BOSTON—International aid agency Oxfam America announced today that it will stop raising NEW funds for survivors of the tsunami and earthquake in southern Asia.
In little more than a month, the agency has raised more than $30 million from Americans for its tsunami relief and rebuilding efforts. Globally, Oxfam International has raised over $225 million. Oxfam is already providing clean water and sanitation, food, temporary shelter, and other relief aid to more than 300,000 survivors and is rapidly scaling up to help at least 600,000 people in the region. In addition to the immediate relief, work is underway to help rebuild and strengthen communities over the next five years.
"Oxfam America is tremendously honored and grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from the American people," said its President, Raymond C. Offenheiser. "Because of their generous response, we believe we will have sufficient funds not only for our immediate response but also for our long-term recovery and rehabilitation efforts."
He pointed out that many of the most pressing long-term needs involve rebuilding roads, bridges, hotels, and other large infrastructure projects-tasks better suited to governments, international institutions and private contractors.
Oxfam will stick to its time-tested approach: working with local partners to save lives and rebuild communities, promoting sustainable livelihoods to ensure that survivors do not return to poverty, and working on disaster preparedness to help communities cope better with future catastrophic events.
While Oxfam will continue to accept tsunami donations in process, the agency is encouraging others to support its work elsewhere in the world.
Offenheiser said, "Donations to our Global Emergencies Fund will help people in crisis where aid is needed most. For example, nearly two million people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the conflict in Darfur, Sudan. Oxfam is currently helping nearly 700,000 people with shelter, clean drinking water and sanitation. In addition, over 7 million people are in critical need of food in Ethiopia."
Offenheiser continued, "Outside of the disasters that make the headlines, Oxfam addresses the ongoing, extreme poverty that makes every day an emergency for far too many. In the wake of this historic emergency, we invite you to support Oxfam's work to overcome poverty."