WHO to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has promised that any of its staff working as part of the agency’s Ebola response team in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) found to have been involved in sexual exploitation and abuse, would face “serious consequences, including instant dismissal.”

This was contained in a press release by the organisazation.

The release reads:

The World Health Organization, leadership and staff, are outraged by recent reports of alleged sexual exploitation and abuse in the context of the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The actions allegedly perpetrated by individuals identifying themselves as working for WHO are unacceptable and will be robustly investigated.

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The betrayal of people in the communities we serve is reprehensible. We do not tolerate such behaviour in any of our staff, contractors or partners.

Anyone identified as being involved will be held to account and face serious consequences, including immediate dismissal.

The Director-General has initiated a thorough review of the specific allegations, as well as broader protection issues in health emergency response settings.

WHO has a zero-tolerance policy with regard to sexual exploitation and abuse.

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