Several aid organizations with staff implicated in a sexual exploitation scandal in Congo told dpa on Wednesday that they are investigating the allegations.
The statements come after the news website The New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported that aid workers from the World Health Organization and other non-governmental organizations
operating in Congo had improperly propositioned women and demanded sex in exchange for work during the recent Ebola crisis.
The reporters spoke to more than 50 women who accused aid workers of improper conduct, including staff from UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and World Vision.
“UNICEF has recently received three allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving partner organizations involved in the Ebola response in the DRC,” a UNICEF spokesperson, Najwa Mekki, told dpa by
“UNICEF has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse and takes all allegations of misconduct
seriously. We encourage all victims to come forward,” Mekki added. World Vision said it had already launched an investigation.
“We immediately launched an international investigation when the journalists involved in the investigation
first made us aware of allegations that are also alleged to involve World Vision employees,” read a statement
from the organization.
An MSF spokesperson said the organization urges anyone with complaints to come forward, adding, “based
on the limited details we were provided for this article, our reporting mechanisms did not receive any
complaints that match the circumstances mentioned here.”
The WHO said on Tuesday it was “outraged” and promised the charges would be “rigorously investigated.”