from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE World Health Organisation (WHO) is investigating allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse leveled against its staff in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
WHO, an agency of the United Nations (UN), expressed outrage at the recent reports of alleged abuse leveled by more than 50 women.
Allegations are around WHO’S response to the Ebola.
“The actions allegedly perpetrated by individuals identifying themselves as working for WHO are unacceptable and will be robustly investigated,” the agency stated.
“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.”
WHO warned that if any staff was identified as being involved in the alleged violations would be held to account and face “serious consequences.”
Consequences include immediate dismissal.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, has initiated investigations into the allegations.
“WHO has a zero tolerance policy with regard to sexual exploitation and abuse,” WHO reiterated.
DRC, a country of more than 80 million people, is arguably the richest in the world in terms of natural resources.
However, conflicts raging for decades have left the former Zaire impoverished, sickly and ungovernable.
– CAJ News