The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced Thursday it is ready to launch an appeal for more than $US1 billion to underwrite operations against the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus believes the pandemic needs a whole-of government and society response, and to that end is seeking a new funding lifeline outside its existing United Nations funding stream.
It follows a similar WHO call in February which sought $675 million in “special, one-off funding” to deliver two months worth of direct aid to China and international agencies.
Now it is back again and asking for more.
“For the past 100 days, our unwavering commitment has been to serve all people of the world with equity, objectivity and neutrality. That will continue to be our sole focus in the days, weeks and months ahead,” Dr Tedros said.
The appeal and strategy plan will commence in coming days, Reuters reports.
Although much has changed since we launched the first #COVID19 Strategic Preparedness & Response Plan two months ago, these five pillars will continue to be the foundation of our work in the fight against the #coronavirus.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) April 9, 2020
The WHO financial plea comes against a backdrop of controversy after U.S. President Donald Trump criticised the organisation over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and suggested his administration might re-evaluate U.S. funding.
Trump accused WHO of being “China-centric” and criticised its many missteps, nothing it responded to the virus very slowly and appeared deferential to China’s wishes in all its dealings, as Breitbart News reported.
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020
The United States remains the biggest single overall donor to the globalist body, contributing more than $400 million in 2019 to the agency, roughly 15 percent of its budget.
In comparison, China’s contribution was about $44 million.
The WHO appeal for funding came within 24-hours of Consumer Choice Center, a global consumer advocacy group, launching its own campaign to defund it.
“President Trump’s decision speaks to the larger inefficiencies and issues of transparency and accountability that have plagued the World Health Organization in recent years,” Yaël Ossowski, deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, said in a statement he distributed to the press.
“While the failures of the WHO have only recently gotten publicity, this has been a long time coming,” Ossowski said.