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Unaddressed claims of misconduct by Oxfam staff weren’t confined to the Democratic Republic of Congo, five whistleblowers have told The New Humanitarian, revealing that complaints also piled up in Iraq before 12 workers finally filed a joint grievance last year.

The Iraq claims point to persistent and enduring questions around the transparency of Oxfam’s dealings with its staff, the whistleblowers said. A former Oxfam worker alleged that the aid charity turned a blind eye to the manager’s behaviour for years because the person had been successful at raising donor funds. Two others said they also heard the manager use the same phrase. The revelations also raise questions about the extent to which Oxfam made changes after its 2010 sexual

The Iraq whistleblowers said they decided to break their silence and talk to The New Humanitarian after The Times reported earlier in the month that two senior Oxfam staff in the Kinshasa office had been suspended amid complaints of sexual exploitation, harassment, bullying, and fraud in an independent investigation that began in November. Whistleblowers said it seemed like only scandals involving sex or major fraud prompted staff changes, adding that they felt traumatised by their experiences and frustrated over not knowing what the outcome of the Iraq investigation had been.

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