Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Haiti's President condemns Oxfam over sex scandal

Haiti's President condemns Oxfam over sex scandal

Aid group Doctors Without Borders on Wednesday said it had acted on 24 cases of harassment or sexual abuse previous year as British charity Oxfam faces a storm over its handling of a sex scandal.

Oxfam's deputy chief executive, Penny Lawrence, resigned this week and the charity was warned that it could lose £30 million of government funding unless it can prove it is adequately tackling claims men have use the organisation as a cover for sexual abuse.

"Charities and dedicated, hard-working aid workers undertake vital, lifesaving work in some of the most hard circumstances across the world", the commission's deputy chief executive David Holdsworth said.

The British actress has worked with Oxfam for over 20 years and has traveled to Cambodia and Thailand to raise awareness in her ambassadorial role for the charity.

"I am nothing short of horrified by the allegations against Oxfam International", the Good Will Hunting actress wrote in a statement to The Telegraph.

British Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has threatened to pull funding from Oxfam Great Britain if it doesn't reveal everything it knows about the Haiti allegations.

Oxfam has been battling accusations it covered up allegations about the use of prostitutes by staff members in Haiti and admitted it could have been more transparent with regulators.

At a conference in Stockholm on Wednesday Ms Mordaunt warned: "No organisation is too big, or our work with them too complex, for me to hesitate to remove funding from them if we can not trust them to put the beneficiaries of aid first".

"It gives us more pressure to push for changes that we want to happen in Oxfam to become much better organization", she said.

A leaked document from the Times shows that Haiti's national director and senior Oxfam workers paid local prostitutes for sex, some of them underage girls. "It's a pretty huge story and is very shocking and horrifying to everybody involved, including of course Oxfam staff who work tirelessly on issues of women's rights and gender equality", Ms. Delahanty said in an interview.

It has been accused by a British charity watchdog, which launched an inquiry, of failing to disclose the full details.

Ms Mordaunt is expected to say: "The sexual exploitation of vulnerable people, vulnerable children, is never acceptable".

The scandal broke last week with a report in The London Times.

She also said her department had created a new safeguarding unit to urgently look into how we can stop sexual abusers and predators being reemployed by charities. But when it is perpetrated by people in positions of power, people we entrust to help and protect, it rightly sickens and disgusts.

Several sponsors and partners of Oxfam including retail chain Marks & Spencer and Visa have also said they are examining the situation.

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