Oxfam will not bid for more taxpayer money

Lynette PayneFeb 18, 2018

Executive director Winnie Byanyima said she is appointing an independent commission to investigate the allegations that staff members used prostitutes in earthquake-ravaged Haiti and possibly other crisis areas. Van Hauwermeiren denies the claims, stating that he had "intimate relations" with a woman who was not a sex worker. "I want them to come forward and for justice to be done for them", she told the BBC.

She said hundreds of "good, fearless and compassionate" Oxfam staff had been poorly served by the leadership, adding: "Clearly Oxfam have a long way to go before they can regain the trust of the British public, their staff and the people they aim to help".

The new plan comes a week after revelations that Oxfam staff used prostitutes while working on the aid operation following Haiti's devastating 2010 natural disaster.

On Thursday a new allegation came to light that a worker fired by Oxfam over sexual misconduct allegations in Haiti was rehired later the same year by the charity.

Meanwhile, the British global development secretary said Oxfam had agreed to withdraw from bidding for any new United Kingdom government funding until government officials are satisfied the charity "can meet the high standards we expect of our partners".

Oxfam ambassador and British actress Minnie Driver (among others) resigned, following sexual-misconduct allegations.

"I am not ideal, I am not a saint - a man of flesh and blood and have made mistakes (not easy to admit), and I am deeply ashamed", he wrote. "It was, in my opinion, a mature honourable lady, not an quake victim and no prostitute, whom I met since I supported her young sister and very young mother with diapers and powdered milk".

As we reported earlier, the scandal has led to calls in the United Kingdom and European Union to cut funding for Oxfam, which gets almost $85 million annually from those sources.

Similar accusations emerged after van Hauwermeiren and his team were reassigned to Haiti following the devastating 2010 quake there.

"I have never been into a brothel, a nightclub or a bar in that country", the 68-year-old Belgian national said in a four-page letter published on the website of Belgian VTM News.

Haiti's president described the recent disclosures as "disheartening" since the British people gave money to help Haiti recover from the quake "with altruistic intent".

"The hardest thing is that my family has rejected me", he said.

As a result of the revelation, the charity has faced staunch criticism from the British government and the Haitian president.

"We need to make sure anyone guilty of such gross misconduct is not able to move between different organisations, exposing more vulnerable people to risk", said Byanyima.

It filed a serious incident report at the time, however the Charity Commission has said that Oxfam withheld the seriousness of the allegations against its staff from the regulator.

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