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Oxfam GB chief to quit in wake of Haiti scandal

May 16, 2018

Mark Goldring has said someone else should help "rebuild" the group following the scandal in Haiti. He was criticized for his handling of the claims that Oxfam staff paid prostitutes for sex while on a mission in Haiti.

A file photo showing Oxfam's Mark Goldring with children at Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq
Image: Reuters/M. Jaber

The head of British charity Oxfam International's UK unit will step down at the end of the year, the organization said on Wednesday.

Oxfam GB Chief Executive Mark Goldring drew flak for his handling of the scandal involving Oxfam aid workers who paid prostitutes for sex while on a mission in Haiti to help 2010 earthquake victims.

"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," Goldring said in a statement.

"We are now laying strong foundations for recovery. I am personally totally committed to seeing this phase through," he said, adding that next year, the charity would start trying to rebuild for the longer-term future. "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."

Resisted resignation calls

Goldring had resisted calls to resign when the crisis hit in February — even after he said in an interview that the outrage was "out of proportion" because Oxfam had not "murdered babies in their cots."

He denied that Oxfam had covered up the instances of staff paying prostitutes in Haiti.

Oxfam said Goldring ensured the charity improved its safeguarding practices after the sexual abuse case by staff in Haiti.

Goldring's deputy, Penny Lawrence, resigned in February in the wake of the scandal. At the time, Goldring said: "I deeply respect Penny's decision to accept personal responsibility."

ap/msh (AFP, Reuters)

Oxfam Haiti scandal: DW talks to Jörn Kalinski, Oxfam Germany