Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Head of Oxfam apologizes to UK MPs over scandal

Head of Oxfam apologizes to UK MPs over scandal

The Prime Minister spoke out about the sex scandal engulfing the charity after it released an internal report into alleged abuse by aid workers in Haiti in the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster in 2010.

Kevin Watkins, the chief executive, told the global development select committee that the misconduct cases in 120 countries led to 30 dismissals.

"There have been 26 new cases put in our knowledge", he assured.

The move is a huge blow to Oxfam, which past year received around £30million from the Government, and will pile pressure on its beleaguered Mr Goldring.

Goldring also apologized for his comments on playing down the seriousness of the scandal.

"I wholeheartedly apologise for those comments and commit to work in that greater public interest so that Oxfam can make a powerful role in the world that we all believe in", he said. I was under stress, I'd given many interviews, I'd made many decisions to try to lead Oxfam's response to this. "It is not for Oxfam to judge issues of proportionality or motivation", he said.

"The hard thing to know in these circumstances is whether you're catching the tip of the iceberg or whether you're catching the iceberg itself", Watkins said.

The NGO launched safeguard mechanisms following internal research conducted in 2011 - which did not see public light until Times picked it up earlier this month - but Goldring has recognized that it has not been ambitious enough.

Local media also revealed that 7,000 people had canceled their donations to Oxfam in the week that revealed staff had sexually exploited victims in Haiti.

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Goldring has recognized that unfortunate proceeding in that NGO program, which has nearly 10,000 employees working in more than 90 countries, has harmed entire humanitarian community, as well as Haitian population itself.

He revealed that 7,000 individuals had cancelled direct debits to the charity in the last 10 days, and said that of the 26 cases reported, 16 had taken place in Oxfam's worldwide programmes.

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam's worldwide executive director, said she was ashamed. This is an urgent session convened by Committee on International Development, following information published by Times.

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

Yesterday he repeated his apology for Oxfam's failings and agreed that major reforms were needed.

Calling for Mr Goldring to step down, Tory MP and aid critic Andrew Bridgen said: 'He needs to resign.

He told the panel that the charity had at the time did not describe what had happened in explicit terms, saying: "They didn't describe the sexual misconduct and didn't describe the use of prostitutes".

"If we were culpable, which we were, they should have been completely transparent", he told the committee.

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