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Chan Faces Financing Challenges In Second Term As WHO Director-General

The expected re-appointment of Margaret Chan as the WHO’s director-general “comes at a perilous moment for WHO,” a Lancet editorial states. Although “WHO is in crisis” and “[r]escue is needed,” the situation is not “a fair reflection of the director-general’s performance,” the editorial adds, noting several successes of her first term, including initiatives on women’s and children’s health and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

However, “[n]one of this is to say that there have not been disappointments,” the Lancet writes, adding that “[h]er leadership team has not been a success,” and “sometimes one wishes for a sharper message, a stronger articulation of what WHO is for in the 21st century.” The editorial concludes, “These matters can be addressed during a second term. But that term will depend on proper financing of WHO by its donors. And here Dr. Chan faces her greatest test of all” (1/14).