May 30, 2024, 5:07 pm

New Delhi correspondent

2023-10-14 20:44:01 BdST

Delhi supports Saima for WHO South Asia director

New Delhi has decided to endorse the candidacy of Saima Wazed, the daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for the forthcoming election for the top position at the World Health Organization (WHO) in South Asia.

An official source has confirmed to the media late Friday evening, around two weeks before the closed-door election, set to take place from October 30 to November 2 in New Delhi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured for the support during the visit of Prime Minister Hasina to New Delhi for the G-20 summit earlier.

Saima Wazed who is best known for her work in autism was also present during the informal meeting.

The sole alternative candidate for the position is Shambhu Prasad Acharya from Nepal.

He is a seasoned professional within the WHO system, presently serving as a director in the office of WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.

The present regional director is Poonam Khetrapal Singh from India, the first woman to occupy the position.

She is currently serving her second consecutive five-year term, having been unanimously reelected in 2018.

Two officials familiar with the matter said that Saima Wazed has already secured the vote of nine countries among 11.

The member countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Campaigning for such elections typically commences years in advance, involving a country seeking support for its candidate in exchange for endorsing other nations in votes at various UN or WHO agencies.

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