According to a report by SaharaReporters, an investigation that was conducted by an independent commission into allegations of sexual exploitation has revealed that about 83 aid workers, including some staff members of World Health Organisation (WHO) sexually exploited older women and children during the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The probe was said to have been prompted by an investigation last year by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The New Humanitarian in which more than 50 women accused aid workers from WHO and other charities of demanding sex in exchange for jobs between 2018 and 2020.
The investigation revealed that at least 21 WHO staff members were part of the 83 suspected perpetrators charged with nine counts of rape.
“The review team has established that the presumed victims were promised jobs in exchange for sexual relations or in order to keep their jobs," commission member Malick Coulibaly told a press briefing.
In a statement, WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was "ashamed" of the allegations.
The survey showed that WHO staff were asking for sex from the women before giving them jobs.
"We apologise to those who have committed this atrocity, because those who should have protected them, have committed atrocities against them."
"We are confident that all the culprits will be prosecuted without exception."
Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti said the health body was "humbled, horrified and heartbroken" by the findings.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' spokesperson also apologised and thanked victims for their courage in testifying.