WHO chief: Focus on Ukraine conflict shows bias towards black lives


The head of the World Health Organization has slammed the global community for its focus on the war in Ukraine, arguing that crises elsewhere, including in his native Ethiopia, are not given equal consideration, possibly because those suffering are not white.

HO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus questioned “whether the world really pays equal attention to the lives of blacks and whites” as the ongoing emergencies in Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria represent only a “fraction” of global concerns about Ukraine have woken up. He spoke in a virtual press conference from Geneva on Wednesday.

Last month, Tedros said there was “nowhere in the world where the health of millions of people is at greater risk” than in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Since a ceasefire was declared in Tigray three weeks ago, about 2,000 trucks should have been able to bring food, medicine and other essential supplies to the conflict zone, he said. Instead, only about 20 trucks arrived, said Tedros, a former health minister in Ethiopia and an ethnic Tigrayan.

“As we speak, people are dying of hunger,” he said. “This is one of the longest and worst sieges by both Eritrean and Ethiopian forces in modern history.”

Tedros acknowledged that the war in Ukraine was of global concern, but questioned whether enough attention was being paid to other crises.

“I have to say bluntly and honestly that the world doesn’t treat humanity the same way,” he said. “Some are more equal than others.”

Tedros described the situation in Tigray as “tragic” and said he “hopes the world will come around and treat everyone equally”. He also criticized the press for its failure to document the ongoing atrocities in Ethiopia, noting that people had been burned alive in the region. “I don’t even know if that was taken seriously by the media.”

Earlier this year, the Ethiopian government sent a letter to the World Health Organization accusing Tedros of “misconduct” after he harshly criticized the war and humanitarian crisis in the country.

The Ethiopian government said Tedros uses his office “to advance his political interests at Ethiopia’s expense” and said he remains an active member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front; Tedros was Ethiopia’s foreign and health minister when the TPLF dominated the country’s ruling coalition. WHO chief: Focus on Ukraine conflict shows bias towards black lives

Fry Electronics Team

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