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UK aid chief warns charities after Oxfam sex scandal

Oxfam Int’l chair held over Guatemala graft scandal

Published : Thursday, 15 February, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 260

LONDON, Feb 14 : The international aid sector must take action to end abuses, Britain's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said on Wednesday following a spate of revelations about misconduct at British charity Oxfam.
Mordaunt also warned Britain would not partner with charities that do not hold staff accountable for their actions and are not transparent following allegations of a cover-up of a prostitution scandal at Oxfam.
"This week, horrifying allegations have come to light about the actions of some Oxfam staff in Haiti in 2011," Mordaunt told the Agenda 2030 children's welfare conference in Stockholm, according to extracts from her speech published by her ministry.
The scandal led to the resignation of Oxfam's deputy head and has thrown into question government funding for the charity, which amounted to around £32 million (36 million euros, $44 million) last year.
"The same message goes out to any organisation or partner which receives UK aid. We want procedures to change. We want leaders to lead with moral authority and we want staff to be held accountable," she said.
"Unless you report every serious incident or allegation, no matter how damaging to your reputation -- we cannot be partners," she said.
Oxfam International chair held over Guatemala graft scandal
Meanwhile, Guatemalan authorities on Tuesday arrested former president Alvaro Colom on corruption charges, along with 10 members of his 2008-2012 government, including the current chairman of scandal-hit Oxfam International, officials said.
Colom, 66, was taken into custody at his home in an upmarket district of the capital, the head of the special anti-graft prosecution unit, Juan Francisco Sandoval, said.     AFP

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