Haiti govt permanently bans scandal-hit Oxfam charity

Fleurant gestures as he speaks during a news conference about the resolution on the Oxfam scandal in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. – Reuters photo

PORT-AU-PRINCE: The Haitian government said Wednesday it has permanently banned international charity Oxfam Great Britain from operating in the country following a scandal over sexual misconduct by some of its workers there.

A government statement said the action – which followed a temporary suspension in February – was taken because of Oxfam’s “violation of Haitian legislation and serious breach of the principle” of human dignity.

“The NGO is therefore declared persona non grata,” Aviol Fleurant, Minister of Planning and External Cooperation, said Wednesday at a press briefing also attended by the communications and interior ministers.

He said a draft law was being prepared to provide closer control over, and coordination with, the many foreign charities operating in poverty-stricken Haiti.

Oxfam, which had been present in Haiti since 1978, greatly increased its presence there following the catastrophic earthquake of 2010, as did scores of other nongovernmental organisations.

But a 2011 Oxfam rep