The american withdrawal would hit the meager finances of the WHO

Le retrait américain plombe les maigres finances de l'OMS

Geneva | breaking with the world health Organization (WHO) in a full pandemic, Donald Trump deprives it of an essential part of its lean budget and threat of health programs in the poorest countries.

Donald Trump, who had already suspended the financial contribution granted by the country to WHO it accuses of obeisance to Beijing, was put in execution on Friday his threat to cut ties with the agency.

The United States will “redirect these funds to other needs and urgent public health world who deserve it”, he told the press.

Sanitary agency of the united Nations, the WHO is a multilateral institution created in 1948. Huge machine of 7000 employees in the world, its functioning and its missions are dependent on the appropriations granted by its member States and donations from private benefactors.

With $ 2.8 billion per year (5.6 billion over the biennium 2018/2019), WHO has “the budget of a hospital of average size in a developed country”, has recently been deplored by the director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

With 893 million made over the period 2018/2019, or about 15 % of the budget of WHO, the United States is the largest donor, ahead of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the leading contributor private, the Alliance of the vaccine, Gavi, the United Kingdom and Germany, and far ahead of China and its 86 million.

The u.s. contribution will mainly in Africa and the Middle East. About one third of these contributions co-finances operations to combat health emergencies, the rest being first devoted to the programmes for the eradication of polio, improved access to health services and the prevention and the fight against epidemics.

A decision is “crazy”

While the pandemic Covid-19 has already made more than 360 000 deaths in the world, the announcement in the us has stunned the scientific community.

Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the prestigious british medical journal “The Lancet”, has qualified as a “wild and terrifying”.

“The american government plays the rogue in full humanitarian emergency”, he wrote on his Twitter account.

The WHO has called on its partners to compensate for the american withdrawal.

With a great deal of ads, China, accusing Washington of “escape its obligations”, stated that it would take its responsibilities, directly or indirectly, to support the WHO.

On the occasion of a fund-raising organised in early may by the european Commission for the benefit of the research and the development of a vaccine against the new coronavirus, Beijing has committed to a total of $ 1.1 billion. And on may 18, in a message to the world health Assembly, annual meeting of WHO member States, president Xi Jinping has pledged two billion.

Two days before the announcement of Donald Trump, WHO has launched a foundation designed to accommodate private funds and citizens around the world.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, however, defended of wanting to replace the United States by this foundation, explaining that the organization participated on this project for 2018.

This project “has nothing to do with the recent problems of financing”, he assured. The new foundation, a legally separate agency of the UN, will accept “contributions from the general public, major private donors, corporate partners, trusted partners”.

Considering Saturday that the decision of the tenant of the White House constituted “a serious setback for global health”, the German minister of Health, Jens Spahn, has called on the Eu to “engage more” financially to support the WHO.

A question remains without answer for the moment is: when and how the United States will cut-in practical terms the food to WHO?

In a tweet published Friday, Lawrence Gostin, a professor at the O’neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown university and a collaborator of the WHO, has considered the decision of the us president’s “illegal” for two reasons: the United States has signed and ratified a treaty of accession to the WHO and the credits are voted by the u.s. Congress.

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