WHO Chief Concedes ‘slow’ Response To Congo Sex Abuse Claims

FILE - In this Thursday, March 14, 2019 file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) speaks at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland about the update on WHO Ebola operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The head of the World Health Organization acknowledged the U.N. agency’s response to allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by its own staffers during an Ebola outbreak in Congo was “slow” after being pressed on the issue by numerous countries following an Associated Press investigation that revealed senior management were informed about sexual misconduct complaints. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP, File)

(AP) — The head of the World Health Organization has acknowledged the U.N. health agency’s response to sexual abuse allegations involving employees who worked in Congo during an Ebola outbreak was “slow.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus used the term during closed-door meetings last week following an Associated Press investigation that found senior WHO management knew of multiple cases of alleged sexual misconduct in the African country.

Nearly 50 countries issued a joint statement Friday expressing their “deep concerns” about WHO’s handling of sexual abuse. Alluding to the AP’s recent story, several countries said they expected to see swifter action by the agency.


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