The World Health Organization (WHO) has discovered at least 80 sexual exploitation cases believed to have been perpetrated during the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
At least 30 women had accused WHO employees of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Releasing the final Independent Commission’s report into allegations of sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2018 and 2020, WHO Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, lamented that the allegations were “horrific”.
Allegations implicating 20 WHO staff members were found, with over 80 other abuse cases.
The investigation follows the release of an investigation in October 2020 by The New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation, where at least 30 women accused men working for the World Health Organization (WHO) of sexual exploitation and abuse.
It would be recalled that some 51 women reported the abuse not only at UN organs such as the WHO, UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), but also at aid organizations such as Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), World Vision, and ALIMA.
During a press conference following the release of the report, the Director General of WHO said
“The first thing I want to say to the victims and survivors… (is) I am sorry.”
He stated that “It is my top priority that the perpetrators are not excused but held to account.”