London (14/4 – 16.67). Officials from the global poverty charity Oxfam suspended two aid workers Friday in connection with an investigation of bullying and sexual misconduct against senior managers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
An Oxfam representative said the investigation into misconduct started in November after allegations were made about abuses of power within the organization. The accusations against the DRC managers included intimidation, death threats, fraud and nepotism.
“The Charity Commission for England and Wales were notified at the start of the investigation and we have kept them informed about its progress,” Oxfam said, according to the Evening Standard. “We are acutely aware of our duty to survivors, including in supporting them to speak out safely. We are working hard to conclude the investigation fairly, safely and effectively.”
The Charity Commission had found in 2019 that Oxfam had not fully revealed allegations against its staffers in Haiti during its earthquake recovery. Allegations at that time included that Oxfam staff had sexually abused children and safeguards protecting the vulnerable there were not up to par.
Oxfam has worked in the Congo since 1961, focusing on humanitarian projects that included long-term access to clean drinking water.
This is not the first time NGOs are in the cross hairs of sexual allegations, waste of donor funds and widespread misappropriations.