Oxfam Ireland is entering formal discussions with GOAL on a potential merger, it has emerged today.
If successful, it would see the organisations coming together under the name Oxfam GOAL.
It is hoped that the merger would create "a global development agency headquartered and rooted in Ireland, delivering a broad programme combining humanitarian and development work with evidence-based advocacy and campaigns".
GOAL and Oxfam Ireland believe a successful merger "would result in greater impact for people in poverty and crisis and increase effectiveness".
Oxfam Ireland chief executive Jim Clarken said: "We are very excited by the prospect of a successful merger.
"GOAL’s action-oriented approach and first responder ethos is core to their DNA and has saved millions of lives.
"Oxfam’s approach of practical action and people-led response, challenging the structures and systems that keep people locked in poverty, has led to real change across the world.
"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."
Commenting on the proposed merger, GOAL general manager, Celine Fitzgerald said: "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.
"Accordingly, both parties have now engaged in a formal process to assess the practicalities and impacts of a merged entity."
Both organisations have long-standing operations in Ireland – Oxfam since the 1950s, while GOAL celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Pending the outcome of formal discussions both organisations will continue to deliver their respective aid programmes whilst also assessing how to combine the best of both organisations to increase the overall reach and impact of resources and programmes.
"As we begin a robust due diligence exercise and examine the possibility of a merger over the coming weeks, I’d like to assure our donors and supporters that we will continue with our life-saving and life-changing work as normal." added Mr Clarken.
"Any partnership with GOAL will retain and respect both of our unique heritages to create a better organisation rooted in the Irish tradition of social justice."