Thursday 19 July 2018

Oxfam GB boss quits in wake of aid sex worker scandal

Undated handout photo issued by Oxfam of Penny Lawrence, who has resigned as Deputy Chief Executive of the charity saying she took
Undated handout photo issued by Oxfam of Penny Lawrence, who has resigned as Deputy Chief Executive of the charity saying she took "full responsibility" for the behaviour of staff in Chad and Haiti "that we failed to adequately act upon". Photo: Charlotte Ball/Oxfam/PA Wire

Oxfam's deputy chief executive has quit in the wake of the aid worker sex scandal saying she was "ashamed" of what had happened.

Penny Lawrence said she took full responsibility for what had happened on her watch and was sorry for the "harm and distress" it had caused supporters.

Oxfam has faced intense criticism over its handling of sex allegations, including the use of prostitutes by workers in Haiti in 2011.

Ms Lawrence said: "As programme director at the time, I am ashamed that this happened on my watch and I take full responsibility."

Read more: Ministers to probe sex-for-aid 'cover-up'

"I am desperately sorry for the harm and distress that this has caused to Oxfam's supporters, the wider development sector and most of all the vulnerable people who trusted us.

Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, said: "I deeply respect Penny's decision to accept personal responsibility.

"Like us, she is appalled at what happened and is determined to do what is best for Oxfam and the people we exist to help.

"I would like to place on record my sincere thanks for the years of dedicated service that Penny has given to Oxfam and the fight against poverty around the world."

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