COVID-19: Oxfam Shuts Offices in 18 Countries, Lays off 1,450 Staffers

COVID-19: Oxfam Shuts Offices in 18 Countries, Lays off 1,450 Staffers

Development charity Oxfam has said that it will phase out physical presence in 18 countries as part of a major restructuring programme due to the Covid-19 pandemic — a move that will result in laying off 1,450 staffers.

The countries where Oxfam will be shutting down offices are Thailand, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Paraguay, Egypt, Tanzania, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Benin, Liberia and Mauritania.

The details were revealed by Oxfam International's Interim Executive Director Chema Vera on Wednesday in an opinion piece in Devex, a media platform for the global development community.

"Like many charities and businesses, the pandemic has hit our finances hard. We've had to close shops, cancel fundraising events and absorb rising costs," he said.

Oxfam East Africa – A mass grave for children in Dadaab. WIkimedia Commons

"Fundraising conditions in many countries are really tough. We need to make significant savings and so we have had to accelerate our change," he added.

The organisation, he said, is facing major restructuring due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is the beginning of our 10-year new strategic vision that will transform Oxfam into a key actor and ally to fight inequalities, power and privilege where it grows," he said.

"Just because we may no longer have an Oxfam office in one country will not mean we cannot work through allies, networks and partnerships to support communities and social movements," Vera added. (IANS)