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Tutu quits as ambassador for Oxfam over charity's sex scandal

15 February 2018

Roland van Hauwermeiren, who has become the focus of a sex scandal engulfing the charity, spoke out in an interview with local media in his native Belgium. "Everything I see everywhere is hard to bear and pains me. It hurts", the 68-year-old reportedly told newspaper De Standaard from his apartment on the Belgian coast.

"A lot of people, including the global media, will feel blushes on their cheeks when they hear my version of the facts", the 68-year-old said from his apartment on the Belgian coast.

"It is not that I deny everything", he told the paper. There are things which have been described correctly. But I also read a lot of lies and exaggerations.

"Parties every week? Fancy villas? Women paid with money from the organisation?"

Last week, the British newspaper The Times reported that in 2011 Oxfam tried to cover up claims that a guesthouse was used as a "whorehouse" by male aid workers in Haiti, which had been devastated the previous year by an quake that killed 220,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless.

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Oxfam has said that a man it dismissed over sexual misconduct allegations in Haiti in 2011 was subsequently hired by the charity as a consultant in Ethiopia later that year.

Then she repeated one of the key accusations, one that Oxfam has said was unproven in its investigation into the scandal: that some of the victims were underage.

The charity has been accused of concealing the findings of an inquiry into claims staff used prostitutes while delivering aid in Haiti in 2011.

Bosses admitted failing to act "adequately" on the behaviour of Oxfam staff in both Chad and Haiti.

'Of these 40 cases, 24 were cases of sexual harassment or abuse, ' MSF said in a statement.

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The Belgian was investigated for sexual misconduct in 2004 in Liberia when he was country manager for the health charity Merlin, which merged with Save the Children in 2013.

Oxfam received £31.7 million from the UK Government in 2016/17.

It comes as International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt was due to meet director-general of the National Crime Agency (NCA) Lynne Owens to discuss how they could jointly tackle sexual exploitation and abuse. Lawrence was worldwide programmes director from 2006 to 2014, when she became deputy chief executive.

The letter also dealt with allegations about his conduct in earlier operations: In Liberia in 2004, he acknowledged, he was sacked after attending a party where two prostitutes were present although he said he had only "danced and flirted" with them.

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Tutu quits as ambassador for Oxfam over charity's sex scandal