WHO chief to stay after outcry over travel perks

Written by By Sophie Brown Shaswaran “Ted” Adhanom Eswaran, the widely criticized outgoing chief of the World Health Organization, will receive an unprecedented second term as the organisation’s chief. Eswaran had been widely derided…

WHO chief to stay after outcry over travel perks

Written by By Sophie Brown

Shaswaran “Ted” Adhanom Eswaran, the widely criticized outgoing chief of the World Health Organization, will receive an unprecedented second term as the organisation’s chief.

Eswaran had been widely derided for the organization’s handling of an outbreak of cholera in Venezuela in 2017 and later for his handling of the public health crisis in Haiti. His tenure in the agency, which he joined in 2011, has also been marred by low voter turnout in the elections.

The U.N. agency announced that on Friday it had “entered into an in-principle agreement” with the candidate Itunu Oteh — of the African Union Group — to become its next director-general.

“The discussions with the candidate were successful and we are pleased to announce that We Are at Agreement,” said a statement on Friday, along with the statement from Oteh.

“The new DG will be in office immediately. We are thankful to President Michel Pharaon for the invitation to join the Executive Committee and to everyone who supported our candidacy,” she said.

She was, however, outranked by the EU candidate, Armando Samuda, who was announced on Thursday as the winner. Samuda, head of the European Commission’s health department, will be Eswaran’s first challenger in the 15 year history of the jobs.

Eswaran has already been scrutinized for paying out millions of dollars in travel perks and for his role in an outbreak of cholera in Venezuela.

The elections, held in October, will see Eswaran stand for a second term in a remote corner of Poland. The 48-year-old, who hails from Ethiopia, will live in an airport-side hotel in Krakow while he works for the World Health Organization.

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