I just wanted to post a new article I received from the google sudan group. It just made me so mad. How can news outlets get away with making things up like this?
While I don’t think the presence of foreign NGOs in Sudan is ideal and in some ways, their expulsion might (with a lot of luck!) bring greater opportunities for Sudanese NGOs, the recent depiction of organizations such as Oxfam and Save the Children as “the bad guys” is just unfair. I am sick of hearing about they “were doing bad things” in Darfur. That is simply not the case. Why do people believe it?
Anyhow, I thought this was interesting, if a little sad…
First, here is the (made up) news from the Sudan Media Centre:
Oxfam Welcomes Sudanization of Voluntary Work
The general manager of the UK Oxfam humanitarian agency has welcomed Al-Bashir announcement last week to Sudanize voluntary work in the country. The manager said that they have been working for 30 years to arrive at such an aim to enable and upgrade local non-government humanitarian organizations to improve their performance.
On the other hand, humanitarian Aid commissioner Hassabu Mohammed Abdel-Rahman hailed the performance of foreign aid organizations operating in Sudan, adding that the decision to Sudanize voluntary work in country was greeted with positive understanding by regional states and organizations. He stated that a humanitarian committee had already engaged in arrangements for translating the decision into action.
Hassabu denied allegations that the government pledged to expel more aid organizations rather, he warned that any organization not abiding by Sudan”s laws of voluntary work or violates its mandate would face similar actions.
Now here is Oxfam GB’s response to Sudan Media Centre article
Oxfam GB is concerned that a recent article from Sudan Media Centre, entitled “Oxfam Welcomes Sudanization of Voluntary Work,” misrepresents the organisation’s position. Nobody from Oxfam GB has been contacted in regard to this article.
We remain extremely concerned about the negative impact that the expulsion of Oxfam GB and other organisations from northern Sudan will have on many of the poorest and most vulnerable Sudanese communities. Oxfam GB has been working with 600,000 people across northern Sudan – in Darfur, Red Sea State and Khartoum – who will all be seriously affected. We are appealing the government’s decision.
While Oxfam fully agrees with the need to help build the capacity of Sudanese organisations – and has been working to do so for more than two decades – we believe that international organisations still have a vital role to play in Sudan.
Oxfam GB has worked with Sudanese partners since we began working in Sudan 25 years ago. More than 90% of our 500 staff in northern Sudan are Sudanese. Wherever possible we aim to hand over Oxfam GB programmes to local communities and partners. For example, in Darfur in recent years we have handed over the management of numerous water systems to local communities and organisations, once they have been established. In Red Sea State, we have worked to hand over an Early Warning System to safeguard food security to the local state government. Other Oxfam International affiliates work closely with local partners on a range of development and humanitarian projects across Sudan.
However, such handovers are a gradual process. International NGOs continue to provide an enormous amount of humanitarian and development assistance throughout northern Sudan – benefiting the lives of millions of people. This vital work must not be overlooked.