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WFP chief vows more 'aggressive' action on sexual harassment

The leader of the World Food Program is vowing to go after abusers in the wake of an internal survey that detailed multiple allegations of rape and sexual harassment of its female staffers.

David Beasley, the U.N. agency's executive director, said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that he is "making hard choices to bring change" to the WFP.

The survey Beasley commissioned found that at least 28 employees said they experienced rape or sexual assaults while working at the agency. More than 640 others said they were victims of or witnessed sexual harassment, or 8% of the total sample of 8,137. The survey was first reported last month by The Italian Insider.

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2018 file photo, men deliver U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) aid in Aslam, Hajjah, Yemen. In the wake of an internal survey that detailed multiple allegations of rape and sexual harassment of its female staffers, David Beasley, the agency’s executive director, vowed to go after abusers. Beasley said over the past year he has been increasing the number of investigators at the agency to 22 to look into allegations of misconduct, including a number who specialize in dealing with victims of sexual violence. (AP PhotoHammadi Issa, File)

FILE - In this March, 31, 2019 file photo, a World Food Programme(WFP) plane takes off from Beira International Airport after dropping off supplies for survivors of Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique. In the wake of an internal survey that detailed multiple allegations of rape and sexual harassment of its female staffers, David Beasley, the agency’s executive director, vowed to go after abusers. Beasley said over the past year he has been increasing the number of investigators at the agency to 22 to look into allegations of misconduct, including a number who specialize in dealing with victims of sexual violence. (AP PhotoTsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2018 file photo, a Sudanese refugee man sits on his bike after collecting food from a World Food Programme (WFP) food distribution in Yida, South Sudan. In the wake of an internal survey that detailed multiple allegations of rape and sexual harassment of its female staffers, David Beasley, the agency’s executive director, vowed to go after abusers. Beasley said over the past year he has been increasing the number of investigators at the agency to 22 to look into allegations of misconduct, including a number who specialize in dealing with victims of sexual violence. (AP PhotoSam Mednick, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2018 file photo, David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Programme, speaks to The Associated Press during an interview in Rome. In the wake of an internal survey that detailed multiple allegations of rape and sexual harassment of its female staffers, Beasley vowed to go after abusers. Beasley said over the past year he has been increasing the number of investigators at the agency to 22 to look into allegations of misconduct, including a number who specialize in dealing with victims of sexual violence. (AP PhotoGregorio Borgia, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2017 file photo, the U.N. World Food Program's logo is seen at the agency's headquarters in New York. In the wake of an internal survey that detailed multiple allegations of rape and sexual harassment of its female staffers, David Beasley, the agency’s executive director, vowed to go after abusers. Beasley said over the past year he has been increasing the number of investigators at the agency to 22 to look into allegations of misconduct, including a number who specialize in dealing with victims of sexual violence. (AP PhotoRobert Bumstead, File)