February 12, 2018 / 6:27 PM / 7 months ago

Oxfam must show 'moral leadership' after Haiti scandal: UK minister

LONDON (Reuters) - British charity Oxfam needs to rebuild the public’s trust after apologizing for the “appalling” behavior of its staff in Haiti in 2011, foreign aid minister Penny Mordaunt said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt arrives in Downing Street in London, February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

“Oxfam made a full and unqualified apology – to me, and to the people of Britain and Haiti - for the appalling behavior of some of their staff in Haiti in 2011, and for the wider failings of their organization’s response to it,” Mordaunt said after meeting Oxfam’s chief executive, Mark Goldring.

“I told Oxfam they must now demonstrate the moral leadership necessary to address this scandal, rebuild the trust of the British public, their staff and the people they aim to help, and deliver progress on these assurances,” she added in a statement.

“I was clear that part of an organization’s moral leadership comes from individuals taking responsibility for their actions,” Mordaunt added.

The deputy head of Oxfam resigned earlier on Monday, saying the charity had failed to adequately respond to past allegations of sexual misconduct by some of its staff in Haiti and Chad.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, writing by David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison

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