Washington D.C., Feb 15, 2018 / 05:00 am
Amid allegations that Oxfam UK aid workers hired prostitutes in Haiti and Chad while administering humanitarian aid, Catholic aid organizations are responding with prayers, strong condemnation, and renewed commitments to protect the vulnerable.
"We are aware of The Times' investigation of Oxfam UK members and their conduct in the Haiti earthquake response. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these atrocious acts. We unequivocally condemn any act that violates the rights and human dignity of individuals," Catholic Relief Services Communications Director, Kim Pozniak, told CNA.
Roland van Hauwermeiren, the Oxfam official responsible for the agency's Haitian recovery efforts following a devastating 2010 earthquake, repeatedly paid for sex, arranging groups of prostitutes to meet with Oxfam officials at the charity's guesthouse, according to an investigation published by The Times of London on Feb. 9.
Some reports have characterized events arranged by van Hauwermeiren as "orgies." Oxfam officials are also accused of financial mismanagement, harassment, bullying, and negligent supervision.