Haiti suspends Oxfam operations


Haiti suspends Oxfam operations

The logo on the front of an Oxfam bookshop is photographed in Glasgow on February 10, 2018.

Haiti has banned Oxfam from operating in the country following allegations its workers used prostitutes while working there after the devastating 2010 quake.

Aviol Fleurant, minister of planning and external cooperation, said the charity would be barred from operating in Haiti for two months as the country looked into how the charity handled allegations against its staff members.

The charity had previously said it would hand over its full unredacted internal report into the 2011 scandal to Haitian ministers.

An Oxfam spokeswoman said the charity had vowed to co-operate with Haiti's investigation and "apologised to the Haitian government and people for abuses by former staff that occurred in 2011".

Oxfam officials apologized for downplaying the significance of the misconduct. "We are not joking: the dignity of the Haitian people has no price".

Earlier this month, the charity was hit by allegations senior staff used prostitutes while part of an global response to Haiti's devastating quake in 2010.

An Oxfam official who oversaw operations in Haiti admitted to using prostitutes at his residence, according to the report.

Van Hauwermeiren denied to Belgian media last week, however, that he had organized orgies with young prostitutes in Haiti, and said he had "intimate relations" with "an honorable, mature woman" whom he did not pay.

Four people were dismissed for "gross misconduct" and two others resigned after being accused of using prostitutes.

The charity is investigating 26 cases of misconduct reported in the wake of the Haiti scandal.

A final decision on Oxfam GB's authorisation to work in Haiti will be made at a later date.

The strong line taken by the government was met with approval by Haitian human rights groups.

Former aid workers of Oxfam - one of Britain's biggest charities - are accused of paying for sex while on a mission to help those affected by the devastating quake in Haiti in 2010.