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BBC: Former MSF staff accuse aid workers of sexual misdeeds

June 21, 2018

LONDON (AP) — Former aid workers have accused staff of charity Doctors Without Borders of using prostitutes and boasting of exchanging medicine for sex while working in Africa, the BBC reported Thursday.

One woman who spoke anonymously to the broadcaster said there were cases of “abuse of power” and “predatory” behavior by older male aid workers to younger local women. Another alleged there was “blatant and widespread” use of sex workers, while a third said a colleague bragged about bartering medication for sex during the Ebola virus outbreak in Liberia a few years ago.

“He was suggesting lots of the young girls who had lost their parents to the Ebola crisis would do anything sexual in exchange for medication,” the woman said.

The BBC said it could not verify the allegation.

The international development sector has been shaken by allegations of sexual misconduct by staff of United Nations agencies and aid groups.

Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French name Medecins Sans Frontieres, said it had been unable to confirm the BBC allegations because of a lack of detailed information.

The group said in a statement that it did not tolerate “abuse, harassment or exploitation.”

“We know that MSF is not immune to these issues and we take any reports seriously,” it said. “We have mechanisms in place to prevent, detect and address staff misconduct.”

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