News story | Date: 30/09/2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been sharply criticised in a report by an independent commission on how the organisation has dealt with the alleged sexual exploitation and abuse by WHO staff in the response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2018–2020.
‘As a major donor to WHO, we are concerned about the structural failures and unpreparedness to manage the risks of incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Ebola response in the DRC that have been revealed. It is worrying that it has taken so long to determine the facts and bring those responsible to justice. Norway is actively participating, together with other countries, in the dialogue with WHO on concrete steps to follow up the recommendations in the report,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.
‘It is unacceptable that people in vulnerable situations are subjected to abuse by those who are there to help them. Norway has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. We expect our partners to have ethical guidelines and good systems in place for preventing, reporting, and dealing with these types of incidents. We give priority to this issue in our dialogue with all of our partners,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.