Researchers says missing funds, opaque pay practices and poor management hamper the coronavirus response in the DRC, reports Yahoo News. The Congo Research Group, based at New York University, says several new committees were set up that cost more money but failed to solve the problems.
Its report says only $6m of the $363m COVID funding awarded by the IMF last year has been publicly accounted for. The group says the lessons have not been learnt from previous failures in the management of health funds, and claims at least $240,000 vanished in the purchase of ambulances and vehicles for the Health Ministry's COVID response. The Congolese government has not responded to BBC requests for comment.
DR Congo is one of 50 countries across the world that have failed to fully vaccinate 10% of their population against coronavirus. Estimates suggest that about 0.1% of the country's 89 million people have had a vaccine
Challenges include its reliance on COVAX vaccination scheme, an underfunded health system already ravaged by concurrent outbreaks of measles, Ebola and cholera, the widespread mistrust of the authorities, and conflict between the government and armed groups in the country's east. Added to this, critics say, is endemic corruption.
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