Government’s refusal of FCRA will hamper humanitarian work during Covid: Oxfam India

A day after the Home Office (MHA) refused to renew Oxfam India’s registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), the organization said the action would hamper its work humanitarian aid in 16 states, including the establishment of oxygen factories. and other Covid relief work.

“The Indian government’s decision to deny the renewal of Oxfam India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration will seriously affect the organization’s ongoing critical humanitarian and social work in 16 states across the country. This includes setting up oxygen factories, providing vital medical and diagnostic equipment such as oxygen cylinders and ventilators, and delivering food to the most vulnerable communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Oxfam said in a statement.

On December 31, 2021 at midnight, the FCRA registration of Oxfam India with 5,932 other NGOs lapsed. MHA sources said that while 5,789 of these NGOs did not request renewals, the others’ requests were rejected due to “various irregularities.” Oxfam India and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) were among these NGOs.

“Oxfam India has been working in the public interest with the country’s government, communities and frontline workers for decades now. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Oxfam India joined with health departments, district administrations and ASHA workers across the country to provide life-saving equipment and support. We are also working with various state governments to bridge the learning gap in school education caused by Covid-19, ”said Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India.

“We have worked to improve women’s livelihoods and worked with forest dwellers to ensure that they are not denied their rights. We have worked in some of the most flood prone districts to make communities resilient and provide a sustainable solution. The decision of the Ministry of the Interior to refuse the renewal of the FCRA’s registration will seriously hamper these collaborations which relieved those who needed it most in times of crisis, ”he added.

Behar, however, said the ministry’s actions would not “undermine Oxfam India’s commitment to serving vulnerable communities in the country and upholding the values ​​enshrined in the Indian Constitution.” “Oxfam India will contact MHA and urge it to lift funding restrictions to ensure that vulnerable communities continue to receive the support they need during this critical time of the pandemic,” Behar said.

According to Oxfam, as part of its Mission Sanjeevani initiative, Oxfam India has provided six oxygen power plants and distributed more than 13,388 life-saving medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders, BiPAP machines, concentrators and ventilators. , over 116,957 safety and PPE kits, over 9,929 diagnostic equipment such as thermometers and oximeters, and 20,000 test kits in 16 states.

“We have reached over 141 district hospitals, 171 primary health centers and 167 community health centers,” he said.

He said he trained and provided safety kits to more than 48,000 ASHA workers in nine states and distributed food rations to more than 5.76 lakh people. He also claimed to have made money transfers to more than 10,000 people to the tune of Rs 3.53 crore to help them meet their immediate needs during the pandemic.

“Since March 2020, Oxfam India has been at the forefront whenever Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on NGOs and civil society to join the fight against Covid-19 by helping the government to strengthen health services and accelerate the pace of the vaccination campaign. The Supreme Court also recognized the contribution of NGOs in providing relief during the pandemic, ”said Oxfam India.

The organization said that apart from that, it has worked extensively with tribal communities, educating girls and helping people during natural disasters such as cyclones, floods and landslides.

Citing its long heritage, the organization said: “While Oxfam India became a fully Indian organization in 2008 with prominent Indian citizens as board members, Oxfam had been working in India since 1951. During these Seven decades, the organization has always supported Indians. laws, propagated the constitutional values ​​of the country and worked tirelessly for the Indian people.

The organization first arrived in India in 1951 to help with famine in Bihar. Since then he has been involved in the Amul cooperative movement, helped recruit doctors and medical students to provide medical assistance to refugees from East Pakistan to India in 1971, provided crucial relief supplies communities on the Indian side of the border during the Kargil War and provided relief and rehabilitation during the tsunami.

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