Haiti shuts down Oxfam GB over prostitution scandal

Elias Hubbard
June 14, 2018

Haiti's government officially banned Oxfam Great Britain from operating in its country on Wednesday, following the sex scandal that rocked the British charity earlier this year.

In February, Haiti temporarily revoked Oxfam Great Britain's right to operate in the country.

Oxfam responded to the decision in a statement on Wednesday, apologizing again to the Haitian government and its people.

A government statement said the action - which followed a temporary suspension in February - was taken because of Oxfam's "violation of Haitian legislation and serious breach of the principle" of human dignity.

Oxfam, which had been present in Haiti since 1978, greatly increased its presence there following the catastrophic quake of 2010, as did scores of other nongovernmental organizations.

The British aid organisation has been rocked by allegations that staff, including a former Haiti country director, used prostitutes during a relief mission after a devastating quake hit the island nation in 2010.

Roland van Hauwermeiren wrote an open letter in which he said he was "deeply ashamed" by aspects of his behaviour.

After apologising to the Haitian ambassador in the aftermath of the allegations, he struck a less conciliatory tone in an interview with the Guardian days later in which he claimed critics were "gunning" for his organisation and suggested no-one had "murdered babies in their cots".

"We are now laying strong foundations for recovery".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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