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Amid Ebola Pledges, ICP Asks UNDP Who Ensures Payments Are Made

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 10, updated -- On the eve of the UN's all-day Ebola pledging event, Inner City Press asked the UN Development Program's Coordinator of Ebola Response Sunil Saigal what steps UNDP would take to ensure that those who announced pledges actually pay them. In response, he acknowledges that non-payment is a problem, but added that “it's not for us to say.” Video here.

   On July 10 while the presidents of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea -- and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe -- spoke inside the UN's Trusteeship Council Chamber, out on First Avenue there were protests about not only Alpha Conde of Guinea but also “Koroma, where is the Ebola money?” Photo here.

  In the afternoon a self-described representative of the Sierra Leone diaspora spoke inside the UN, for the “private sector;” it was not clear why the diaspora protesting outside was not allowed in the UN.

   A question and answer stakeout that was scheduled for 5 pm took place closer to 6 pm. Inner City Press asked UNDP's Helen Clark what steps are being taken to ensure that the announced pledges are in fact paid. Inner City Press cited a study by Oxfam of under-payment of pledges on Haiti, Gaza and Lebanon - the radical underpayment in Yemen has yet to be studied -- and Helen Clark said she read it. She said UNDP will be contacting the pledgers. But will they go public with the non-payers?

Update: the UN after 11 pm in New York belatedly put out a statement that more than $5 billion were pledged. But who will report on what is actually paid?

  There were pledges which were limited to only some of the three countries - the UN position on this wasn't clear, and the question wasn't taken. Still, Helen Clark took and answered a press question inside the UN in New York, as the Free UN Coalition for Access has been asking for some time. So, onward and upward. Watch this site.


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