Diplomats, donors concerned about sex abuse reports at WHO

LONDON (AP) – Diplomats and British, European and American diplomats and donors have expressed serious concerns over how the World Health Organization has handled allegations of sexual exploitation involving its own staff in the blast. Ebola in the Congo, as announced by the Associated Press this week.

On Tuesday, Andhra Pradesh released a document stating that senior management of WHO was aware of allegations of sexual exploitation of at least two doctors during the 2018 epidemic.

The notarized agreement obtained by the AP showed that two employees of WHO had signed an agreement between WHO Drs. Jean-Paul Nagandu and she is said to be a rich woman in the Congo. In this, Naganda promised to pay the virgin money, cover the cost of pregnancy and buy her a piece of land. The agreement was made “to protect the integrity and reputation of the organization”.

UK Ambassador Simon Manley said, “Britain has an intolerant attitude towards sexual exploitation and harassment – and it is spreading to all international organizations that we fund.” U.N. in Geneva “We are talking to the WHO and other major donors about setting the facts as an easy matter.” The us Britain is the second largest donor to WHO after India.

The us The State Department has no immediate comment.

The WHO declined to comment on specific allegations reported by the AP, saying it was awaiting the results of a committee set up in October to investigate sexual exploitation in Congo that included Congo activists. WHO.

“The alarming thing is that the WHO is silent about this abuse, and the public is not condemning these allegations,” said Claire Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics, on gender issues and WHO funding. . “There are a lot of things about giving more money, but I don’t think any government should do this until we know that this is an organization that we can trust.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the agency’s third most frequent agency, said it hopes to conduct a full investigation of sexual abuse soon.

“Our role as frauds is to insist on companies receiving grants from the grassroots level to maintain the highest standards of transparency and accountability and to take action to prevent misconduct in the future.” Said the foundation.

Lawrence Costin, director of the WHO Cooperation Center for Global Health Law at Georgetown University, said the real responsibility for WHO’s response to Ebola lay with Director General Tetros Adnom Caprius. AB Packer, one of the doctors accused of sexual harassment, was found by AB to be boasting about his relationship with Tetros, referring to Diallo in a January 2019 speech. Abby talks to three women. Diallo denied the allegations.

It is hard to believe that Tetros would have known about these allegations and would have done nothing, ”said Gostin. “(The Director-General) must meet the highest ethical standards, so we know what he knows and when he knows it we will understand. … Dr. Diallo described his relationship with Tetros as an act of sexual abuse. May have been used, but it will not be wrong if Tetros is not aware of it. “

Costin said WHO employees who knew about the sexual abuse allegations but failed to take action should be punished.

European Union spokesman Balas Ujjain said he would “closely monitor the AP’s investigation.” He added that the commission is “ready to review or suspend funding to any partner who does not comply with the required high ethics and professional policies and standards.” Last year, the European Commission provided approximately 114 million euros (8138 million) to the WHO.

The World Bank says it is “deeply concerned” about new allegations of sexual abuse on the WHO. When there were reports of general sexual abuse during the Ebola outbreak last year, the bank postponed negotiations with Congo officials to provide new funding to agencies, including the WHO.

“We are reviewing our relationship with any organization whose standards are questionable,” the World Bank said in an email.

Benny resident of Congo Jeremy Nalya recently accused the WHO of sexual abuse, after seeing how the company handled sexual abuse allegations, it would be a happy ending if donors cut their funding to the WHO. in country.

“It should be a lesson to all humanitarian organizations that innocent women in our region should not be abused,” she said. “It will show that you cannot touch them.”

Jamie Keaton in Geneva and Al-Hadji Kutra Maliro in Beni, Congo contributed to the report.

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