Mercy Corps Confirms It Funded More Than Me’s Humanitarian Campaign
Monrovia – The aid agency, Mercy Corps, has corroborated a FrontPage Africa report indicating that it is among institutions that provided funding for the charity agency, More Than Me (MTM) ‘humanitarian’ activities in Liberia.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]
A few weeks ago, this paper reported that US government was reviewing documents that enable MTM to be eligible to receive a grant from Mercy Corps through funding from USAID, the American government’s main development agency.
“USAID is currently reviewing documentation related to the award to Mercy Corps and has additionally notified the USAID Office of Inspector General regarding the allegations,” said Selim Ariturk, Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy, Liberia.
According to him, USAID requires that its partners’ assistance programs respect—and protect—the rights of all people at all times, especially those affected by crises.
“Every grant from USAID is subject to a strict Code of Conduct requirement, mandating that partners ensure the protection of beneficiaries from sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian relief operations.”
However, responding to this story, Mercy Crops said that they had no prior or subsequent relationship with the charity MTM beyond the provision of a single subgrant of under US$ 100,000 to the charity at the peak of the Ebola crisis.
According to Mercy Corps, MTM was one of 77 subgrant recipients in a large Ebola public health campaign funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and overseen by Mercy Corps in Liberia that ran from 2014 to 2015.
“The subgrant funded MTM efforts to inform Liberians about how to prevent Ebola infection, more specifically it funded training community mobilizers to go into communities and provide key information on how to stop the spread of Ebola.”
Mercy Corps said, “As a humanitarian aid agency, we were deeply saddened and disappointed to read ProPublica’s investigative report into charity More Than Me.”
The group furthered that everyone has a responsibility to act ethically and responsibly, “To put our beneficiaries and the communities we serve first and to ensure that to the extent possible we safeguard the vulnerable from sexual exploitation and abuse.”
Mercy Corps said their program that MTM participated was focused on spreading accurate information regarding Ebola as quickly as possible and our due diligence focused on which the charity group capacity delivered.
“We are looking diligently to learn all we can from this case, to determine how we can better identify the warning signs of misconduct.”
Meanwhile, Mercy Corps committed themselves to build an inclusive and safe workplace where their team members are inspired to do their best work adding that they take a zero-tolerance approach to sexual misconduct in any form.
“Central to our workplace culture is the expectation that every person is treated with respect and dignity, and that all work interactions are conducted in a business-like manner, free of bias, prejudice, and harassment.”
“Mercy Corps has standard processes and practices in place to prevent any form of misconduct within our organization. As we do in all aspects of our work, we continuously seek ways to improve.”
The humanitarian institution said they are looking forward to working cooperatively with USAID to learn all they can from the situation so that they can continue to improve on safeguarding their measures.
The Liberian Government has reassured that its case will reopen the 2014 case of which the alleged perpetrator died after a hung jury came from jurors
Legal luminaries say there is nothing there to reopen as the defendant is dead and the indictment was directly done for the deceased.
“The Government has nothing to reopen because the case was a mistrial which the case is still open but since the defendant is dead, the only thing is to quash the case and do another indictment,” he said.
“There was no rape because the defendant was not held liable, so the case is still alleged and the Government must test the girls who were reportedly raped to see if they got infected with HIV virus.”