The Latest: Oxfam deputy executive resigns in Haiti scandal
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the sexual misconduct scandal involving the charity firm Oxfam (all times local):
Oxfam’s deputy chief executive has resigned, saying she took “full responsibility” for failing to act immediately in the sexual misconduct scandal involving the charity’s workers in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.
Penny Lawrence, Oxfam program director at the time of the misconduct, says she is “ashamed that this happened on my watch.” Lawrence says allegations were first raised about the behavior of some Oxfam staff in an earlier mission.
She says “It is now clear that these allegations — involving the use of prostitutes and which related to behavior of both the country director and members of his team in Chad — were raised before he moved to Haiti.”
Oxfam has apologized unreservedly about the conduct of seven of its employees but denied that it attempted to cover up the scandal.
Oxfam officials are set to meet with Britain’s international development secretary in a bid to retain government funding amid a deepening scandal over sexual misconduct by the charity’s workers in Haiti.
Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is demanding that Oxfam show moral accountability and provide full disclosure about the case. On Sunday she threatened to pull public funding from Oxfam unless the charity reveals everything it knows about allegations that some of staff used prostitutes, some of whom were minors, while working in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country.
Oxfam has apologized unreservedly, but denied that it attempted to cover up the scandal.
Former International Development Secretary Priti Patel has said there is a “culture of denial” about exploitation and sexual abuse in the aid sector.