An independent inquiry has found that the World Health Organization’s Ebola aid workers sexually abused multiple women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Guardian reports the commission determined that 21 employees working for the UN global health body had sexually assaulted about 80 women and girls, aged from 13 to 43. According to the report, several instances of rape led to 29 pregnancies and forced abortions by WHO staffers who were supposed to be there to aid in the Ebola relief effort. Some staffers forced women and girls to have sex for employment and would turn hostile and issue threats if they refused, the report found.
Four people have since been dismissed, and two were put on leave. The WHO’s Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the report “harrowing” and apologized. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what was done to you by people who were employed by WHO to serve and protect you,” he said. “I’m sorry for the ongoing suffering that these events must cause.”