Oxfam's chief executive to stand down in wake of sexual abuse scandal

Oxfam's chief executive is to stand down at the end of the year, the charity has announced.

Mark Goldring, who took up the post in 2013, was at the helm of the organisation when news broke of the sexual abuse of victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010 by then members of the charity's staff.

He said: "Following the very public exposure of Oxfam's past failings, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure that Oxfam is a safe and respectful place for all who have contact with us.

"We are now laying strong foundations for recovery. I am personally totally committed to seeing this phase through.

"However, what is important in 2019 and beyond is that Oxfam rebuilds and renews in a way that is most relevant for the future and so continues to help as many people as possible around the world build better lives.

"I think that this journey will best be led by someone bringing fresh vision and energy and making a long-term commitment to see it through."

Mr Goldring also led the charity's response to conflicts in Yemen, Syria, and South Sudan.

He is due to stay in his post until a successor is found.

In February, Oxfam GB was temporarily suspended from operating in Haiti pending an investigation into how the charity handled the case of former staff paying for sex.

The aid group said senior members of staff met officials from the Haiti government and pledged their commitment to cooperating with the probe.

The two-month suspension came after charity chiefs revealed Oxfam has received 26 allegations of misconduct since the Haiti sex scandal erupted two weeks ago.

Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB's chief executive, said 16 of the claims stemmed from abroad, while 10 came from the UK.

Giving evidence to the Commons International Development Committee in early February, Mr Goldring said around 7,000 people had cancelled regular donations to Oxfam in the 10 days prior to his appearance, adding that corporate sponsors appeared to be "reserving judgment".

Mr Goldring publicly apologised for the actions of charity staff who sexually exploited female victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

The parliamentary hearing and suspension came afterthe news of resignations and dismissals of Oxfam staff in Haiti following allegations of "sex parties" involving prostitutes.

On Thursday, Oxfam GB said: "The government of Haiti announced today that it will suspend Oxfam Great Britain's operation in the country for two months, while it investigates how Oxfam GB handled the case of former staff having paid for sex during the agency's humanitarian response in 2011.

"Oxfam International Regional Director Simon Ticehurst and Oxfam Intermon Executive Affiliate Unit head Margalida Massot met government officials today and committed to cooperate with their investigation.

"Oxfam has apologised to the Haitian government and people for abuses by former staff that occurred in 2011.

"Oxfam is committed to putting in place a number of wide-sweeping initiatives to improve its global safeguarding policies and practices, including the establishment of an independent Commission and putting more staff and resources into its safeguarding teams."

Oxfam will continue working on construction and development projects in Haiti, helping people through other affiliate members, but anticipates that Oxfam GB's temporary suspension will have a significant impact on its work.

The charity helps 750,000 people in Haiti. Oxfam's annual programme budget is 13 million euros, of which Oxfam GB contributes 3.2 million euros.

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