Oxfam Boss Quits After ‘Sex for Aid’ Scandal

EL-FASHER, SUDAN: A Sudanese girl waits to use toilets set up by the British aid organization Oxfam in the Abu Shouk refugee camp, on the outskirts of El-Fasher in Sudan's northern Darfur region 30 November 204. Sudan today said it was reviewing a decision to expel the heads of Oxfam …
JOSE CENDON/AFP/Getty Images

The Chief Executive of Oxfam has announced he will stand down, three months after the charity was embroiled in a sex and prostitution scandal.

Mark Goldring said he would leave at the end of the year, describing the “impact of the abhorrent abuse of power” by staff involved in the “sex for aid” scandal.

Oxfam is currently under investigation by the Charity Commission over safeguarding incidents, including those that took place in Haiti in 2010, where aid workers paid for sex with young girls in the disaster zone.

The government has also reviewed its relationship with the charity and has cut funds until Oxfam can show changes have been made.

There were also claims in February that aid workers sexually assaulted and raped women and girls in South Sudan, and the former global head of safeguarding, Helen Evans, said Oxfam staff had reported a “culture of sexual abuse” in some offices.

Channel 4 also cited figures which showed seven incidents of “inappropriate conduct with children” volunteering in Oxfam’s hundreds of high-street charity shops in 2013/14.

Mr. Goldring told his staff in a statement: “The last few months have been tremendously difficult for all involved with Oxfam… I feel anger at the impact of the abhorrent abuse of power by those individuals in Haiti in 2011 and Oxfam’s failure to protect the women we were there to support.

“I also feel sadness at the impact of the recent sector-wider coverage which undermines public support for development and humanitarian action in a way that will harm people living in poverty across the world.

“We need to ensure that Oxfam and all agencies are safe and worthy of public confidence, and we need to win trust back.”

He continued: “We are now making the difficult choices needed to live within our reduced financial means, trying where we can to minimise the impact on those we exist to serve.”

Adding: “As well as learning lessons, Oxfam GB needs to win back public trust, rebuild relationships and regain our own voice.”

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