Health Care

British Government Temporarily Halts New Funding to Aid Group Oxfam

British Government Temporarily Halts New Funding to Aid Group Oxfam

In a series of tweets on Friday, Oxfam laid out other planned reforms, including new funding for safeguarding measures and a crackdown on references issued to former staff. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has resigned from his role as Oxfam ambassador, and Oxfam deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence resigned early this week.

"We are committed to proving that we deserve the confidence of the United Kingdom public", the charity said.

Reports that Oxfam staff members sexually exploited people in crisis zones are "a stain" that shames the charity, the organisation's chief said in an interview broadcast Friday.

UK-based Oxfam, one of the world's biggest disaster relief charities, has neither confirmed nor denied the Haiti allegations but has said an internal investigation in 2011 confirmed unspecified sexual misconduct occurred.

"From the bottom of my heart, I am asking for forgiveness", Byanyima said, adding she wants all victims of abuse to come forward.

"I think (her criticism) was very unbalanced, and ironically didn't give enough credit to the very work that she promoted", he told the paper. "And I did not give her any money", he said, adding that he was however "deeply ashamed" of the liaison.

Speaking to reporters with the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper, who tracked him on the Belgian coast, Van Hauwermeiren said there were "lots of lies and exaggerations" in media reports.

Ethiopian prime minister resigns
But, he has struggled to rise politically above the shadow of Meles who was the nation's prime minister from 1995 to 2012. But protests and violence are continuing in pockets of Ethiopia .

"The hardest thing is that my family has rejected me", he said.

The British charity has faced criticism over the way it handled claims staff hired prostitutes in Haiti in 2011.

He said his government "is willing and getting ready to take legal action against individuals" involved in the scandal - possibly including van Hauwermeiren and members of his staff.

Oxfam said its decision to rehire the man in Ethiopia was a "serious error".

Oxfam sacked four workers and let three others resign over the scandal but the government and charity regulators have criticised Oxfam for a lack of transparency.

They are also setting up a global database of accredited referees to ensure sex offenders can not re-offend at other charities, and improving the organisation's "whistleblowing mechanism".

At home and overseas, we will not stand for any kind of harassment of staff, partners, volunteers or those we serve and we are doubling the number of people who work on safeguarding to make sure we are living up to our responsibility to protect them.


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