Oxfam offers formal apology to Haitian government


Oxfam has apologised to the Haitian government over allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by its staff.

The charity's GB executive director Mark Goldring and Oxfam International boss Winnie Byanyima also requested an "official high-level meeting" with the Government.

Simon Ticehurst, regional director for Latin America and Margalida Massot, Executive Affiliate Unit head, met with Haiti's Minister of Planning and External Co-operation on Monday to present a formal apology.

The meeting was called by the minister to "begin clarifying the exact allegations and investigations" into the "abusive behaviours" of some Oxfam staff in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake which killed thousands of people.

In a statement, Mr Ticehurst said: "Oxfam is grateful to the Haitian Government for allowing us the chance now to offer our humblest apologies and to begin explaining ourselves and start the long road ahead of re-establishing trust and partnership, given our 40-year history with Haiti and its citizens.

"We stand ready to engage with the Haitian people and have expressed our openness to co-operate as much as required with the Haitian government."

It comes as the charity officially released the findings of its investigation into relief workers sent to Haiti in 2010.

The 10-page report concluded charities should be warned about "problem staff" - only for several accused of abuse to successfully take up future posts in the aid sector.

Prime Minister Theresa May described the behaviour uncovered by the report as "horrific".