Oxfam Ireland and GOAL to discuss potential merger

The proposed merger would create a "global development agency headquartered and rooted in Ireland"

Oxfam Ireland and GOAL to discuss potential merger

Image: RollingNews.ie

Aid agencies Oxfam Ireland and GOAL are entering formal discussions on a potential merger.

If agreed, the two organisations would come together as one entity named Oxfam GOAL.

Talks have been approved by the boards of both agencies, with the organisations arguing that "both parties believe could achieve stronger results, save more lives and support more people to lift themselves out of poverty".

The new agency would create a global development agency 'headquartered and rooted' in Ireland, the two organisation's said in a joint statement this afternoon.

Oxfam Ireland Chief Executive Jim Clarken explained: "Bringing our organisations together will increase our scale, which means we can deliver greater impact for people in poverty and in crisis. We believe it will create new energy and dynamism through sharing programmatic, geographic and other synergies.”

GOAL General Manager Celine Fitzgerald added: “In looking to its future, GOAL has assessed the merits of continuing as a standalone entity or achieving a step change in scale and impact in the delivery of humanitarian support and advocacy.

"A merger with Oxfam would create a strong organisation in Ireland with a true global reach, saving and changing the lives of millions of the poorest and most vulnerable people on our planet for the better," she added.

GOAL was founded in 1977, while Oxfam has been operating in Ireland since the 1950s. The proposed merged organisation would remain part of the global Oxfam confederation.

The announcement comes as GOAL continues its efforts to deal with what it has described as a 'tighter funding' environment.

Late last year, the Irish Government released payments of almost €4 million in funding to the charity.

The funding had been withheld earlier in 2016 due to an ongoing US investigation of a number of NGOs over the procurement of humanitarian supplies for victims of the crisis in Syria.