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WHO statement on Yemen


WHO has a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of corruption. WHO’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (IOS) conducted an audit of the Yemen Country Office during the period July to October 2018. This audit was initiated by the organization. IOS rated the effectiveness of controls in the administration and finance areas as unsatisfactory. A summary of these findings was formally reported to WHO’s Governing Bodies in May 2019 by the Director of IOS.

When the audit team came back from its first mission to Yemen in July 2018 it made preliminary recommendations regarding some practices and changes in responsibilities which required urgent management attention, including the suspension of contracts with some local implementing partners, and identified conflicts of interest and other matters of suspected wrong-doing by staff. These required formal investigation, which is on-going, in part owing to the complexities of the operational environment in the country.The auditors also carried out a follow-up mission in September 2018 to evaluate the systemic issues that needed addressing and areas where local capacity needed strengthening.

WHO moved quickly to address the audit recommendations comprehensively. A new country director was appointed in 2018. We have also deployed more staff with extensive experience in management, emergency response and administration to strengthen WHO’s response on the ground.  The country office structure has been updated with clear reporting lines and functions, to increase transparency and accountability, and to reduce operational and management inefficiencies. This issue is an on-going priority for the senior leadership of the organization.

WHO will continue to report on the progress in addressing the audit recommendations and the outcome of the continuing investigations as appropriate, including through meetings of our Governing Bodies.

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