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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Oxfam's woes worsen as government halts funding again

This news post is over 1 year old

New sexual misconduct charges have been made

Oxfam’s funding from the UK government has been halted following new sexual misconduct and bullying allegations.

As reported in TFN yesterday, the aid charity announced it had launched an investigation over the behaviour of two of its workers based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The charity had only been allowed to start reapplying for aid funds in March following a three-year ban after a cover-up of sexual exploitation by staff in Haiti came to light in 2018.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said Oxfam would not be able to make any applications for UK aid money until the new allegations were resolved.

"All organisations bidding for UK aid must meet the high standards of safeguarding required to keep the people they work with safe," a spokesman said.

The recent reports "call into question" Oxfam's ability to meet those standards, he added.

After claims that staff sexually exploited survivors of the 2010 Haiti earthquake were revealed in 2018, the Charity Commission concluded Oxfam had a "culture of poor behaviour" and was issued with a warning over its "mismanagement".

Oxfam said its suspensions of the two members of staff showed "our commitment to tackle abuses of power".

But whistleblowers have said they are "frustrated" at the speed of the inquiry which commenced in November.

An Oxfam spokesperson said: “The steps we are taking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reflect our commitment to tackle abuses of power. We are aware of the FCDO statement and are seeking further information. The Charity Commission and FCDO have been notified appropriately and we will continue to keep them informed as the investigation concludes its work.”



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