Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Desmond Tutu quits Oxfam role because of dismay at 'immorality'

Desmond Tutu quits Oxfam role because of dismay at 'immorality'

The scandal has put Oxfam at risk of losing funding from the United Kingdom and the EU.

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

Oxfam has admitted that it rehired an aid worker it had sacked amid claims of prostitute use in Haiti.

The sex scandal has sparked public outrage, primarily due to the fact that Oxfam had conducted an internal investigation into the issue and decided not to make its outcome public, letting its employees leave voluntarily in 2011.

He said he resigned his post running the Oxfam operation after the 2010 Haiti quake because he had failed to exercise sufficient control over staff accused of sexual misconduct.

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"I was nicknamed "the terminator" as I acted so severely in this case". But he denied any wrongdoing himself - he never organised "sex parties" or visited brothels in the country.

Referring to the two staff dismissals, and some other resignations "because of serious suspicions", he said "reporting in the media is nearly correct". "I am a man of flesh and blood and I have made mistakes (not easy to admit) and I am DEEPLY ASHAMED", the 68-year-old former soldier wrote in Dutch to broadcaster VTM.

Reuters could not reach Van Hauwermeiren for direct comment.

Merlin later merged with Save the Children, which says it does not have access to Merlin's records.

A subsequent country director for Haiti, Damien Berrendorf, was sacked past year but had no connection to the previous case.

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The former Oxfam director at the heart of a sex abuse scandal said on Thursday he made mistakes when working in Haiti but denied paying for sex with prostitutes or abusing minors.

From Chad he moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti.

An Oxfam shop sign in London.

"Corporate support for Oxfam has been wavering and although the charity says it is too early to tell the impact of the crisis" on donations, it revealed 1,270 people cancelled their direct debits between Saturday and Monday - nearly double the average of 600 cancellations per month.

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