Scottish Daily Mail

Oxfam betrayal hurts those most in need


side of the UN, outside of peacekeepi­ng. This includes Unicef and other agencies.’

oxfam’s Miss Thomson said: ‘We will continue to address the underlying cultural issues that allowed this behaviour to happen. We also want to satisfy ourselves that…we fully learn the lessons of events in 2011.’ She said staff had come forward with concerns about the vetting of workers, and that these would be examined in detail.

New measures include strengthen­ing vetting, an independen­t whistleblo­wing helpline, and a recommitme­nt to report ‘any issues that arise that could affect the safety of those we work for’.

IT was quite simply a shameful cover-up. In July 2011, a whistleblo­wer informed Oxfam’s senior management that several aid workers providing relief after the Haiti earthquake were holding orgies with prostitute­s at their charity-funded accommodat­ion.

An investigat­ion suggested some of the women involved may have been underage and exposed a ‘culture of impunity’.

But instead of owning up to this sordid scandal, Oxfam cynically swept it under the carpet. A misleading announceme­nt made vague reference to ‘misconduct’ to explain a handful of sackings, while several staff were allowed to resign quietly – including a ‘dignified’ exit for the Haiti director, with a positive reference allowing him to secure another job.

To protect its reputation, the jobs of executives and to ensure the continued flow of donations and foreign aid money, regulators were told half-truths and the public kept in the dark.

Oxfam was guilty of a grotesque betrayal. It betrayed the quake victims it was meant to be helping. It betrayed the founding Christian principles of an organisati­on set up by Quakers during the Second World War to combat famine. Most of all it betrayed the millions of people who make small donations or fundraise because they trust the money will be put to good use.

Exposed last week, Oxfam finally issued an apology yesterday, after Internatio­nal Developmen­t Secretary Penny Mordaunt threatened to turn off the foreign aid taps.

Caught up in the charity fundraisin­g scandal and guilty of spreading hard-Left rhetoric to criticise the free market (while paying its chief executive £127,000 a year), Oxfam’s claim to taxpayers’ money – and the good will of donors – is in ruins.

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