Lawmakers to question Oxfam on handling of abuse scandal


The head of Oxfam Mark Goldring Tuesday has apologized to British MPs for acts of sexual harassment and misconduct committed by staff following the Haiti quake in 2010, during questioning by the International Development Committee on Tuesday. "My first concern is the women of Haiti and anybody else who has been wronged as a result of Oxfam's program".

Stephen Twigg, chair of the global aid committee hearing the testimony Tuesday, was blunt in his assessment.

Allegations of sexual misconduct have shaken the aid sector, with Haiti's president calling for investigations of other groups.

An internal Oxfam investigation from 2011, published this week, confirmed seven of the charity's staff members were accused of using prostitutes at a residence in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

The 2011 report into aid workers deployed to Haiti following the devastating quake the previous year, revealed that seven staff were accused of using prostitutes at an Oxfam-funded residence.

In a grueling testimony, the Oxfam chief also revealed that 7,000 people had canceled regular donations to Oxfam in the wake of the sex scandal.

Oxfam CEO Mark Goldring apologised "wholeheartedly" on behalf of Oxfam for the sexual misconduct scandal.

The charity formally apologised to Haiti yesterday over the prostitution scandal rocking the aid charity.

Goldring has faced personal criticism after he was quoted in Saturday's Guardian newspaper as saying: "The intensity and ferocity of the attacks makes you wonder, what did we do? I hope I have led Oxfam competently, but that's for others to decide".

The report says that none of the initial allegations of fraud, nepotism or use of under-aged prostitutes was substantiated during the investigation, but also says: "It can not be ruled out that any of the prostitutes were under-aged".

While the report confirms Oxfam's previous statements that allegations of workers having sex with minors weren't substantiated, it goes on to say that "it can not be ruled out that any of the prostitutes were under-aged".

Representatives from Save the Children and the Department for International Development will also be quizzed.

Miss Mordaunt said: 'Oxfam has agreed to withdraw from bidding for any new UK Government funding until DFID is satisfied that they can meet the high standards we expect of our partners. 'I went into my room I was starting to undress and go to sleep and he just walked in, shoved me on the bed, tried to rip my clothes, ' she said. "However difficult it is to meet the demands of transparency, and however hard it is to confront mistakes of the past, we believe that ultimately, this will help us take meaningful action and become more effective in our mission to tackle poverty and help people hit by disaster".

Simon Ticehurst and Margalida Massot, two of Oxfam's senior staff, met with Haiti's minister of planning and external cooperation on Monday to offer their "humblest apologies".