WHO and Unicef evacuate staff from Ebola area over safety concerns

Organisation: Position: Deadline Date: Location:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has evacuated dozens of their staff working on the Ebola epidemic from the town of Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to the worsening security situation. Polity reports that rebels believed to belong to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed eight people in an overnight raid on Sunday.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier is quoted in the report as saying that 49 non-essential staff were flown on Tuesday morning to the eastern city of Goma, where they will continue working. “Seventy-one remain on the spot at this point to ensure as good as possible or at least the minimum support to the Ebola response,” Lindmeier said. “The frustration, the anger of the population on the ground is very much understandable. But we need law and order restored in order to carry out vital operations,” he said.

Unicef has temporarily relocated 27 staff, leaving 12 in Beni, spokesperson Marixie Mercado said. There have been 3,303 cases of Ebola, including 2,199 deaths, in the outbreak that was declared in August 2018. The WHO declared it an international emergency in July 2019.

Polity report

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