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The European Commission has suspended funding to the World Health Organization's programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to concerns over the U.N. agency's handling of the sexual abuse scandal.An Oct. 7 letter from the Commission marked "SENSITIVE", seen by Reuters, informed the WHO of the immediate suspension of financing for five WHO programmes, including its Ebola and COVID-19 operations.

The total amount is more than 20.7 million euros ($24.02 million).

The Commission, in an emailed statement to Reuters in Brussels, confirmed the move, saying that it expected partners to have "robust safeguards to prevent such unacceptable incidents as well as to act decisively in such situations".

"The Commission has temporarily suspended the payments and will refrain from awarding new funding related to the humanitarian activities undertaken by WHO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This measure does not affect EU funding for WHO operations elsewhere," it said. 

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Safeguarding Essentials