Oxfam likely to seek £16m of efficiency savings, says leaked document

An internal document from chief executive Mark Goldring, leaked to The Guardian, says the cuts could lead to job losses and reductions to its aid programme

Oxfam House
Oxfam House

Oxfam faces making £16m in efficiency savings in the wake of the Haiti scandal, leading to job losses and cuts to its aid programmes, the charity has told staff.

In an internal document that has been leaked to The Guardian newspaper, Mark Goldring, the outgoing chief executive of Oxfam, reportedly says that the cuts were needed after the revelations about sexual misconduct by staff in its Haiti programme in 2011.

It is understood that the letter says the charity is considering selling high-street shops and withdrawing from some of the countries it operates in.

Oxfam is the subject of a Charity Commission statutory inquiry about its failure to disclose the full details of sexual misconduct perpetrated by employees on beneficiaries in Haiti after the earthquake that hit the country in 2010.

The charity has since withdrawn from bidding for further funding from the Department for International Development until it has shown it can meet government safeguarding standards, and the charity lost 7,000 supporters in the wake of the crisis.

Oxfam, which had an income of £408.6m in the year to the end of March 2017, has already confirmed that as many as 100 staff could face redundancy as a result of the crisis and the subsequent loss of income.

In a statement, an Oxfam spokesman confirmed it would be making reductions at head office and across support functions because of losses in income.

"We are cutting head-office and support functions to ensure that we can continue with the majority of our life-saving and life-changing work on the ground, such as helping Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and people struggling to survive war in Yemen," the statement said.

"Our other top priority for investment is our action plan to strengthen our continuing efforts to root out sexual harassment and abuse."

The statement added: "We are devastated that the appalling behaviour of some former staff in Haiti and shortcomings in how we dealt with that eight years ago mean we now have less money to provide clean water, food and other support to people who need it.

"We are immensely grateful to all those – including more than nine in 10 of our regular givers – who have continued to support us during these difficult times. This support makes a massive difference to people struggling to escape poverty and to survive disasters around the world."

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