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WHO spends more on travels than tackling diseases, report says

Switzerland: World Health Organisation (WHO), a specialized agency of UN for International Public health is spending more money on travels than on three crucial diseases, AIDS, TB and Malaria with which the organization is fighting.

According to the news published in African News, in 2016, total cost spends on AIDS, TB and malaria is $71m, $61m and $59m respectively whereas WHO spends $200m on travels by staff.

These costly travel costs were contained in documents which were accessed by news agency, Associated Press (AP). After the release of this report, experts believe that it would be more difficult for WHO to raise funds.

According to AP, Nick Jeffreys, Director of WHO said, “We don’t trust people to do the right thing when it comes to travel,” during an internal seminar on accountability in September 2015.

Due to the outbreak of Ebola in 2014, there was spike in travels. Between 2013 and 2016, the total travel expense by WHO officials was $803m.

It may be mentioned that the annual budget of the organization is approximately $2 billion which is contributed by 194 member countries. Out of 194 members, United States is the largest contributor.

Talking on the issue, Dr. Anhish Jha, Director of Global Health Institute at Harvard University said that WHO need to justify the spending. He further said that if WHO continues such spending, it would be difficult when they make next funding appeal.