Haiti's president Jovenel Moise hits out at Oxfam abuse scandal


The prostitution scandal engulfing worldwide aid charity Oxfam is a symptom of a "global problem" in the aid industry, a former senior United Nations aid worker says.

The UK's charity watchdog has launched a statutory inquiry to look into claims by The Times that Oxfam tried to cover up the findings of an internal investigation that found that aid workers had held sex parties with girls during the humanitarian relief mission.

The actress added later on Twitter that she was "devastated by the response" of Oxfam which she had been "raising awareness for since I was nine years old".

In a tweet, she said: "All I can tell you about this bad revelation about Oxfam is that I am devastated".

However, she added that the "abhorrent mistakes of a troubling organization" would not stop her in her charity work.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is due to give a speech on Wednesday threatening to cut government funding to charities who fail to put robust safeguarding measures in place.

Evans, who was in charge of investigating allegations against Oxfam staff members between 2012 and 2015, told Britain's Channel 4 television that abuse cases she had heard of included a woman who had been coerced into having sex in exchange for aid.

"We are very serious about it and we believe an example has to be set", he said.

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Mercado said the organization welcomes the scrutiny and Oxfam treats this as a wake-up call to improve in their work.

Another involved an assault on a teenage volunteer by a staff member in a charity shop in Britain, she said.

Roland van Hauwermeiren, a 68-year-old native Belgian, became the center of global embarrassment for Oxfam after reports in the last week surfaced allegations of orgies with sex workers in Haiti after its natural disaster and hiring prostitutes in war-torn Chad.

Jane Salmondson, chief executive of Scotland's International Development Alliance, said that while recognising that recruitment in disaster settings is particularly hard to conduct, she welcomed action being taken by humanitarian agencies to improve vetting procedures. But when it is perpetrated by people in positions of power, people we entrust to help and protect, it rightly sickens and disgusts.

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

"We expect Oxfam to fully clarify the allegations with maximum transparency as a matter of urgency, and we're ready to review and, if needed, cease funding to any partner who is not living up to the required high ethical standards", spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.

"They knew what happened and they even said one of the reasons they did not report to the Haitian authorities is that they believed nothing would have been been done", he said.