PORT-AU-PRINCE , Haiti – Haiti’s president has condemned the “serious violation of human dignity” by Oxfam following the sex allegations against aid workers in the country.
The charity has issued an “unreserved apology” to the Government, donors, supporters and the people of Haiti over its handling of incidents including the alleged use of prostitutes by workers, in the earthquake-hit country in 2011. Haitian president
said: “What happened is an extremely serious violation of human dignity.
“This case is all the more odious because the funds which financed these crimes were obtained from the British people in a spirit of altruism and solidarity towards the Haitian people.
“Let it be clear to all of Haiti’s international partners, if their personnel exploit or do wrong to our citizens when they are supposed to be ‘aiding’ them, we will not be inclined to tolerate it and we will not tolerate it.”
Oxfam’s leaders in Haiti are expected to be called in for crisis talks with Moise’s government as it considers its response.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said she was taking the issue “very seriously” but would not rush into deciding on whether to pull government funding from the charity.
The charity received £31.7 million from the UK Government in 2016/17, but the support has been put at risk by the scandal, which led to the resignation of its deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Oxfam International has been arrested as part of a corruption probe in Guatemala.
Juan Alberto Fuentes Knight, a former finance minister in the country, was detained along with former president Alvaro Colom as part of an investigation into a public bus deal.
Oxfam International’s executive director Winnie Byanyima said: “Oxfam does not yet know the nature of formal charges, if any, against Dr Fuentes Knight.
“He has assured us that he has co-operated fully with the investigation in the confidence he did not knowingly transgress rules or procedures.”