Aid sector must be fixed, not cut, says former UN worker

Brendan Cox has admitted being a sex pest, one of a spate of negative headlines to blight the charity sector

Brendan Cox has admitted being a sex pest, one of a spate of negative headlines to blight the charity sector

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Former aid worker Andrew MacLeod has said the charity sector must be mended, not cut, in the wake of a spate of crises. 

Oxfam chiefs were grilled in the Commons yesterday, and admitted they have received 26 more allegations since the Haiti sex scandal came to light. Meanwhile Justin Forsyth, the former boss of Save the Children - where he managed self-confessed sex pest Brendan Cox - and now deputy executive director of Unicef, has apologised after a series of inappropriate messages to female staff came to light.

MacLeod, a former senior figure at the UN and founder of Hear Their Cries, a charity set up to tackle abuse and exploitation in the third sector, says the various cases should not be conflated. Forsyth, he said, should be allowed to undergo rehabilitation, but with strict monitoring.

Overall, he said, this is not an issue of charities per se, but rather about "white, middle-aged males" abusing their power. Nonetheless, MacLeod continued, there is now a real chance to repair the aid sector.

"This is not about cutting aid," he said, "this is about fixing aid," adding that the "facade of goodness" around the sector has not crumbled away, and it must now be properly held to account.

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