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Island has gifted nearly £500k to Oxfam since 2010

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GUERNSEY has donated nearly half a million pounds to scandal-hit charity Oxfam since 2010, it has emerged.

Guernsey’s Overseas Aid & Development Commission president Deputy Emilie Yerby has confirmed the island has donated almost £500k to Oxfam since 2010 through the commission. At a meeting held on Monday, the commission had decided to monitor the ongoing investigations into the situation by the Department for International Development and Charity Commissions to determine what action might need to be taken in future. (Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire)

The money, sent to the charity via the Overseas Aid & Development Commission, included donations to Haiti after a major earthquake.

News has broken this week that Oxfam aid workers and volunteers in the field have been accused of using prostitutes in exchange for aid.

Some were later sacked for sexual misconduct.

The commission said it was deeply concerned by the reports.

At a meeting held on Monday, the commission had decided to monitor the ongoing investigations into the situation by the Department for International Development and Charity Commissions to determine what action might need to be taken in future.

‘Our priority remains the people who are receiving international development aid and emergency relief,’ said president Emilie Yerby.

‘These are people who have lived through devastating disasters, or faced unremitting hardship throughout their lives.

‘The fact that, in some cases, this has been compounded by the shocking behaviour of some aid workers is appalling and unacceptable.

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‘In light of these revelations, our focus, and that of the charities we work with, needs to be on doing aid better – on making sure that people who receive aid have nothing to fear from the people who should be helping them; and on setting and insisting on the highest standards of conduct and integrity within the sector.’

Formed in 2004, the commission receives a number of applications each year from international aid organisations to assist with ongoing programmes and disaster relief from an annual budget of around £2.885m.

Oxfam is not currently in receipt of any funding from the commission for any such projects.

In 2010, at least 100,000 Haitians were killed when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the country in the Dominican Republic, displacing millions more.

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At the time, a £50,000 donation was made by the commission in response to the earthquake via the Disaster Emergency Committee, an umbrella term for a group of charities who work as disaster relief of which Oxfam was one.

An additional amount of £35,030 was directed toward Oxfam’s aid effort that year for improving access to water in the vulnerable communities of Haiti.

A further £39,904 was donated in 2013 for security and agricultural productivity.

A total of 13 Oxfam projects have been funded since 2010 – often in African countries and in Nepal and Bangladesh – costing £491,459.

The last direct donation to Oxfam by the commission was £20,000 in 2016 for disaster emergency relief in response to the ongoing drought and famine in Ethiopia.

Alex Warlow

By Alex Warlow
News reporter

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