities of Oxfam International and UNICEF will see a great boost in the next ten years.
Forces with Negative Impact
Inadequate funding of humanitarian organizations like UNICEF and Oxfam International is among the oppressive forces. It is important to appreciate the fact that challenges calling for humanitarian assistance continue to increase with increase in issues like political instability, natural disasters and calamities, terrorism and emergence of critical medical conditions like Ebola and HIV/AIDS. It is only fair that these bodies should get enough monetary support. However, bodies like Oxfam have been victims of financial shortages in critical humanitarian activities and rescues for instance, the levels of funding in the 2011 Pakistani flooding calamity were inadequate. As a result, the levels of operational efficiency of this organization were greatly slowed (Reiner, 2016).
Oxfam International and UNICEF lack the desired networking capabilities to foster their operations in critical humanitarian missions. In many instances, humanitarian organizations have been criticized for duplicating their efforts and steering conflicting strategies in their operational levels. For instance, Ott and Valero (2017) explain that Oxfam and UNICEF have over relied on media reports to trigger donations from well-wishers and situational sympathizers. At times, the required aids arrive late. For instance, Oxfam International’s activities in Somalia in 2011 were highly incapacitated because of over dependence on mainstream media to stir donor activities. While Famine Early Warning System Network started warning international bodies of the critical food condition in the Horn of Africa in 2010, these organizations sluggishly depended on media to step up their funding. However the situation only got worse until mid-2011 when a huge population was hunger stricken.
Like many other humanitarian organizations, UNICEF and Oxfam International depict some flaws in their developmental approaches. According to Starr and Van Wassenhove (2014), these organizations have put a lot of emphasis on “hardware” approaches to development which focuses on provision of services and building community infrastructure rather than concentrating on initiatives that empower local populations and institutions on the best ways of managing their affairs. Such moves have worsened the situation since people keep on depending on these organizations rather than coming up with initiatives to reduce their levels of dependence. On the other hand, most economies have continuously revised the role of governmental institutions and aid paradigms through institutionalization of policies aimed at promoting humanitarian approaches aimed at promotion of rights rather than welfare. Such approaches hinder the operations of Oxfam and UNICEF.
Unpredictable Event with Great Significance
The will of most third world economies to adopt political systems that foster democracy will greatly benefit UNICEF and Oxfam International. According to Heiss and Johnson (2016), lack of democracy in most African and Asian economies accounts for issues like presence of internally displaced persons, rise of terror groups and tribal hostilities. Initially, political administration has been characterized with leaders who want to retain their seats for longer periods. However, the future is promising since most countries have moved with the haste required to amend their constitutions with the aim of setting term limits for presidents, kings and prime ministers. Such moves will reduce violence emanating from political activities. As a result, the administrative activities of UNICEF and Oxfam will be strengthened.
Wild Card Scenario for UNICEF and Oxfam International in 2025
According to UNICEF (2013) “ each year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) responds to more than 200 emergencies around the world”. This reveals the magnitude of roles this organization is meant to serve. On the other hand, it is important to uphold the fact that these responses call for financial assistances from the entitled stakeholders. The wild card scenario adopted uses two lead questions to look into the situation of Oxfam International and UNICEF in 2025.
What are the probable effects of natural conditions like climate change by 2025? As time advances, the effects of climate change tend to increase. Devastating issues like droughts, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes have increased. It is expected that world populations will suffer from these conditions and the services of UNICEF and Oxfam will be on higher demands. As a matter of fact, these organizations may stretch their aid from their convectional regions of engagement to include countries like the U.S. which have fallen victims of these conditions.
Will funding affect the operations of UNICEF and Oxfam International by 2025? There is a great possibility that these two organizations will be overwhelmed with the issue of lack of finances by 2025 if they do not undertake necessary measures to correct their approaches to humanitarian aid and modes of funding. However, the trend may change if the two organizations shift their approaches of assistance from delivery of services and infrastructure to empowering the populace.
Both Oxfam International and UNICEF equally impacted by positive and negative factors in their operations. Increasing levels of terrorism, struggle for enhancement of development ties, and penetration of the need for strengthening human rights awareness have strengthened the operations of UNICEF and Oxfam International. On the other hand, poor approaches, inadequate funding and poor networking account for the factors affecting the operations of the two bodies negatively. It is expected that by 2025, Oxfam and UNICEF will be overwhelmed with roles because of the increasing effects of climate change, terrorism and political instability.
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