PARIS - A scandal over sexual abuse in the foreign aid industry that began with Oxfam spread on Wednesday, as French group Doctors Without Borders revealed it had fired 19 staff last year for harassment or abuse .

The Paris-based group, known by its French acronym MSF , said it had received 146 complaints or alerts last year, of which 40 were found to be allegations of harassment or sexual assault. It said in a statement that it had acted on 24 of these cases, firing 19 employees as a result.

With 40,000 staff around the world, MSF is one of the world’s largest aid groups, best known for its work offering medical aid in conflict zones. “Even though reports of abuse have steadily increased, MSF is aware that abuse goes under-reported,” the charity said.

The revelations came as Oxfam grapples with allegations that it was not transparent about a scandal involving some of its staff for using prostitutes in Haiti following a devastating 2010 earthquake.

The scandal has led to the resignation of Oxfam’s deputy head and has thrown into question British government funding for the charity, which amounted to around £32 million (36 million euros, $44 million) last year.

Britain warned on Wednesday it would cut off ties with foreign aid charities that cover up sex scandals.

18 new abuse claims against UN

peacekeepers in DRC

The United Nations said Wednesday it had registered 18 alleged cases of sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeepers and civilian personnel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year.

Fourteen of the allegations involve paternity cases or complainants seeking “care for children born out of relationships,” said Adama Ndao, head of the conduct and discipline unit at MONUSCO, the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the country.

Some incidents relate to events that date back as far as 2013, he said, adding that complainants were being offered “psychological and medical support”.

“All allegations are being investigated by the competent structures,” Ndao said.

The 18 registered allegations are one fewer case than the 19 claims of sexual abuse or exploitation made against UN peacekeepers in DRC 2016.

UN peacekeeping missions have been hit by a raft of sex abuse scandals, including child sex abuse , in DR Congo and elsewhere.

On Monday, a UN spokesman said South African troops serving under MONUSCO were accused of beating a 17-year-old boy and sexually exploiting women.

Complaints against UN staff have also previously been made in Senegal, Uruguay and South Africa.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has vowed to toughen the UN response to allegations of misconduct against the blue helmets whose mission is to protect vulnerable civilians in conflict zones.

The United Nations has nearly 17,500 troops and police serving in the DR Congo, its biggest mission.