Amid recent claims that senior staff of the international charity, Oxfam, were involved in a prostitution scandal in Haiti, the organisation are under treat of the withdrawal of government funding, which is a big deal when considering they received £34m in state funding just last year, which is about the same amount I owe my mum but she’s a bit more forgiving than the government. Senior executives are to meet with the government today to explain why Oxfam allegedly covered up that their staff slept with prostitutes in Haiti, in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. It’s expected that they’ll excuse their cover up by claiming ‘it was not a case of exchanging sex for aid’. (because apparently that’s the only time it’s bad) However it has also been speculated that the senior staff member in question was appointed to the job despite directors holding concerns over his behaviour towards women, so their case in general is looking a bit weak.
However, according to Priti Patel, the former Aid Secretary, this case was just ‘The tip of the iceberg’ and it’s actually a much broader issue. This claim is backed up by various figures compiled about British based charities. Oxfam recorded 87 incidents of sexual harassment in 2017, Save the Children recorded 31, Christian Aid 2, while the British Red Cross reported a “small number of cases”. Patel then goes on to say that “Britain must stop funding aid agencies who fail children” Obviously this lady knows her stuff, much more than I do, but I cant help but think that although this is an awful case, such are the other cases that have been reported, that doesn’t make Oxfam as a whole an awful corrupted charity, and so to end funding would surely negatively impact all causes that it works to help, and send aid to.
In saying this, there’s a lot of things in the world that I feel I don’t know enough about to comment on, and it is a rising issue that “predatory paedophiles” were now targeting charities in order to “access children” in the developing world. Although this seems to be the first we’ve heard of it, perhaps it’s a bigger problem than we could know about, and so if any traces of such behaviour exists in a particular charity, it should indeed be cut off. It’s a case of deciding whether the charity is producing more good than bad, and until you’re as clued up on the matter as Priti Patel, I don’t know if you can make a conclusive decision.