The British government on Sunday warned one of the nation’s biggest charities Oxfam that it would lose funding if it fails to provide details about aid workers who hired prostitutes during relief operations in quake-hit Haiti in 2011.
Condemning the sexual exploitation, Britain’s Overseas Aid Minister Penny Mordaunt (pictured) said the government would stop $44 million annual funding to Oxfam if it failed to disclose the facts at a meeting in London on Monday.
Mordaunt said Oxfam failed in its moral leadership by not reporting the details of sexual misconduct.
The Charity Commission said on Sunday that Oxfam had a duty to protect its staff and the people they work with and declare any problems it had.
The Times first reported the Haiti case saying Oxfam aid workers paid quake survivors for sexual favours
The sex worker scandal deepened on Sunday after The Observer reported that Oxfam used sex workers in Chad too in a 2011 relief mission.
Oxfam’s chairman of trustees, Caroline Thomson, said the charity will introduce tougher vetting of staff. It will also provide mandatory safeguarding training for new recruits.
The charity condemned the behaviour of some of its former workers in Haiti. Oxfam said it firmly opposed the exploitation and abuse of women and girls.
Oxfam’s own investigation into the allegations had led to the sacking of four people while three others resigned. Among those resigned was Roland Roland van Hauwermeiren who worked as the charity’s country director in Haiti and Chad.
The Observer on Sunday gave a new dimension to the scandal by saying Oxfam aid workers used sex workers in relief operations in Chad too.
Former Oxfam workers said women believed to be prostitutes used to visit Oxfam team house.
Van Hauwermeiren resigned from Oxfam after admitting that prostitutes had visited his villa in Haiti.
Many aid workers feared that any disclosure of what was going on might give the charity a bad name and reduce donations to the most vulnerable.