WHO chief calls on US to reconsider funding freeze

The World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday (local time) called on the United States to reconsider its decision to freeze funding to the organization, and hoped that the country will once again support WHO’s work and continue to save lives.

“The US has been supporting WHO and it’s number one donor (of WHO). We value that, we appreciate that,” the WHO Director-General said at a press briefing.

Having appreciated the US funding for helping build the national health system in Ethiopia where he used to be the minister of health, Tedros said he has also been a live witness as the organisation’s chief of the American support to the global body.

“I hope the US believes that this is an important investment not just to help others, but for the US to stay safe also,” he said.

“So I hope the freezing of the funding will be reconsidered and the US will once again support WHO’s work and continue to save lives,” Tedros added.

The US announced last week a decision to halt its funding to the WHO, while ordering a review to assess the institution’s role in “severely mismanaging and covering up” the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The Trump administration has accused the WHO of siding with China in the coronavirus outbreak that has brought America’s economy to a standstill.

Globally, more than 2.5 million people have been diagnosed with the virus. More than 170,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

American taxpayers provide between USD 400 million and USD 500 million per year to the WHO, in contrast, China contributes roughly USD 40 million a year and even less.

“As the organisation’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability, one of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations,” Trump had told the media at the White House.

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