The government’s decision to refuse renewal of its Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) license needed to receive funding from abroad, says Oxfam India. It will severely affect ongoing humanitarian and social work in 16 states across the country.
Oxfam India, in an official statement, said that as per the list released by the Ministry of Home Affairs on January 1, 2022, Oxfam India’s FCRA registration renewal request has been denied. “This means that Oxfam India will not be able to receive foreign funds for any of its work in India.”
Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India, said the organization has been working in public interest with the government, communities and frontline workers in the country for decades. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oxfam India joined hands with health departments, district administrations and ASHA workers across the nation to provide life-saving equipment and support,” he said. “We are also working with various state governments to ensure bridging of the learning gap in school education due to COVID-19.”
Behar highlighted that Oxfam India has worked to enhance women’s livelihood 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 lasting solution.”
The executive believes that the Ministry of Home Affairs’ decision to deny renewal of FCRA registration will severely hamper these collaborations which were providing relief to those who needed it the most during times of crisis.
Oxfam India’s humanitarian team has been one of the first to respond to natural disasters – cyclones, floods, landslides and earthquakes in the country. In 2021, the organization reached out to over 8,000 people in Assam, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
And noteworthy is its Mission Sanjeevani which was one of the largest among NGOs in India to stem the spread of COVID-19. Oxfam India provided six oxygen generating plants and distributed over 13,388 lifesaving medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders, BiPAP machines, concentrators and ventilators, over 116,957 safety and PPE kits, over 9929 diagnostic equipment such as thermometers and oximeters and 20,000 testing kits in 16 states. Oxfam India reached out to over 141 district-level hospitals, 171 Primary Health Centres and 167 Community Health Centres.
The FCRA license of over 5,000 entities, including Indian Medical Association, Jamia Milia Islamia and the Indian Institute of Public Administration, has ceased.