Western aid agencies are using the plight of Africa’s Ebola orphans to fund a lavish lifestyle in $800-a-night hotels and leaving the children to fend for themselves, according to Julia Duncan-Cassell, Liberia’s development chief.
Children who were forced to watch their parents die and were then shunned by their community are being ignored while useless facilities are being built.
She accuses the agencies of handing out daily allowances of $235 that are higher than her own salary and says that the money invested is wasted on driving around in big cars and expensive hotels.
A MailOnline investigation has discovered that just 531 of Liberia’s estimated 12,000 orphans are receiving formal help in government safe homes despite the hundreds of millions of pounds of Western aid pouring into the country.
There is only one worker dedicated to tracking them down for every 66,000 people in the country.
Duncan-Cassell – whose department is responsible for the welfare of the country’s 1.7million children below the age of 15 – says: ‘I feel sad, the children are being used for the wrong reasons.
‘They [the agencies] are using the situation to raise money for their organisations. The money is paying directly for the NGOs – their per diem, the money they get per day, is even more than I make as a minister, the kind of cars that they ride, the best hotels. How many of them do you need to do that? We do not need an army of them.’
She said the money was going to the wrong people because in the end it would be the government of Liberia that had to account for the future of the children, not the NGOs.
‘Millions of dollars might be coming into the country but it is going to international organisations that are running their own institutions and their own organisations, not understanding the dimension of what needs to be done.‘