Oxfam: Actress Minnie Driver withdraws support from charity over Haiti prostitute scandal

Tim Hunter

The news comes as actress and long-time Oxfam ambassador Minnie Driver today announced that she would be withdrawing her support for the charity in the wake of the allegations.

The commission's deputy chief executive David Holdsworth said: "Charities and dedicated, hard-working aid workers undertake vital, lifesaving work in some of the most hard circumstances across the world".

Driver, 48, travelled to Thailand and Cambodia in her role with Oxfam and performed at a charity concert in London in 2004, joining stars such as Chris Martin, Razorlight and REM.

"With regard to Oxfam and any other organisation that has safeguarding issues, we expect them to cooperate fully with such authorities, and we will cease to fund any organisation that does not", she said in a statement.

Mordaunt had threatened to pull public funding from Oxfam unless the charity revealed everything it knows about the Haiti allegations.

Helen Evans, who was in charge of investigating allegations against Oxfam staff members between 2012 and 2015, told Channel 4 television that abuse cases she had heard of included a woman who had been coerced to have sex in exchange for aid.

Another, Amira Malik Miller, said that such behavior was common by worldwide aid workers in Liberia, and that she complained to Merlin about another colleague at the time.

Oxfam has denied a cover-up over the use of prostitutes by senior aid workers in Haiti following the country's devastating 2010 quake.

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"Her decision to step down as an Oxfam ambassador saddens us deeply, but we also understand and respect her choice", the charity said.

The International Development Secretary reiterated the warning first made over the weekend about the potential government response.

Oxfam officials are due to meet the Charity Commission on Wednesday after the regulator launched a statutory inquiry.

One former colleague Paul Hardcastle told the newspaper, which first reported the scandal, that in 2004 van Hauwermeiren would go looking for "desserts" after dinner and would go to clubs where he found young prostitutes.

Oxfam Great Britain's deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence resigned Monday after it was revealed that concerns were raised before the former staff members in question were transferred to Haiti from the Central African nation of Chad.

When abuse is carried out "by people in positions of power, people we entrust to help and protect, it rightly sickens and disgusts and compels us to take action", she said.

Corporate sponsors like Visa and M&S said they were "monitoring" the situation, according to the Telegraph.

Oxfam is also accused of failing to warn other aid agencies about the staff involved, which allowed them to get jobs among vulnerable people in other disaster areas.

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