Canadian, US Envoys Say Graft Undermining DRC Ebola Fight


Canadian, US envoys say graft undermining DRC Ebola fight

Kinshasa, Sept 18 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Sep, 2020 ) :The US, British and Canadian ambassadors on Friday said rampant corruption was undermining the fight against the Democratic Republic of Congo's worst outbreak of Ebola.

Around a billion Dollars in aid, along with an army of external specialists, flooded into the DRC after the much-feared haemorrhagic fever surfaced in its volatile east two years ago.

It was declared over on June 25 this year after 2,287 lives were lost -- the highest Ebola toll in the DRC's history and the second highest in the world, after the 2013-16 epidemic in West Africa that killed 11,000 people.

"People view such epidemics as an opportunity to get rich, be it the private sector or state channels," said Canadian ambassador Nicolas Simard in a radio interview along with his British and American peers.

The three last week toured Mbandaka in the Equateur province where a recent outbreak has seen 120 cases and 50 deaths.

"In Mbandaka, there were more than 4,000 people deployed in the Ebola fightback while there were only 120 cases. Why 4,000 people?" Simard said.

"We absolutely have to find better ways to manage public funds, to avoid all sorts of corruption problems that we are witnessing."US ambassador Mike Hammer also voiced concern over the "'Ebola business' and the people who are trying to profit" from the outbreak.

Washington has pledged $600 million over two years to help fight Ebola, Canada has provided over $100 million while Britain has provided $250 million, according to the respective envoys.