By Modesto P. Sa-onoy
Several times Global Fund was mentioned here. What is it? Senta Depuydt says “it is a partnership led by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.” It appears to be a benevolent funding agency. In July 2009, Tedros was elected Board Chair of the Fund for a two-year term. In a profile published in April 2010, The Lancet reported that he was “a household name at the Global Fund Secretariat” and that his achievements led to name Ethiopia as an exemplary high-performing country.”
Depuydt considers this “a surprising conclusion, when one finds out that during his leadership, the use of international aid funds he supervised was very questionable. In 2012, an audit of the Global Fund looked at the expenses of the aids, tuberculosis and malaria program in several African countries, including Ethiopia who had received $1.3 billion in grants.”
What did the probe find? “Inspector General John Parson who was in charge of the audit, revealed a flagrant lack of transparency, numerous shortcomings in the accounting and management of the funds, to the point of suggesting a minimum payback of $7 million to the organization. Above all, the investigation also showed a huge discrepancy between the results presented and the reality observed in Ethiopia during the field visits. It cited 77% of the medical centers built did not have drinking water and 32% did not have sanitary facilities. Only 14% had a microscope or a delivery table, and only 12% had a pharmacy.”
Clear indications of graft and corruption, however, Tedros seems untouchable because “the report should have led to a series of measures ensuring more transparency and efficacy in the management of the program, but instead the Inspector General and his findings were dismissed. Obviously, good relationships with African government leaders had far greater importance than honesty in handling aid funds.”
Depuydt continues that in 2012 “at the end of his term in the Health Department, Tedros Ghebreyesus was appointed head of Foreign Affairs (2012-2016), a further confirmation that he had always remained at the heart of the Party’s decisions, and was still serving its goals with dubious methods. For example, in 2013, when Saudi Arabia chose to send back immigrants from different nations, the only country that took no steps to repatriate its nationals was Ethiopia. This inaction, for which he was responsible, led to violence against Ethiopians by the Saudis.”
There’s much blood in Tedros hands, according to Depuydt. “In 2014, Tedros, the former TPLF terrorist, also organized the kidnapping, extradition and condemnation of several dissident leaders and hundreds of asylum seekers in Yemen, with the complicity of the Yemeni government.”
The public image of the office of the director-general of the World Health Organization is one of high respect because of what the UN and the WHO represent. However, that does not seem so.
Depuydt in fact, “wonders how such a man could have become Director-General of the WHO. No doubt the work carried out by the American communication agency Mercury Public Affairs (specializing in political campaigns) in preparing the presentation of his candidacy was effective, both in terms of watering down his sulfurous image and in pushing him as ‘the voice of developing countries.‘“
A European journalist, Depuydt understands the mechanics of how corrupt governments select their officials and how media play an important role in creating a “great public image.” Nothing different from the Philippines.
Nevertheless, she found that “some representatives of the WHO member states did not buy it.”
When the candidates were interviewed before the votes, the Brazilian Ambassador asked Tedros how he intended to “represent the voice of developing countries by proposing a program that was much more aligned with the priorities of the countries of the North, hereby referring to his approach of health through security (pandemic preparedness), and to treating ‘equality’ in terms of ‘coverage’ (vaccines), rather than in the development of universal health systems (for example medical infrastructure and training or access to water).”
The ambassador remarked that “Tedros had not proposed anything concrete in terms of sustainable development for vulnerable countries.”
Tedros must be already entrenched because he had a “northern agenda” aligned with the priorities of the Global Health Security Agenda promoted by Bill Gates.”
Continued November 16.