“Oxfam is a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty,” according to the group’s mission statement. “We help people build better futures for themselves, hold the powerful accountable, and save lives in disasters. Our mission is to tackle the root causes of poverty and create lasting solutions.”
The non-profit has traditionally been active in places such as Ethiopia, Chad, Bolivia, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Burundi and Pakistan. It now can add the US to its list.
Oxfam is helping the 3.4M Americans living in Puerto Rico who are struggling to survive the carnage left in the wake of Hurricane Maria that walloped the island on Sept. 20, washing out roads and destroying the electrical grid.
Though Oxfam rarely intervenes in the humanitarian crises of wealthy countries, it moved into Puerto Rico due to the Trump Administration’s lackluster relief efforts there.
“Oxfam has monitored the response in Puerto Rico closely, and we are outraged at the slow and inadequate response the US Government has mounted,” said Abby Maxman, Oxfam Americas president.
Oxfam plans to work with Puerto Rican leaders to pressure Congress and federal agencies for “better, faster and more inclusive response to the crisis” and provide resources and technical support to those working on the front lines of the recovery effort.
Meanwhile, President Trump visited Puerto Rico yesterday as a continuation of his "tragedy tour" and largely patted himself on the back for a job well-done. Or as he modestly put it: “The job being done here is really nothing short of a miracle.”
Though Trump said the visit was “not about me,” he praised local officials who offered kind words for his administration, according to the Associated Press. Trump singled out Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello for “giving us the highest praise.”
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, Trump’s most prominent critic, expressed hope that Trump would stop “spouting out comments that really hurt the people of Puerto Rico.”
Her one positive from the Trump visit: “I saw a real connection between the reality and the White House staff.”
Sadly, our president doesn’t do the reality thing. America is lucky that Oxfam does.