WHO officials respond to US funding halt: ‘We regret the decision’
After US President Trump announced the suspension of funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 14, his traditional EU allies expressed regret and dissatisfaction, and UN Secretary General Guterres issued a statement pointing out that the current epidemic is not a reduction in WHO funding when.
At the regular press conference on the 15th, WHO Director General Tan Desai expressed his regret over the decision of the US President to stop providing funds to the World Health Organization. "The United States has always been a long-term and generous friend of WHO, and we hope it will continue to be so in the future." Tedros Adhanom said.
On the 15th, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian expressed that China expressed serious concern about the US's suspension of funding of WHO. Zhao Lijian pointed out that as the most authoritative and professional international organization in the field of global public health security, WHO plays an irreplaceable role in responding to the global public health crisis. "Especially since the outbreak of the New Coronary Pneumonia epidemic, WHO, under the leadership of Director General Tandsey, has actively fulfilled his responsibilities and played a central coordination role in promoting international anti-epidemic cooperation, which has been widely recognized and highly praised by the international community."
WHO response: regrets the US decision
According to CCTV news reports, at the White House press conference on the 14th local time, Trump announced that he would suspend funding for the World Health Organization. He accused the World Health Organization of failing to provide timely advice on epidemic prevention policies and timely announcement of the "global pandemic." Trump said, "After such a long time, it is time to hold them accountable."
The first financial reporter consulted the WHO website and found that the United States was the largest funder of the organization in 2016-2017 and many previous years, with a total of US $ 946 million invested in 2016-2017, accounting for the voluntary 76% of donations.
In 2019, the United States contributed US $ 553 million of the WHO ’s US $ 6 billion budget. However, in the WHO budget application in February this year, the Trump administration reduced the amount of US funding for WHO from US $ 122.6 million to US $ 57.9 million, and the cut was cut by 52%.
However, in this case, the United States remains the largest donor of WHO, followed by China ($ 28.7 million), Japan ($ 20.5 million), Germany ($ 14.6 million), the United Kingdom ($ 10.9 million), and France ($10.6 million).
Tan Desai pointed out at the press conference that WHO is evaluating the impact of the withdrawal of funds from the United States on its work, and will work with partners to fill any financial gaps facing the organization and ensure that the work continues uninterrupted. "Our commitment to public health, science, and the service of all people in the world without fear or preference remains unwavering." Tan Desai said.
Tan Desai said that our mission and task is to treat all countries and regions equally, regardless of their population or economic size. The new coronavirus pneumonia does not distinguish between rich and poor countries, large countries and small countries, nor between nations, races or ideologies, nor do we. This is the time for all of us to work together to deal with common threats. When we divide, the virus uses the rift between us. We are committed to serving the people of the world and are responsible for the resources we are entrusted to.
"In due course, WHO members and independent institutions established to ensure transparency and credibility will review WHO's performance in responding to this pandemic. This is part of the standard procedures established by our members." Tan Desai said "There is no doubt that we will find areas for improvement, and all of us have lessons to learn. But for now, our focus, and my focus, is to stop the virus and save lives. "
The international community was shocked
Regarding the Trump administration's decision, on the 15th, Josep Borrell, senior EU foreign policy representative, wrote on social media, "I deeply regret the decision of the United States to suspend funding to WHO."
"There is no reason to make a reasonable explanation for such an act. The moment now requires more (WHO) efforts than ever before." Borelli said, "Only together, we can overcome this crisis without borders."
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also wrote on social media, "It doesn't make sense to blame others."
"One of the best investments is to strengthen the United Nations, especially the WHO with insufficient budget, such as in the field of research and development and distribution of test agents and vaccines." Maas said that the virus has no boundaries and must cooperate closely against the new coronavirus.
According to Russian media reports, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that this move by the United States is very alarming. "This is an example of a very selfish attitude by the US authorities in the face of a pandemic in the world." Ryabkov said.