Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Decision on Oxfam funding will not be rushed, says Penny Mordaunt

Overseas Aid did not fund Oxfam's Haiti campaign The Yorkshire Post says: William Hague's defence of overseas aid. Fallout from the Oxfam scandal
Sammy Stanley | 15 February, 2018, 14:02

The Charity Commission said in a statement it had "engaged with Oxfam on a formal regulatory basis" to address Evans' concerns when she contacted them in 2015.

Some of the charity's aid workers have been accused of hiring prostitutes in the country following the devastating 2010 natural disaster. Maybe the scandal will even trigger a long-overdue debate about the limits of foreign aid.

Concern Worldwide, which raised a "record high income" of €183.5 million in 2016 for overseas projects, said it was now reviewing its safeguarding systems in light of the Oxfam revelations to "maximise their effectiveness".

The watchdog says it has concerns the charity may not have "fully and frankly" disclosed everything it knew about the claims despite previous assurances from Oxfam.

The commission said in a statement that the probe was launched after Oxfam handed over documents related to allegations of inappropriate behavior by staff involved in its 2011 efforts to assist people in Haiti following the devastating 2010 quake. She was then Secretary of State in charge of the Department.

Lawrence, who was program director since 2010, said she was ashamed for what happened in her watch, both in Haiti as in Chad, country in which its missioners also hired those services.

Oxfam investigated sexual misconduct allegations in 2011 and van Hauwermeiren was one of three staff members who resigned while four others were dismissed.

The UK now spends £13bn on aid each year and there have always been calls from some Conservative MPs for cuts to this budget.

Mordaunt had threatened to pull public funding from Oxfam unless the charity revealed everything it knows about the Haiti allegations.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt met with Oxfam bosses to discuss the relationship between the charity and the Government
Oxfam warned over public funding following aid worker scandal

"The legal advice we received in Haiti was that given the nature of the allegations, especially with the continued upheaval and chaos post the natural disaster, it was extremely unlikely that reporting these incidents to the police would lead to any action being taken", said in a statement. "There was an exploration of how should the organization respond but we didn't act on it". "I'm not the kind of person who would have ignored anything like that - why would anyone?"

"The staff members involved did not live up to the standards and expectations outlined in our code of conduct", the charity said.

"Oxfam, and all the charity shops, people trust".

Oxfam's funds have to be cut now - and only they are to blame.

The resignation of Penny Lawrence comes after International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, held crisis talks with Oxfam yesterday.

Too many agencies prefer a neo-colonialist model of setting up offices in situ and of running the whole show as "white saviours", earning large salaries and acting, as one anonymous informant from the Oxfam scandal said, "like small gods".

Criminal record checks, or DBS checks as they're now known, are required for job applicants in roles that are defined as a "regulated activity" in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

Abby Maxman, president of Oxfam America, Monday in a statement that she was "appalled and dismayed" by the revelations but determined to learn from them.

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