Oxfam savages Trump on his "continued failure" to help Puerto Rico

Oxfam doesn't normally get involved with "wealthy countries," but Trump's slow response has forced its hand

Published October 3, 2017 1:46PM (EDT)

A car drives under tilted power line poles in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Humacao, Puerto Rico. (Getty/Ricardo Arduengo)
A car drives under tilted power line poles in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Humacao, Puerto Rico. (Getty/Ricardo Arduengo)

Oxfam, a global organization dedicated to ending "the injustice of poverty," notes that it rarely responds to humanitarian crises in the U.S. and "other wealthy countries." Yet it seems that President Donald Trump's slow and insufficient response to the aftermath of the hurricane in Puerto Rico has forced its hand. In a statement released today, the organization said it is "outraged" by Trump and his administration's reaction to the ongoing situation on the U.S. island.

"Clean water, food, fuel, electricity, and health care are in desperately short supply and quickly dwindling, and we’re hearing excuses and criticism from the administration instead of a cohesive and compassionate response," Oxfam's statement read.

Trump is in Puerto Rico today, two weeks after the hurricane first ripped through the island and after a series of tweets criticizing local leadership efforts in San Juan.

"The US has more than enough resources to mobilize an emergency response but has failed to do so in a swift and robust manner," the statement continued. "Oxfam rarely responds to humanitarian emergencies in the US and other wealthy countries, but as the situation in Puerto Rico worsens and the federal government’s response continues to falter, Oxfam has decided to step in to lend our expertise in dealing with some of the world’s most catastrophic disasters."

Oxfam said it will partner with "Puerto Rican leaders to appeal to Congress and other federal agencies in Washington to dedicate resources to the response and remove barriers that are keeping aid out." The statement said that policy makers must address the ways that "inequality" and "climate change" are connected to the ongoing crisis and response. Oxfam said it will also work with local leaders to help meet the immediate needs of the people in Puerto Rico, such as assisting with clean water, disease prevention and housing.

By Rachel Leah

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