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This Monday, July 11, 2011 file photo shows silhouettes of U.N. peacekeepers from Brazil at the airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Eduardo Verdugo/AP
Citizenship

Oxfam UK Chief to Step Down Following Haiti Scandal

The CEO of Oxfam Great Britain will step down at the end of the year, after the charity was embroiled in a scandal over staff members sexually abusing vulnerable people in Haiti in 2010. 

Mark Goldring, who has been CEO since 2013, said that the charity is “laying strong foundations for recovery” after the scandal, which broke in February.

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“Following the very public exposure of Oxfam’s past failings, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure that Oxfam is a safe and respectful place for all who have contact with us,” he said in a statement.

He added that he is “personally totally committed to seeing this phase through.” 

“However, what is important in 2019 and beyond is that Oxfam rebuilds and renews in a way that is most relevant for the future and so continues to help as many people as possible around the world build better lives,” he added. “I think that this journey will best be led by someone bringing fresh vision and energy and making a long-term commitment to see it through.” 

Read more: This MP and Former Aid Worker's Response to the Oxfam Scadal Is Really Powerful

Oxfam said that in his time at the organisation, Goldring had overseen “the biggest annual humanitarian response in its history” in 2016 — including the refugee crisis, and conflicts including in Yemen, Syria, and South Sudan. 

After the scandal first came to light in February, the British aid sector was hit by a number of allegations emerging about further unacceptable behaviour from staff members from different organisations. 

In response, 22 of the UK’s leading aid organisations released a joint letter, saying they were “truly sorry” and pledging to “do better.” 

Read more: 22 Aid Organisations Just Signed a Pledge to Tackle Abuse of Power

“As organisations whose core aim is to help the most vulnerable people in the world, we must always confront abusive behaviour and the misuse of power,” read the letter, which was also signed by Global Citizen. “We have an absolute duty to our staff, our supporters and, above all, the people we seek to help to ensure we do everything in our power to prevent, detect, and eradicate unacceptable behaviour.” 

Penny Mordaunt, the UK’s secretary for international development, said Britain would take a global lead in dealing with abuse within the sector. 

Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, and UK aid is a vital tool in the fight to end extreme poverty. You can join us by taking action here