Health

Red Cross: $6 million for Ebola fight stolen through fraud

Red Cross: $6 million for Ebola fight stolen through fraud

The Red Cross has confirmed the misappropriation of almost $6m donated to fight the deadly 2014 outbreak that claimed more than 11,000 lives in West Africa.

The investigations into how the world’s oldest humanitarian organization¬†handled more than $124 million during the 2014-2016 epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has exposed evidence of fraud.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was first reported in March 2014, and rapidly became the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976, killing five times more than all other known Ebola outbreaks combined. [BBC]

‘An investigation by Red Cross auditors has revealed that in Liberia $2.7m disappeared in fraudulently overpriced supplies, or in salaries for non-existent aid workers.

In Sierra Leone, Red Cross staff apparently colluded with local bank workers to skim off over $2m while in Guinea, where investigations are ongoing, around $1m disappeared in fake customs bills.’ [BBC]

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies expressed “outrage” at the revelation and ‘committed to holding all those involved in any form of fraud to account, and to reclaiming all misappropriated, diverted, or otherwise illegally taken funds.’

‘Any immunity from prosecution would be waived to ensure any corrupt staff were held to account, it added.’ [Guardian]

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