UK to Cut Aid Funding to Charities that Fall Short on Safeguarding

UK to Cut Aid Funding to Charities that Fall Short on Safeguarding

Monday, 12 February, 2018 - 08:00
An Oxfam shop is seen, in London on Feb. 11, 2018. PETER NICHOLLS/REUTERS
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Britain will cut off aid funding from any organization that does not comply with a new review into charities work overseas, aid minister Penny Mordaunt said on Sunday, describing reports of sexual exploitation in the sector as "utterly despicable."

This came following media reports that Britain-based Oxfam charity covered accusations against the behaviour of some of its staff who were accused of paying money for sexual acts with underages girls in Chad, few days after another report was published on similar allegations against Oxfam in Haiti.

Mordaunt said she would write to British charities working overseas demanding they declare any problems relating to the duty they have to protect their staff and the people they work with from harm and abuse safeguarding.

She also wanted charities to ensure any historical concerns have been properly dealt with, and spell out their policies for handling such cases.

She will meet with the charities regulator this week.

"With regard to Oxfam and any other organization that has safeguarding issues, we expect them to cooperate fully with such authorities, and we will cease to fund any organisation that does not," Mordaunt said in a statement.

"It is utterly despicable that sexual exploitation and abuse continues to exist in the aid sector," Mordaunt said in her overnight statement.

Oxfam on Friday condemned the behaviour of some former staff in Haiti after a newspaper report said aid workers had paid for sexual practices while on a mission to help those affected by a 2010 earthquake.

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