US President Donald Trump, according to his announcement in his press conference, said that he would halt the funding for about 90 days for the World Health Organisation due to its mismanagement in curbing the spread of the corona virus.
The United States stands as the biggest donor to the World Health Organisation, contributing approx $650 million voluntary and approx $230million as the assessed contribution that is roughly 15 to 20 percent of WHO budget. For 2020 and 2021, WHO had a budget of $4.8 billion, or $2.4 billion per year for carrying out its programs.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 14, 2020
The World Health Organisation receives donations annually from its member states, and these donations constitute about 51% of its total funding. The funding comprises of two types-
- Assessments funding: These are the membership dues. The highest fee is paid by the United States of America, and that amount to around 237 million, which is 22% of all assessed funding.
- Voluntary funding: The Unites States is the largest donor in the entire World Health Organisation pledges about $656 million in different and special programs. And due to these contributions, it became easy to eradicate various crises such as polio, vaccine-preventable diseases, etc.
Nearly 2 million people are affected globally due to the widespread of the coronavirus, and more than 1 lakh died since last year when the virus was first traced in china. Amid all this, the UNITED STATES becomes the most affected country, which saw the death of more than 26000 people due to which Trumps’ administration was criticized. The public critiqued the republican party for not making the people aware and not taking a right and much-required measures on time. The city of New York in the United States suffered the hardest blow by the pandemic, accelerating the death toll to more than 10,000.
President Trump reacted angrily to this criticism and was hostile towards the World Health Organization and said that the World Health Organization should be held accountable for undermining the situation and due to the non-fulfillment of their basic duty. He said that China’s “disinformation” was promoted, which lead to the spread and wider outbreak of the virus than otherwise would have occurred.
What happens if the UNITED STATES stops its funding?
As we already saw that the highest contribution in the WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION funding is that of UNITED STATES, it will surely impact their working. By now, Trump has not told how the execution of funding will take place, what shall be the procedure, but he has told in his press conference that everything will be reviewed, and a tough investigation would take place for about 60 to 90 days.
Also, it is not clear whether the authority, such as the President, can halt such funding for an institution like the World Health Organization. Probably he can not take back the money but might withhold the payments yet to be made, or that are outstanding.
What is the stand from others?
Just like the United States stated lack of transparency in the World Health Organization and said that it is not performing its primary function of giving timely and accurate information to the world; Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the G-20 meeting through video conferencing, called by Modi to strengthen and reform the World Health Organization “based on the last century model,” said the same, that the World Health Organization is not as effective as it should have been.
Antonio Guterres, the United Nation’s Secretary-General, criticized Trump’s decision and said that this is not the time to curb and reduce resources for the World Health Organization. He also said that this is the time when the countries across the globe should work together to curb the virus and its shattering situations.
The Australian Prime Minister supported Trump’s statement criticizing the World Health Organization for its support to China in opening its “wet markets” where live animals are being sold even after it turned out the center cause of the coronavirus, as emerged from one such market in the city of Wuhan.
Protect our care, the United States health advocacy group said that stopping the funding to the World Health Organization is an attempt of the Republican Government to distract the history of their downplaying the intensity and gravity of the coronavirus United States crisis and failure from preparing the nation for such pandemic, and that is beyond irresponsibility to halt funding at the time of global crisis.
Countries around the world are taking measures to curb the virus spread; for example, lockdown in India has been extended to May 3rd, where 1.3 billion people are suggested to stay indoors as the cases accelerated to more than 10 thousand positive patients. The Indian Prime Minister said that it is the need of the hour to get control over this situation and economic sacrifices are required when our priority is to save lives.