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Red Cross Confirms Staff Has Pilfered $6M That Was Donated To Fight Ebola

When one donates their hard-earned dollars to a good cause, they’re taking a leap of faith that assumes those dollars will be used for the cause intended. While it’s nice to assume that’s always the case, it’s unfortunately not. There have been plenty of instances of fraud within charitable organizations through the years, and there’s another eye-popping one to add to the list. Unfortunately, this one has to do with one of the world’s largest charitable organizations.

As the Daily Mail shares, the International Federation of the Red Cross has confirmed that it has uncovered instances of fraud ties to its fundraising efforts to combat the 2014 Ebola crisis, which spread through Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The outbreak claimed 11,000 lives, and the organization was able to raise a boatload of cash to help out. All told, there was more than $124 million handled by the organization during the crisis.

As part of its own internal investigation to determine how well that money was handled, the company uncovered some alarming instances of fraud. So how much are we talking? How about a whopping $6 million that was stolen through unseemly methods. In Liberia, the Red Cross uncovered that $2.7 million was pilfered through inflated payments, while another $2 million was gone as a result of ‘likely collusion’ in Sierra Leone. Over in Guinea, phony bills and inflated estimates led to more than $1 million vanishing.

The Red Cross has noted that it’s ‘outraged’ over the findings. Dr Jemilah Mahmood, the IFRXC under secretary general for partnerships, offered up some additional perspective.

“We are pursuing every possible avenue to reclaim all funds that have been misappropriated, diverted, or otherwise illegally taken,” Mahmood said. “This includes working with authorities in affected countries and elsewhere as appropriate.”

However, Mahmood would also add that these revelations “must not in any way diminish the tremendous courage and dedication of thousands of volunteers and staff during the Ebola response. They played a critical and widely recognized role in containing and ending the outbreak, and preventing further spread of the Ebola virus internationally.”

Fair enough, and few rational folks will point too many fingers after the organization came clean in such public fashion. However, we’re still talking about a ton of cash. In addition, this stems back to 2014 fundraising efforts. Why is an internal review of where the funds went taking three years to either complete or be started? Are there not standard accounting procedures in place throughout the organization?

There obviously have to be, and that makes it all the more alarming that this went unchecked for so long. If this much cash can be pilfered from one single crisis, how can we be sure that there are not other instances buried on the books? Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are, but that’s the perception that will be swirling around. In a perfect world, the organization will get to the bottom of who stole what and when, and proceed to make very public examples of those responsible.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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