Ex-Oxfam official to give 'his version' on sex scandal: report
A former Oxfam country director at the centre of allegations of sexual misconduct embroiling the London-based charity does "not deny everything" but wants to give his version of events, a Belgian daily reported Thursday.
Roland van Hauwermeiren, who led Oxfam's team in Haiti, was one of three staff members who resigned over allegations they hired prostitutes following the devastating 2010 earthquake there.
"A lot of people, including international media, will be embarrassed when they hear my version of events," Van Hauwermeiren told reporters from the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, who tracked him down in an unidentified town on the Belgian coast.
"Some things are described correctly, but I also have read lots of lies and exaggerations," the 68-year-old said.
"The hardest thing is that my family has rejected me," said Van Hauwermeiren, who was previously head of Oxfam's mission in Chad.
He added that he would "soon" make an official statement through his lawyer.
The Times of London reported last Friday that young sex workers were hired by senior staff in Haiti after the earthquake which devastated the poor Caribbean country and left up to 300,000 people dead.
Groups of young prostitutes were invited to homes and guesthouses paid for by the charity for sex parties, according to one source who claimed to have seen footage of an orgy with sex workers wearing Oxfam T-shirts.
Oxfam has denied allegations that it was not transparent about the scandal, which has led to the resignation of Oxfam's deputy head.
The British government has warned that it could cut off funding for the charity, which amounted to around £32 million (36 million euros, $44 million) last year.
A sex abuse complaint had been lodged against Van Hauwermeiren in 2004 when he was working for the British charity Merlin in Liberia.
The French charity Action Contre la Faim, for which he worked later in Bangladesh, said they were never made aware of those allegations.