If you are someone who thinks you are furthering education and research on a health related issue such as malaria, tuberculosis, or even AIDS by donating Money to the World Health Organization (also known as WHO), you may want to think again. Internal documents recently obtained by The Associated Press suggest the health organization may be wasting their funds on Travel.

The health agency has been begging for more money

As some may know, WHO is currently strapped for cash.

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The organization has been begging for more money in order to better handle the response to health crisis all around the world. The internal documents obtained, however, suggest the company spends roughly $200 million on travel every year.

The agency blames its staff

WHO claims to have introduced new rules in order to try to curb just how much money the agency spends on travel. Senior officials, however, have submitted internal complains that a number of the staff members are breaking said rules. They are doing so by booking additional perks like traveling business class or staying in five-star hotels.

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Health-related funding

In 2016, WHO spent roughly $61 million on malaria and $71 million on hepatitis and AIDS. Tuberculosis, on the other hand, only got $59 million. The organization, however, did manage to give exceptional funding to some health programs such as $450 million towards polio each year.

Even the director excessively spends

Dr. Margaret Chan – the director-general of WHO – recently took a trip to Guinea and praised the health workers in West Africa who were doing a great job fighting Ebola.

During his trip, he stayed in the largest presidential suite the Palm Camayenne hotel located in Conakry had to offer. This particular suite costs $1,008. WHO declined any request to comment on who paid for this particular hotel room. The organization only noted that it was not uncommon for the host country to pick up the tab.

Some are arguing the biggest problem with the director-general staying in such a nice hotel room is it sets a bad example for the 7,000 staff members employed by the agency.

How do they know what is an appropriate amount to spend on a hotel room during agency-funded trips when the director is comfortable in a room that exceeds $1,000 a night?

Dr. Bruce Aylward – who was responsible for director the outbreak response – accumulated nearly $400,000 in travel-related expenses while responding to the Ebola crisis. Internal documents revealed Bruce would opt for flying by helicopter instead of traveling by vehicle – frequently opting for the more expensive choice.

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That same year, Chan spent nearly the same amount on travel. In fact, the general-director was identified as one of the top 50 spenders within the agency. Dr. Bruce Aylward was first on the list and Chan was a close second. Three sources spoke to AP – but requested to remind anonymous as they feared being fired for speaking out. These sources revealed Chan preferred to fly first class.

The question remains – is WHO wasting money intended for health education and research on travel?

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This internal information obtained by AP seems to suggest that would be the case.

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