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Wed, 3 June 2020

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Oxfam barred from bidding for Government funding after sex scandal rocks charity

Oxfam barred from bidding for Government funding after sex scandal rocks charity
2 min read

Oxfam has been barred from bidding for taxpayers' money for the foreseeable future after allegations of improper sexual behaviour rocked public confidence in the charity.

The beleaguered aid agency is under scrutiny after a series of allegations about its staff using prostitutes in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.

Penny Mordaunt, International Development Secretary said Oxfam would not receive any more public funding until ministers were "satisfied that they can meet the high standards we expect".

She continued: “In taking these actions I am very aware that there are hundreds of good, brave and compassionate people working for Oxfam around the world. They have been poorly served by Oxfam’s leadership team too. 

“Clearly Oxfam have a long way to go before they can regain the trust of the British public, their staff and the people they aim to help. The actions and attitude of the organisation over the coming weeks will be critical.

“The UK will continue to take all necessary action and it is vital now that the whole aid sector – from UK-based charities working overseas, to the UN, to other donor countries – step up and demonstrate the leadership required."

Oxfam’s suspension from the bidding process could put a serious dent in their funding.

The anti-poverty charity receives just over £30m in funding every year from the UK government.

So far deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence has resigned, and chief executive Mark Goldring has faced calls to step down throughout the week.

But Mr Goldring suggested the charity was being unfairly treated, telling The Guardian: "The intensity and the ferocity of the attack makes you wonder, what did we do?

"We murdered babies in their cots? Certainly, the scale and the intensity of the attacks feels out of proportion to the level of culpability. I struggle to understand it. You think, ‘My God, there’s something going on there.’"


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