Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Former Oxfam director denies paying for sex in Haiti

Former Oxfam director denies paying for sex in Haiti

Aviol Fleurant, Haiti's minister of planning and external cooperation, said Oxfam officials had been summoned to meet with his ministry staff on Thursday to explain the sexual misconduct accusations allegedly perpetrated by the charity's employees in the wake of the devastating 2010 natural disaster.

"The Archbishop is deeply disappointed by allegations of immorality and possible criminality involving humanitarian workers linked to the charity", a statement from his office said.

The South African, who was regarded as a key figure in the anti-apartheid movement, has retired as a church leader but still continues to work with the Elders - a group of senior worldwide figures.

The British charity has come under sharp criticism for its handling of allegations that staff members hired prostitutes in Haiti following the devastating 2010 quake.

Actress Minnie Driver resigned earlier this week, followed by Senagalese singer Baaba Maal, while former ambassador Livia Firth, the wife of actor Colin, said the men involved had "betrayed all who put their faith in them".

Oxfam said on Thursday it hired another man to work in Ethiopia a few months after he had been dismissed for misconduct in Haiti.

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The scandal has shaken the aid sector, with Britain and the European Union reviewing Oxfam's funding.

"I am not a saint".

Roland van Hauwermeiren, 68, who resigned from Oxfam in Haiti in 2011 after admitting using prostitutes at the villa rented for him by the charity, is living in Belgium and said the media coverage of the scandal had been hurtful.

Andrew MacLeod, a former aid worker and former chief of the United Nations' Emergency Coordination Centre, has been lobbying for the worldwide aid sector to clean up its act.

The charity is now checking whether there were "any issues" while the man was posted in Ethiopia. We are still checking how this occurred but it further highlights that we need an organization and sector-wide approach to the vetting and recruitment of both staff and consultants, especially in emergencies where there is pressure to fill posts quickly in order to help save lives.

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