The World Health Organization has promised to overhaul its culture and operations in the wake of a sexual abuse and exploitation scandal involving many of its workers during the 2018-2020 Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Immediate steps will be taken to support survivors and their families. The WHO committed to providing “livelihood support” for victims and survivors, including comprehensive medical and psychosocial support. It also said it would help victims learn a trade, provide resources for them to start small businesses, and support children born as a result of sexual abuse through educational grants and medical care.
Four WHO staff have already been dismissed, and two other senior staff have been put on administrative leave pending internal investigations. Probes to determine if WHO staff failed to initiate investigation procedures – an allegation made in the independent commission’s report – will continue.