Congo-Kinshasa: UN Chief Appeals for Donors to Follow Through on Ebola Pledges

A health worker checks a child potentially infected with Ebola being carried on the back of a caregiver at the Ebola Treatment Centre of Beni, North-Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo in March 2019.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres encouraged donors to honor the pledges they have made to combat Ebola as he visited the Democratic Republic of Congo to offer support in fighting the outbreak.

Guterres told reporters Monday in Kinshasa that the United Nations has received only 15% of what it needs to fight the Ebola epidemic for the remainder of the year. He said further delays in receiving donor funding could mean ''we lose the war against Ebola.''

The U.N. head later met with DRC President Felix Tshisekedi.

On Sunday, Guterres traveled to the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak, visiting a treatment center in the eastern city of Beni.

"I could not go to the DRC without coming to meet the brave inhabitants of this beautiful territory,'' he said.

The current Ebola outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people and infected 1,000 others.

In another development Monday, Congo's former health minister, Oly Ilunga, was questioned by police over his management of funds to fight the Ebola epidemic, according to his lawyers.

Ilunga resigned from his position in July, after overseeing the government response to the Ebola outbreak for nearly a year.

Lawyers for Ilunga say he has been questioned about payments his office made to village chiefs to help spread information about Ebola, as well as bonuses distributed to members of his staff.

The lawyers denied Illunga was involved in any wrongdoing.

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