Global charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said that it needed to make it easier for staff to report sexual misconduct after a media report said employees used prostitutes in Africa, in the latest sex scandal to rock the aid sector.
Eight female ex-MSF employees said in a report by Britain's BBC that MSF had a "toxic" culture, including "blatant and widespread" use of local sex workers by staff, with one man bragging it was easy to barter medication for sex in Liberia.
"We are sorry for any instances where people have been subjected to harassment, abuse or otherwise mistreated and/or felt that it was not adequately dealt with," MSF, which employs 42,000 people, said in a statement. "While we have reporting mechanisms in place where complaints can be made, we know we need to do more to ensure that they are known, trusted and used by the people who need them."
The aid industry has been shaken by reports of sexual wrongdoing since it emerged in February that Oxfam staff paid for sex in Haiti during a relief mission after a 2010 earthquake.
A Thomson Reuters Foundation survey found more than 120 staff from about 20 leading global charities were fired or lost their jobs last year over sexual misconduct. MSF said 20 people were sacked in 2017 for sexual abuse or harassment, and 10 people the year before.