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Oxfam Warned It Could Lose Millions in Funding Over Sex Crimes Scandal
Oxfam Warned It Could Lose Millions in Funding Over Sex Crimes Scandal

Oxfam Warned It Could Lose Millions in Funding Over Sex Crimes Scandal

Oxfam Warned It Could Lose Millions in Funding Over Sex Crimes Scandal

Senior leaders of British aid organization Oxfam met UK government officials on Monday amid warnings it could lose public funding over allegations its staff hired prostitutes in Haiti.

Oxfam’s leaders are also accused of trying to cover up sex crimes by some of its senior staff members, deployed to Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people, CNN reported.

The aid workers—including the Oxfam country director at the time, Roland van Hauwermeiren—were accused of turning a villa rented by the organization into a makeshift brothel, with prostitutes wearing only Oxfam T-shirts.

The Times newspaper in London made the allegations in an investigation published in recent days.

Oxfam received about £32 million (about $44 million) from the government last financial year, according to public records.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt warned Sunday that Oxfam could lose millions of pounds in public funding because of the scandal.

A Downing Street spokesman said Monday that the British government had taken action to enforce a “zero-tolerance approach” to allegations of “horrific behavior” by Oxfam staff. He gave no details on what the actions were.

Oxfam could also face legal action in Haiti. The country is considering pursuing criminal charges, the Haitian chief of mission to the UK, Bocchit Edmond, told CNN on Monday. Edmond said that Oxfam representatives in Haiti would be summoned by the Foreign Ministry.

“We will look at the issue, and hopefully there will be sharing of information, and then I believe there are some grounds for legal actions.”

 

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