Thousands cancel Oxfam donations as charity boss reveals 26 new sex scandal cases

Posted On: 
20th February 2018

Oxfam are investigating 26 new allegations relating to the Haiti sex scandal, while thousands of donors have pulled their funding, the charity’s boss has revealed.

Mark Goldring appeared before the International Development Committee
Credit: 
Parliament TV

Mark Goldring told MPs the complaints had come in the two weeks since the charity’s staff were alleged to have used prostitutes in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.

He added that the allegations included the “full range of concerns," from the “very serious” to past complaints that were not properly investigated.

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“26 cases have come forward. Of those, 16 are in our international programmes – that means in the dozens of countries we work in across the world,” he told the International Development Committee.

“They range in time frame from more recent events to long historic events, where people did not report them at the time but now its right to do so in response to the call we’ve made.”

Mr Goldring appeared in front of the committee alongside Oxfam's chair of trustees in Britain, Caroline Thomson and executive director of Oxfam International, Winne Byanyima.

He revealed that 7,000 individuals have cancelled their subscriptions to the charity while corporate sponsors are "reserving their judgement".

“They want to look at what we have done and what we're setting in place for the future," he said. 

The charity boss also apologised after he was accused of playing down the significance of the scandal in an interview with the Guardian.

Mr Goldring told the paper that 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."

However, today he rowed back from the comments telling MPs he had felt “stressed”.

"I was feeling stressed. I had given many interviews. I was thinking about amazing work Oxfam has done. I should not have said those things,” he said.

'PRETTY SHOCKING'

MPs laid into the charity chief, with Tory Pauline Latham, claiming those  involved in the Haiti scandal had treated girls as “trinkets.”

"These poor girls have had a natural disaster. You and others would have gone in there promising to help. You are talking about vulnerable young women and girls who would have been looking to Oxfam for help…

“You and Oxfam are treating these girls as just trinkets. That's pretty shocking," she said. 

Chair of the committee, Stephen Twigg told Mr Goldring: “You’ve got to get your house in order and demonstrate to the British people that you are getting your house in order.”