Oxfam direct debit donations fall amid abuse scandal

Oxfam direct debit donations fall amid abuse scandal

Oxfam direct debit donations fall amid abuse scandal

Good Will Hunting star Minnie Driver has stepped down from her role as an ambassador to charity Oxfam after it became embroiled in a major scandal.

The commission's deputy chief executive David Holdsworth said: "Charities and dedicated, hard-working aid workers undertake vital, lifesaving work in some of the most hard circumstances across the world".

Oxfam faced fresh pressure on Tuesday after a former senior member of staff said her concerns about "a culture of sexual abuse" were not taken seriously by the charity's bosses.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt warned on Sunday that Oxfam could lose millions of pounds in public funding because of the scandal.

"Unless you report every serious incident or allegation, no matter how damaging to your reputation - we can not be partners", Britain's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt told a conference in Stockholm, according to extracts of her speech released by her ministry.

The statement came after it was revealed that senior Oxfam employees had hired vulnerable locals as prostitutes in crisis zones like Haiti after the 2011 natural disaster.

She said it was not exclusively the actions perpetrated by Oxfam workers but the way the organisation responded.

Mordaunt said: "I know people will be anxious about the charity, they'll be anxious about the money, but we need to be guided by what the Charity Commission are doing. these decisions shouldn't be taken hastily, but I am considering them".

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It has also drawn comparisons to the lynching of African Americans in the southern United States under Jim Crow segregation laws. Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted that Canada "can and must do better".

Oxfam said Evans' work had led to concrete steps to improve the way the organisation deals with safeguarding issues.

"DFID (the Department for International Development) have taken action in this area to try and further strengthen systems to enforce a zero tolerance approach".

She acknowledged that allegations had been known that country director for Chad, Roland van Hauwermeiren, and members of his staff, had paid for sex while they were stationed in the African country in 2006 before the team was moved to Haiti four years later.

Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, said: "I deeply respect Penny's decision to accept personal responsibility".

One former colleague Paul Hardcastle told the newspaper, which first reported the scandal, that in 2004 van Hauwermeiren would go looking for "desserts" after dinner and would go to clubs where he found young prostitutes. Like us, she is appalled at what happened and is determined to do what is best for Oxfam and the people we exist to help.

Corporate sponsors like Visa and M&S said they were "monitoring" the situation, according to the Telegraph.

"As an organisation, we are ashamed by the actions of some of our staff and are more committed now than ever to learn from our mistakes and ensure we uphold the highest levels of safeguarding standards in our work around the world".

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