Oxfam as a disaster relief organization: Haiti Earthquake, 2010 (2011 Report)

Table of Contents

Where we looked

All of the below was examined between November 2010 and January 2011.

How much did the organization raise and how much did it spend?

Date Organization Amount Donated Amount Spent
Jan 29, 2010 Oxfam America $11.9 million1 N/A
Feb 3, 2010 Oxfam America $12.1 million2 N/A
Feb 16, 2010 Oxfam America $21.5 million3 N/A
March 30, 2010 Oxfam International $100 million4 N/A
May 10, 2010 Oxfam America $23.2 million5 N/A
July 7, 2010 Oxfam International $90 million6 $30 million
Dec 31, 2010 Oxfam America $29 million ($98 million worldwide)7 $13 million ($68 million worldwide)8

How specific is the organization about how it spent its funds?

Oxfam reports how its expenditures break down into eight categories through the end of 2010 (projected for after an unspecified "time of writing").9

Oxfam does report how many people in Haiti have benefited from Oxfam's earthquake response and cholera prevention program. 10 The organization records several specific outputs, including water purification tablets and bars of soap delivered.11

Non-disaster relief activities

  • In its annual reports, Oxfam reports on a number of its programs in various parts of the world, as well as its spending broken down by very general categories.12
  • Oxfam works in the following areas: development, emergencies, campaigning, advocacy, and policy research.13
  • We have not found a comprehensive breakdown of activities, or attribution of funds to activities, at a more detailed level.

Additional factors

Limited fundraising

Oxfam International stopped accepting donations for Haiti when it reached $100 million in committed donations.14 Oxfam America stopped accepting donations for Tsunami relief when it reached $30 million.15


  • 1Chronicle of Philanthropy, “A Roundup of Haiti Fund Raising as of January 29”
  • 2Chronicle of Philanthropy, “Haiti Donations Exceed $644-Million, as of February 3”
  • 3Chronicle of Philanthropy, “American Charities Raise $774-Million for Haiti Relief, Chronicle Tally Finds”
  • 4 “Oxfam has received approximately $100 million for its emergency work in Haiti, with donations received from the public, governments and institutional donors across the world. We plan to spend around $18 million within the first six months after the earthquake, to carry out our immediate relief operations.” Oxfam International, “Thank you: You've fully funded the Oxfam Haiti Humanitarian Appeal.”
  • 5Chronicle of Philanthropy, “$1.1-Billion Donated for Haiti Relief: Updated Tally (May 11)”
  • 6

    "Funding the humanitarian response in Haiti
    Raised to date: US$90 million
    Spent to date: US$30 million"

    Oxfam International, “Oxfam America, "Haiti: Six-Month Report," Pg 3.

  • 7Chronicle of Philanthropy, "Haiti Earthquake Fund raising, One Year Later."

  • 8

    Note that this $68 worldwide is what Oxfam says it planned to have spent by the end of 2010. "By the end of 2010 Oxfam will have spent approximately $68m." Oxfam International, "Haiti Progress Report 2010," Pg 21. Published January, 2011.

  • 9

    "By the end of 2010 Oxfam will have spent approximately $68m...Our figures are based on actual accounts up to the time of writing, plus an estimate up to the one-year anniversary of the earthquake...$19.5m spent on emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion activities. A further $11m was used to help people in re-establishing their livelihoods and food security. Over $5m was used for the provision of shelter and the distribution of other non-food items.
    $8m was spent on logistics, ensuring that vital supplies and equipment were purchased, transported, and stored safely in warehouses before distribution. Approximately $10m was spent on the staffing necessary to carry out our operations...
    A further $6.5m went on capital items such as vehicles, accommodation, and office space, essential for the smooth co-ordination of a large and complex operation, especially over this length of time. Another $3m was spent on other program activities, including disaster risk reduction, advocacy, campaigning, and media activities.
    Finally, $4m – 7 per cent of the overall budget – was spent on management support, providing the external support, supervision, monitoring, and reporting that our program needs to deliver resiliently in these conditions." Oxfam, "Haiti Progress Report (2010)," Pg 21-22.

  • 10

    "A year since Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake, 500,000 people have benefited from our earthquake response work, and another 700,000 are the focus of our life-saving cholera prevention activities." Oxfam International. "Haiti Earthquake: What Oxfam Is Doing."

  • 11

    "# We've delivered more than 42 million water purification tablets, 20,000 buckets, and one million bars of soap
    # 429 water trucks of water were delivered in September to 8 camp sites in Bas Delmas, approximately 4,871,295 liters of water." Oxfam International. "Haiti Earthquake: What Oxfam Is Doing."

    "Oxfam has distributed plastic sheets and shelter kits, assisting the emergency needs of more than 94,100 people. By early November 2010 we had distributed many essential items for the comfort and health of those forced to live in camp conditions, including:

    * 23,470 hygiene kits
    * 10,495 family essentials kits - assembled via cash for work - containing kitchen utensils, soap, toothbrushes, sanitary pads, and other personal items
    * 9,370 mattresses
    * 4,335 sheets
    * 10,000 food kits
    * 1,700 mosquito nets.
    " Oxfam International. "Haiti Earthquake: What Oxfam Is Doing."

    "Constructed over 1,400 latrines." Oxfam America, "Haiti: Six-Month Report."

    Oxfam International "Haiti Earthquake: What Oxfam Is Doing" says Oxfam worked on "protection of vulnerable groups" and "agricultural support" but doesn't report any outputs.

  • 12
    (Program expenditure by Oxfam International strategic aims)
    US$ % Total
    Livelihoods US$ 199.77m 25.88%
    Basic social services US$ 104.63m 13.56%
    Life and security [includes tsunami relief expenses] US$ 246.50m 31.94%
    Right to be heard US$ 111.78m 14.48%
    Identity US$ 75.55m 9.79%
    Non aligned US$ 33.52m 4.34%
    Oxfam International, “Oxfam International Annual Report 2008-2009,” Pg 17.
  • 13

    "Development: We work with and through partners and communities on long-term programs to eradicate poverty and combat injustice. Emergencies: We deliver immediate life-saving assistance to people affected by natural disasters or conflict, and help to build their resilience to future disasters. Campaigning: We are part of a global movement for change. We raise public awareness of the causes of poverty and encourage ordinary people to take action for a fairer world. Advocacy: We press decision-makers to change policies and practices that reinforce poverty and injustice. Policy research: We can speak with authority as a result of thorough research and analysis, and the real experience of our partners in developing countries." Oxfam International, “What We Do.”

  • 14

    "Oxfam has received approximately $100 million for its emergency work in Haiti, with donations received from the public, governments and institutional donors across the world. We plan to spend around $18 million within the first six months after the earthquake, to carry out our immediate relief operations...Although our appeal for Haiti is now closed, we hope you will remember the other emergencies where we are responding, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Asia-Pacific disasters. We are able to launch rapid responses to natural disasters and conflict situations because we have funds in reserve." Oxfam International, “Thank you: You've fully funded the Oxfam Haiti Humanitarian Appeal”

  • 15

    "International aid agency Oxfam America announced today that it will stop raising new funds for survivors of the tsunami and earthquake in southern Asia. In little more than a month, the agency has raised more than $30 million from Americans for its tsunami relief and rebuilding efforts..."Oxfam America is tremendously honored and grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from the American people," said its President, Raymond C. Offenheiser. "Because of their generous response, we believe we will have sufficient funds not only for our immediate response but also for our long-term recovery and rehabilitation efforts."" Oxfam America, “Oxfam America Stops Fundraising for Tsunami (Feb 1, 2005)"