Ebola survivors sue government of Sierra Leone over missing millions


Two Ebola survivors are to sue the government of Sierra Leone in the first international court case intended to throw light on what happened to some of the millions of dollars siphoned off from funding to help fight the disease.

The case, filed with the regional west African court in Nigeria, alleges that a lack of government accountability allowed the disappearance of almost a third of the money that came into the country during the early months of the Ebola outbreak in 2014. It claims that this led to violations of survivors’ rights to health and life .

An audit of the first six months of the outbreak showed that more than $15m (£11m) worth of resources donated to the government went unaccounted for – more than 30% of what came into the country over that period. Lara Taylor-Pearce, Sierra Leone’s auditor general, said in an interview with the Africa Research Institute that she felt justice was needed for Sierra Leoneans over the missing millions: “For serious breaches of financial management procedure I would support forcing the individuals responsible to pay back the money. It would send a strong message. But currently this does not happen. People continue to get away with transgressions.”

Sierra Leone recorded more than 14,000 cases of Ebola in two years, and about 250 health workers died. Officials promised survivors free healthcare and a small financial package, while surviving heath workers were told they would receive up to $5,000.(theguardian)…[+]