At least a third of the $5.8 billion pledged in support of West African communities devastated by Ebola have yet to be delivered, while the funding that has been disbursed is nearly impossible to track, an analysis by Oxfam International finds.
Six months after the International Ebola Recovery Conference — where $5.2 billion was pledged for Ebola recovery efforts in the region — there is scant information available about the $3.9 billion that has been allocated. "We know that $1.9 billion of the promised funds have not even been committed to a specific country, but we can't say for sure how much of the remaining committed money has been effectively delivered,” said Aboubacry Tall, Oxfam's regional director for West Africa. "A lack of transparency throughout the whole process, from donors to implementing organizations to programs on the ground, means we're finding it hard to understand which donors have given what money, to whom, and for what purpose."
Although the World Health Organization declared Sierra Leone and Guinea free of Ebola virus transmission late last year, nearly two years after the outbreak erupted, on January 12 a woman in Sierra Leone died of Ebola; WHO reports that as a result of her infection a hundred and fifty people were exposed to the virus, fifty of whom are deemed to be at high risk.
"In order for the countries to quickly build the health systems they require, governments and communities need to know what aid they are getting, when it is coming, where it is going, and they need to have a say in how it is used,” said Tall. “We urge donors to ‘put their money where their mouths are' and demonstrate what transparency really means by, at a minimum, publishing information in accordance with International Aid Transparency Initiative standards."