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GAVI statement on the report of the independent commission on sexual exploitation and abuse

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Geneva, 30 September 2021 – Last year, an Independent Commission was appointed to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse during the response to the tenth Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This Commission has now published its report.

The independent commission interviewed dozens of women and girls, and identified dozens of potential victims of sexual exploitation and abuse, and 21 alleged perpetrators employed by the World Health Organization at the time of the events.

Gavi leadership and staff acknowledge the seriousness of the report’s findings. As leaders in global health, we have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the communities we work with, and we have collectively failed those we have a duty to serve. We echo the words of WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who vowed to ensure that justice will be done and acknowledged the responsibility of the international community and the need to rebuild trust in development and humanitarian organisations.

Gavi stands with the victims and is ready to assist alliance partners and national authorities in any way possible.


Evan O’Connell +41 79 682 18 95 eoconnell@gavi.org

Iryna Mazur +41 79 429 3671 imazur@gavi.org

Meg Sharafudeen +41 79 711 55 54 msharafudeen@gavi.org

Laura Shevlin + 41 79 529 92 87 lshevlin@gavi.org

Cirũ Kariũki +41 79 913 94 41

Notes to editors

About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 888 million children – and prevented more than 15 million future deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.