Decision on Oxfam funding will not be rushed, says Penny Mordaunt

Decision on Oxfam funding will not be rushed, says Penny Mordaunt

Decision on Oxfam funding will not be rushed, says Penny Mordaunt

Winnie Byanyima, who became executive director of Oxfam International in 2013, said she was saddened by what took place in 2010 and that it could not happen under systems and rules put in place since.

"It is utterly despicable that sexual exploitation and abuse continues to exist in the aid sector", Mordaunt said in her overnight statement.

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.

The resignation of Penny Lawrence came after days of crisis at the charity triggered by a report in the Times newspaper alleging that some staff had paid for sex with prostitutes in Haiti in 2011, during humanitarian relief efforts after an natural disaster.

But like the Charity Commission, Ms Mordaunt is also keen to show that she is acting, by promising a new unit in her department to establish a global register of aid workers that might be able to stop predatory individuals being re-employed by charities.

Oxfam has denied trying to cover up the use of prostitutes by staff in Haiti and has announced measures to try to improve safeguarding at the charity. The charity confirmed it had dismissed four people and allowed three others to resign in the case after an investigation uncovered offences including sexual misconduct, bullying, intimidation and failure to protect staff.

She then went to the Charity Commission with the allegations which, she says, didn't repond.

"We've made very clear that had the details of what has come out over the last few days been told to us, we would have dealt with this very differently", said Michelle Russell, the Charity Commission's director of investigations.

The UK Times also reported that Oxfam had already heard reports on the conduct of Mr. van Hauwermeiren in Chad, before they gave him a senior role in Haiti.

Ms Evans said staff had been accused of rape and that sexual abuse by shop managers in United Kingdom stores against young volunteers was covered up.

Priti Patel, an aid critic despite being Mordaunt's predecessor as worldwide development minister, said the Haiti incidents were just "the tip of the iceberg" and there was a "culture of denial" in the sector.

Oxfam receives £32m (€36m) in public funding from the British Government.

"Sexual abuse is a blight on society and Oxfam is not immune", Thomson said.

Oxfam was hit with more allegations on Sunday that its staff had also exploited vulnerable women in Chad.

Oxfam Ireland described the staff's behaviour as "totally unacceptable" and "contrary to our values" and said the Irish charity held a "zero-tolerance approach to sexual misconduct and will not stand for any kind of harassment of staff, partners, volunteers or those we serve".

European Union officials, who granted the charity almost £47m previous year through various funding streams, are considering cutting their award in the wake of the allegations while the Department for International Development is sizing up its response and considering its options, it said. We fully support them in this and will work to ensure the whole sector is strengthened as a result.

It said in a statement: "We often work with organisations in chaotic and hard circumstances".

A decision on whether to withdraw public funding from Oxfam over the aid worker sex scandal will not be taken hastily, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has said.

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