Nine African nations are on the list of 18 countries where international NGO Oxfam will be phasing out its operations as part of a reorganization announced this week.
Egypt, Tanzania, Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda, along with Sierra Leone, Benin, Liberia and Mauritania, will see an end to Oxfam humanitarian aid programs. People in Senegal and Kenya will see new affiliate partnerships emerge in their countries as part of the restructuring of the British-based group’s global reach.
The changes will affect around 1,450 out of nearly 5,000 program staff, and 700 out of nearly 1900 partner organizations. Oxfam says it will honor existing commitments to its partners and donors.
“Looking strategically at where and how we operate is the essential first step in ensuring that Oxfam can continue to make the best possible contribution to fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice, and to influence for change as effectively as possible,” said interim executive director Chema Vera.
He has held the position since former director Winnie Byanyima, who took the helm amid controversy at Oxfam, announced she was moving to UNICEF in October. Vera said Oxfam was planning the changes but moved forward more rapidly in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In some countries, Oxfam will have a deeper footprint as we focus our program resources and strengthen our local partnerships to maximize impact. In others we will focus more strongly on our humanitarian or influencing goals,” Vera added. “Inevitably, we have had to make some very difficult choices about where we will no longer have a physical presence.”
Image: Oxfam file