Red Cross apologise for losing $5m of Ebola funds to fraud

Ebola claimed at least 10,000 lives across West Africa

The Red Cross has confirmed that more than $5m (£3.8m) of aid money was lost to fraud and corruption during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Auditors found overpriced supplies, salaries for non-existent aid workers and fake customs bills.

The disease, which raged between 2014 and 2016, claimed at least 10,000 lives.

It required a massive humanitarian operation costing hundreds of millions of dollars to bring it under control.

As Ebola spread across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the Red Cross Federation in Geneva was dispersing cash donations to the national Red Cross societies in each of those countries – altogether a sum of about $100m.

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.

The Red Cross told the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva that it is deeply sorry for the losses.

The organisation adds that it has introduced stricter financial rules, and promised to hold any Red Cross staff involved to account.

Read more of this article

Source: BBC News

(Visited 81 times, 1 visits today)

Comments

comments

About Cholo Brooks 12098 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.