Oxfam funding at risk as charity accused of lying in Haiti scandal

12 February, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Alicia Barber
  • Person organising aids to be sent to Haiti

She has written to all organisations funded by her department, telling them to report any safeguarding issues. Among the provisions is a pledge to work with other aid organizations to overcome "the legal difficulties which have so far prevented us from sharing intelligence" with other aid agencies regarding staff members previously accused of misconduct.

Oxfam has defended its handling of a sex workers scandal after allegations that staff hired prostitutes during their work in Haiti following the devastating 2010 natural disaster.

An Oxfam report on the investigation stated there had been no allegations of abuse of beneficiaries and made no mention of any potential sexual crimes involving minors.

He added: "If we can be part of helping with references or cross-checking then we'll play an active part in that because I've seen the unbelievable work that Oxfam is doing in the Congo, Syria, in Bangladesh, Yemen, in places other people simply won't go".

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Oxfam said Friday the behaviour in Haiti was "totally unacceptable, contrary to our values and the high standards we expect of our staff".

Former Oxfam staff in Chad told the paper that "women believed to be prostitutes were repeatedly invited to the Oxfam team house there", and a senior staff member was sacked for his behaviour in 2006.

Speaking about the allegations, she said: "I think it's a complete betrayal of both the people Oxfam were there to help and also the people that sent them there to do that job".

The British Red Cross said a "small number of cases of harassment" had been reported in the UK.

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The Charity Commission took no further action at the time but says it would have acted differently had it known all the facts.

Britain has warned Oxfam that it may lose government funding if the anti-poverty charity doesn't hand over all the information it has about a sexual misconduct scandal in Haiti by some of its aid workers.

The Chad mission was led by Roland van Hauwermeiren, who resigned in 2011 after he admitted prostitutes had visited his villa in Haiti during the humanitarian mission to the country after the 2010 natural disaster.

Andrew Mitchell has strenuously denied he was aware of any misconduct at Oxfam when he was in charge of the Department for International Development.

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