Belgian man at the centre of the Oxfam scandal denies allegations
Feb 17 2018
The scandal has led to the resignation of Oxfam's deputy head and has thrown into question government funding for the charity, which amounted to around £32 million (36 million euros, $44 million) a year ago.
"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", said Oxfam Great Britain's deputy chief executive, Penny Lawrence, in a February 12 statement announcing her resignation.
That men could be exploiting some of the most vulnerable people in the poorest country in the Americas, all the while being paid to advocate for their wellbeing, is a hypocrisy not lost on Josefine [a onetime Oxford employee who made an accusation against Van Hauwermeiren]. What angers her most though, is that it appears allegations of misconduct about the men had been raised before they even arrived in Haiti.
But she said her name remained on the charity's website because she wanted to show gratitude and support for what they try to do.
The letter also dealt with allegations about his conduct in earlier operations: In Liberia in 2004, he acknowledged, he was sacked after attending a party where two prostitutes were present although he said he had only "danced and flirted" with them.
In an Instagram post, the activist, who is married to actor Colin Firth, said she was no longer an active ambassador for the charity.
He said rumours of aid staff paying for sex in Chad in 2006 were "complete nonsense".
Swedish former aid worker Amira Malik Miller told the humanitarian news agency IRIN that she had made a complaint about him in 2004 when she was working alongside him in Liberia.
But with Oxfam under fire in recent days over sexual misconduct accusations in Haiti and Chad that threaten the group's United Kingdom government and European Union funding, two other humanitarian groups on Tuesday produced numbers when asked again.
The singer said he found the sex abuse claims "disgusting and heartbreaking", adding that he was "disassociating" himself from Oxfam "immediately".
Out of 50,000 staff and volunteers, the Christian development agency said it recorded four cases of workplace sexual harassment. According to The Telegraph, there were 12 allegations of abuse over two years. Also, those who supported them in good faith.
Ten per cent of staff in some countries had been sexually assaulted by colleagues or witnessed abuse, she added.
Former Deputy Chief Executive Penny Lawrence also resigned on Monday as the scandal continued to grow. More than a thousand people have cancelled direct-debit donations to the organization since the scandal erupted.