Oxfam’s deputy chief executive resigned yesterday, saying she took “full responsibility” for failing to act immediately in the sexual misconduct scandal involving the charity’s workers in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.
Penny Lawrence, Oxfam program director at the time, said she was “ashamed that this happened on my watch.”
At an emergency meeting with British government officials, Oxfam’s leaders “also made a full and unqualified apology” and spoke of a “deep sense of disgrace and shame,” said British Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.
Mordaunt had threatened to pull public funding from Oxfam unless the charity revealed everything it knows about the Haiti allegations.
Still, it’s unclear whether the resignation and the apology will quell the scandal, which first emerged when the Times of London reported that seven former Oxfam staff members who worked in Haiti faced misconduct allegations that included using prostitutes and downloading pornography.