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The Last Word, March 2017

It's not been a great week for the Government: a u-turn on the budget, and a £70,000 fine for spending too much on elections - including two in Kent. You might think the Tories would be suffering in the polls as a result ... not a bit of it!

And Brexit: Theresa May say Article 50 will be triggered this month - in fact the Bill received Royal Assent today. But as the Brexit Secretary admits he doesn't know what the implications will be if we leave the EU without a deal, we ask what it could mean for our economy.

And the famine in Africa: how should we respond? Is the Government doing enough? Will the British public respond in the way they need to, to alleviate the dreadful suffering?

To debate all that and more:-

  • Baroness Brinton from Kenardington in Kent for the Lib Dems
  • Alan Mak MP, the Tory MP for Havant in Hants
  • Baroness Smith from Sussex, the Labour Leader in the Lords
  • and Tim Aker MEP for UKIP, from Thurrock in Essex

Oxfam trial virtual reality headsets

Oxfam are using virtual reality headsets to show people where their money is going. Lauren Hall explains.


New pee-powered toilet to help in refugee camps

The Oxford based charity Oxfam, says a newly-developed pee-powered toilet could help improve safety for women in the developingworld.

Researchers have been trialling the world's first self-powered toilet, with a light fuelled entirely by urine. Oxfam says that for many women in refugee camps, using the toilet is one of their most dangerous daily actiivites.

ITV Meridian spoke to Andy Bastable, Head of Water and Sanitation at Oxfam.

Emergency supplies leave Oxfordshire to help the victims of Ebola

Oxfam's emergency warehouse Credit: ITV news

Forty tonnes of emergency supplies have been loaded onto vans at Oxfam's emergency warehouse in Bicester, ready to be flown to Liberia to help stop the spread of Ebola. 230 thousand pounds worth of water and sanitation equipment - along with generators - will be delivered to the country. Tomorrow, a similar operation will see supplies sent to Sierra Leone. The death toll in West Africa has reached five thousand. Ian Bray from Oxfam spoke to ITV Meridian

Oxfam sends emergency equipment to tackle Ebola crisis

The loading of 40 tonnes of emergency equipment to help stop the spread of Ebola in Liberia has taken place this morning at the Oxfam emergency warehouse in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Some £227,000 worth of water and sanitation equipment, including a drilling rig, generator, water tanks, pipes, taps and buckets, will be sent over to the country.

The aid will be vital in providing clean water and sanitation for people in Liberia and tomorrow will be sending a similar amount of aid to Sierra Leone where the crisis is getting worse.

People desperately need clean water. Clean water keeps people alive and it will help stop the spread of this horrendous disease. We're winning the battle against Ebola in Liberia but we are far from winning the war.

– Oxfam spokesman
  1. National

Oxfam: Troops needed to tackle spread of Ebola

UK charity Oxfam has called for 'more troops, funding and medical staff' to tackle Ebola. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images

More troops, funding and medical staff are urgently needed to prevent the Ebola outbreak becoming the "definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation", Oxfam has warned.

The UK-based charity said there was less than a two-month window to curb the spread of the deadly virus but there remained a "crippling shortfall" in military personnel to provide logistical support across west Africa.

The charity said it was "extremely rare" to call for military intervention but troops were "desperately needed" to build treatment centres, provide flights and offer engineering and logistical support.

Oxfam also called for European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday to follow the UK's lead in pledging £125m in response to the Ebola crisis.

We are in the eye of a storm. We cannot allow Ebola to immobilise us in fear, but instead we must move toward a common mission to stop it from getting worse...Countries that have failed to commit troops, doctors and enough funding are in danger of costing lives.

– Oxfam's chief executive Mark Goldring


Oxfam reshape UK operations to 'reflect their priorities'

Oxfam plan to reshape their operations in the UK Credit: Press Association Images

Oxfam are planning to change services at their Oxford headquarters, cut 125 jobs and close some regional offices it has been announced today.

It is all part of their plan to reshape their UK-based operations to reflect the organisation's priorities.

Oxfam is hoping these changes will show the organisation as a global leader in supporting development and delivering aid in areas of the world where it is most needed.

Mark Golding, Oxfam CEO said, "Advances in technology means we no longer need as much support in head office.

"Instead, our resources will be focused in the regions where we carry out the majority of our work.

"This means we can deliver the most effective and efficient support to the millions of people who go to sleep hungry every night."

The changes will be in two stages, starting with a reform in human resources, finance, business support and campaigns at in the Oxford headquarters.

Then, it is thought a total of 125 jobs are expected to be lost, with some regional offices then closing.

Seventy years of Oxfam's history to go on display

Some of the archive material being donated to the Bodleian Libraries Credit: Kate Bunkall

Oxford-based international development charity Oxfam has announced it has donated the organization's archive, spanning the last seventy years, to the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries.

Now, with a substantial grant from the Wellcome Trust, a four-and-a-half-year project is underway at the Bodleian to catalogue Oxfam's extensive records and make them more accessible.

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