Here we go again.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has criticised the global community’s focus on the war in Ukraine, arguing that crises elsewhere, including in his home country of Ethiopia, are not being given equal consideration, possibly because the people affected are not white.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus questioned whether “the world really gives equal attention to black and white lives” given that ongoing emergencies in Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria had garnered only a “fraction” of the concern for Ukraine.
“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.”
Last month Tedros said there was “nowhere on Earth where the health of millions of people is more under threat” than Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Coincidentally, Tedros’ family comes from the Tigray region.
The WHO boss is entitled to care about the Tigray region and likewise Europeans are entitled to care more about Ukraine. Perhaps objectively everyone should care about everything equally, but people do have kinship biases and it’s not racist to have them.
If it’s racist for Europeans to focus on Ukraine, it’s also racist for Tedros to focus on Tigray.
Earlier this year the Ethiopian government sent a letter to the WHO accusing Tedros of “misconduct” after his sharp criticism of the war and humanitarian crisis in the country.
It said Tedros was using his office “to advance his political interest at the expense of Ethiopia” and said he continued to be an active member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
Tedros was Ethiopia’s foreign minister and health minister when the TPLF dominated the country’s ruling coalition.
I’m sure that has nothing to do with it.