Washington Must Commit to WHO During COVID19 Crisis
The International United Nations Watch (IUNW) views with alarm the Trump Administration's decision to cut off some $400 million in aid to the World Health Organization (WHO). Washington’s stated reason for the decision is because of WHO’s alleged failuire to provide accurate statistics about the COVID19 outbreak, especially during its onset in China in December 2019.
However true, IUNW strongly believes this is not the time to cut off funds vital to the fight to bring the global pandemic under control and notes that if anything such a decision could worsen the situation at a time when more than two million people worldwide have tested positive for the virus. IUNW urges the US to reverse this decision in order to ensure that WHO is able to carry out its global responsibilities. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres noted on 14 April: this “is a time for unity in the global battle to push the COVID-19 pandemic into reverse, not a time to cut the resources” of WHO which is “spearheading and coordinating” global efforts.”
The UN Secretary-General reiterated his warning of a week earlier, characterizing that the COVID-19 pandemic represented “one of the most dangerous challenges this world has faced in our lifetime”, calling it “above all a human crisis with severe health and socio-economic consequences.” IUNW calls on the US to resume its funding of WHO and other international agencies and to put an end to the administration’s policy of conditionality when providing funds to international organizations. Like any other organization, WHO can make mistakes but this is not the time to take punitive measures especially when considering that the consequences could well hurt the millions of people around the world currently at risk to this devastating pandemic.
For WHO and indeed all others now battling this epidemic, the time for evaluations, reviews and recommendations comes later, once the pandemic is behind us. For now, IUNW hopes that the international community will bring pressure to bear on the US to resume funding and to provide even more support so that WHO can respond even more effectively to the complex challenges of this global scourge.
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