Government reviews work with Oxfam after sex allegations
The Department for International Development said the way the matter was dealt with raised “serious questions”.
The Government is reviewing its relationship with Oxfam in the wake of sex allegations against some of the charity’s staff.
The Department for International Development (DfID) took the decision after the charity denied claims it had covered up the use of prostitutes by aid workers in Haiti.
The charity said it had publicly announced an investigation into the allegations when they surfaced in 2011.
A DfID spokesman said: “We often work with organisations in chaotic and difficult circumstances.
“If wrongdoing, abuse, fraud, or criminal activity occur we need to know about it immediately, in full.
“The way this appalling abuse of vulnerable people was dealt with raises serious questions that Oxfam must answer.
The way this appalling abuse of vulnerable people was dealt with raises serious questions that Oxfam must answer Department for International Development
“We acknowledge that hundreds of Oxfam staff have done no wrong and work tirelessly for the people they serve, but the handling by the senior team about this investigation and their openness with us and the charity commission showed a lack of judgement.
“We have a zero tolerance policy for the type of activity that took place in this instance, and we expect our partners to as well.
“The Secretary of State is reviewing our current work with Oxfam and has requested a meeting with the senior team at the earliest opportunity.”
Meanwhile, the former International Development Secretary Priti Patel called for prosecutions into the alleged abuses.
She told the Daily Telegraph: “There should be prosecutions and appropriate action against everyone complicit in this.
“I think taxpayers will be appalled aid money may have been used in such an awful way.”
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The reports of what is unacceptable behaviour by senior aid workers in Haiti are truly shocking.
“Charities should have robust systems in place to ensure the highest standards of transparency and safeguarding procedures to protect vulnerable people – and ultimately must maintain public trust.
“We want to see Oxfam provide all the evidence they hold of the events to the Charity Commission for full and urgent investigation of these very serious allegations.”