UN health agency opens probe into "misconduct" allegations

Geneva (AFP) –


The UN World Health Organization has opened an investigation into "allegations of misconduct" inside the organisation, based on an anonymous email circulated internally, the agency said on Thursday.

The WHO said it was aware of a news story published on Thursday about the allegations. It said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had ordered a probe by an internal oversight office.

While not giving details of the allegations the WHO stressed that since Ghebreyesus had taken office in 2017 he had "championed openness, transparency and diversity".

The UN agency is "working consistently to increase geographical diversity and improve gender balance at all levels as part of its ongoing transformation process," the statement added.

"We are confirming that WHO is following up on allegations of misconduct made in an anonymous email. Any type of misconduct is an issue of concern for us - regardless of its nature," WHO spokeswoman Sarah Russell said.

She said the investigation had been opened last year.

The WHO has 7,000 officials who work in 150 national offices, six regional offices and the agency's headquarters in Geneva.