Global News

'Ashamed', Oxfam Haiti ex-director denies sex allegations

'Ashamed', Oxfam Haiti ex-director denies sex allegations

Oxfam has said that a man it dismissed over sexual misconduct allegations in Haiti in 2011 was subsequently hired by the charity as a consultant in Ethiopia later that year.

The scandal has led to the resignation of Oxfam's deputy head and has thrown into question British government funding for the charity, which amounted to around £32 million (36 million euros, $44 million) past year.

Belgium's federal prosecutors said on Thursday they were not aware of any investigation against Van Hauwermeiren.

Oxfam's leaders are accused of trying to cover up the behaviour of some of its senior staff members deployed to Haiti after the devastating 2010 natural disaster.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has stepped down as an ambassador for global charity Oxfam in the wake of a sex scandal that has rocked the organisation.

Oxfam has since faced further allegations prostitutes were also used by staff in Chad in 2006, where Mr van Hauwermeiren was the charity's country chief at the time.

Oxfam would not respond to the remarks Mr van Hauwermeiren's made to Belgian media.

Olympic figure skaters dedicate performance to slain Florida high schoolers
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Mordaunt called the Haiti prostitution allegations "horrifying".

The country's president Jovenel Moise called that a "basic violation of human decency" and nearly 1300 regular donors have cancelled monthly payments in the light of this and further claims about potential abuse at the charity's United Kingdom shops and elsewhere.

He was dismissed yesterday after Oxfam confirmed claims that he was among its former staff members who had been accused of sexual misconduct.

"If they did that in other countries before coming here, then they're probably going to continue to do it here", she says, her frustration and anger undimmed seven years on. She wrote on Twitter that "Haiti wasn't an isolated incident". One of them involved a manager attempting to force a young volunteer to drop charges against an adult male volunteer who allegedly assaulted the person making the complaint.

A scandal over sexual abuse in the foreign aid industry that began with Oxfam spread Wednesday, as French group Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières: MSF) revealed it had fired 19 staff a year ago for harassment or abuse.

Oxfam's deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence has resigned, while the Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into the organisation.

An Oxfam spokeswoman on Wednesday said the aid agency had received 1,270 cancellations of donations by direct debit between Saturday and Monday - compared to a normal monthly average of 600.


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