AP Exclusive: UN health agency struggles with travel abuses

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization spent nearly $192 million on travel expenses last year, with staffers sometimes breaking the agency's own rules by traveling in business class, booking expensive last-minute tickets and traveling without the required approvals, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The abuses could spook potential donors and partners as the organization begins its week-long annual meeting Monday in Geneva, seeking increased support to fight a devastating outbreak of Ebola in Congo and other deadly diseases including polio, malaria and measles.

The nearly $192 million is down 4% from 2017, when the agency pledged to rein in travel abuses following an AP investigation.

But recent documents show WHO auditors found some WHO staffers were still brazenly misrepresenting the reasons for their travel to exploit loopholes in the organization's policies and flying business class, which can be several times more expensive than economy, even though they did not meet the criteria to do so.

The agency's inability to curb its expenses could undermine its credibility and make it more difficult to raise money to fight health crises, according to Sophie Harman, a global health professor at Queen Mary University in London.Read more on NewsOK.com

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization spent nearly $192 million on travel expenses last year, with staffers sometimes breaking the agency's own rules by traveling in business class, booking expensive last-minute tickets and traveling without the required approvals, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The abuses could spook potential donors and partners as the organization begins its week-long annual meeting Monday in Geneva, seeking increased support to fight a devastating outbreak of Ebola in Congo and other deadly diseases including polio, malaria and measles.

The nearly $192 million is down 4% from 2017, when the agency pledged to rein in travel abuses following an AP investigation.

But recent documents show WHO auditors found some WHO staffers were still brazenly misrepresenting the reasons for their travel to exploit loopholes in the organization's policies and flying business class, which can be several times more expensive than economy, even though they did not meet the criteria to do so.

The agency's inability to curb its expenses could undermine its credibility and make it more difficult to raise money to fight health crises, according to Sophie Harman, a global health professor at Queen Mary University in London.
Read more on NewsOK.com

Read more on Newsok 

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