An ActionAid spokesperson said:
“Across the 45 countries ActionAid operates in globally, in the last five years there have been 20 incidents of sexual harassment reported and 2 of safeguarding. All of these were dealt with using the safeguarding and anti-sexual harassment processes in place and were concluded.
“Throughout the organisation we have a zero-tolerance policy on any form of sexual harassment and misconduct, and clear child protection policies aimed to protect beneficiaries. We have a whistleblowing policy to encourage staff to come forward if they have any concerns and if an allegation is made, processes are in place to ensure immediate and decisive action is taken.
“It is essential that ActionAid prioritises creating an environment in which people feel safe to report incidents that in any way make them feel uncomfortable or threatened. Staff and beneficiaries need to feel confident that our safeguarding policies will protect and support them.
“We have been taking proactive steps to develop our safeguarding policy and procedures, to ensure they are fit for purpose. Last year we employed an external safeguarding expert to develop and oversee this project. This includes compulsory training on the policy and procedures for staff.
“We know from our work all over the world that violence against women knows no nationality. It may manifest in different ways, or be exacerbated because of a woman’s ethnicity, gender identity or socioeconomic status, but it is ever-present.
“ActionAid strives to create a world where women and girls have an equal voice and can claim their rights regardless of where they are born. We put women front and centre of everything that we do. In the countries where we work our local community-based staff work directly with women and girls to listen to their needs and provide them with the tools and skills they need to help themselves.
“We will continue to be transparent and accountable, which is both vital for the communities where we work and for those who so generously support our work with women and girls living in the world’s poorest places and help change lives for good.”