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ActionAid is an international non-governmental organization whose aim is to work against poverty and injustice worldwide and, in particular, ending violence against women and girls.

The denial of women’s and girls’ rights is one of the biggest causes of poverty worldwide, and a grave injustice. That’s why we put the rights of women and girls at the heart of all we do. Poverty is complex. It’s more than a lack of money. It’s also a lack of choice and power. Our three main areas of work:[1]

  • Violence against women and girls
  • Women's economic empowerment
  • Women's and girls' rights in humanitarian crises

ActionAid UK, together with its partners and supporters, play a vital role in helping to deliver community-based projects across the world. We raise money to support ActionAid’s programme work to transform communities; we influence policy to change the systems and structures that keep people poor; we carry out research and put pressure on governments and key decision makers to effect global change. [2][3]


Tax Havens

Back around 2011-2013, ActionAid focused on Tax Havens, and how they allow companies and investors to avoid tax on the resulting profits and gains – depriving the world’s poorest countries of much-needed tax revenue. "The UK is currently responsible for one in five tax havens globally – more than any other country. Research by ActionAid has also demonstrated the heavy involvement of British companies in tax haven-use with 98 of FTSE 100 companies using tax havens." (May.2013) ActionAid did a great deal of excellent work on this; their archive of reports and briefs is here.


  • Aug.19.2014: Campaign: Barclays is getting its hands dirty in Africa. Big companies, like Associated British Foods plc and Grolsch owners SABMiller plc, make huge profits in Africa, but they use tax havens to avoid paying their fair share. This means there's not enough money to give children a decent education or provide life-saving drugs to people living in poverty. Barclays Bank Ltd is by far the biggest UK bank in Africa. It provides some important banking services, but has a whole department called 'Barclays Offshore Corporate' that encourages large businesses in Africa to set up in tax havens. There's over $20tn stashed in offshore tax havens and Barclays is helping to make this happen. ActionAid. Original archived
  • Feb.2013: Sweet nothings. Taxes pay teachers, train nurses, maintain roads, deliver medicine, provide clean water. But in both developed and developing countries, tax revenues needed to cover the ongoing costs of decent public services are being undermined by the ability of some of the wealthiest taxpayers – including many multinational companies – to effectively opt out of the corporate tax system through a combination of ingenious (and lawful) tax haven transactions, and huge tax concessions awarded by govts themselves. This report examines the tax practices of one of the world’s largest food multinationals, Associated British Foods, in one of the most impoverished places in which it operates. The investigation found that ABF’s Zambian subsidiary uses an array of transactions that have seen over 33% of pre-tax profits – over $13.8m a year – paid out of Zambia, into and via tax haven sister companies in Ireland, Mauritius and the Netherlands. Zambia Sugar is able to send profits back to its parent company, Illovo Sugar Ltd, nearly tax-free by re-shuffling the ownership of the company through a string of Irish, Mauritian and Dutch holding companies, taking advantage of tax treaty loopholes and tax haven regimes to cancel tax on its dividend payments. ActionAid.