According to the Associated Press, the head of the World Health Organization critiqued the global community concerning the lack of concern and attention given to non-white countries such as Syria and Ethiopia as opposed to the response to the war in Ukraine.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus questioned whether “the world really gives equal attention to Black and white lives.” He said that the attention Ukraine received is warranted and “very important,” but that countries such as Yemen and Afghanistan don’t get a “fraction” of that same attention.
“I need to be blunt and honest that the world is not treating the human race the same way,” he said. “Some are more equal than others. And when I say this, it pains me. Because I see it. Very difficult to accept – but it’s happening.”
Tedros previously served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, his home country, from 2012 to 2016. Since a truce was declared in the northern region of Ethiopia three weeks ago, about 2,000 trucks should have been able to enter with food, medicine, and other essentials. Instead, only about 20 trucks have arrived.
“As we speak, people are dying of starvation,” he said. “This is one of the longest and worst sieges by both Eritrean and Ethiopian forces in modern history.” Tedros described the situation in Tigray as “tragic” and said he “hopes the world comes back to its senses and treats all human life equally.”
The WHO director-general also spoke about a media blind spot when it comes to the ongoing unrest in Ethiopia. “I don’t even know if that was taken seriously by the media because of their ethnicity,” he said. “So we need to balance. We need to take every life seriously because every life is precious.”