Dhaka, Bangladesh
Trump terminates US relationship with WHO

Trump terminates US relationship with WHO

WASHINGTON, May 30: President Donald
Trump finally said Friday he was
severing US ties with the World
Health Organization, which he says
failed to do enough to combat the
initial spread of the novel
coronavirus that hit his country
hardest.

Trump first suspended funding to the
UN agency a month ago, accusing it
of mismanaging its handling of the
global pandemic.

Then 10 days ago, he accused the
Geneva-based WHO of being a “puppet”
of China, and said the funding
freeze would become permanent unless
it made “substantive improvements”.

“Because they have failed to make
the requested and greatly needed
reforms, we will be today
terminating our relationship with
the World Health Organization,”
Trump told reporters.

The Republican leader said the US
would be redirecting funds
previously allocated to the WHO “to
other worldwide and deserving urgent
global public health needs.”

“The world needs answers from China
on the virus. We must have
transparency,” Trump said.

Beijing has furiously denied the US
allegations that it played down the
threat when the virus first emerged
in the Chinese city of Wuhan late
last year.

It says Washington is trying to
shirk its responsibilities to the
WHO and shift blame for its own
uneven virus response.

The United States was the largest
contributor to the WHO budget,
providing at least $400 million in
funding last year.

Earlier this week, the UN health
agency launched a new independently-
run foundation for private
donations, which the organization
hopes will give it greater control
to direct philanthropic and public
donations towards pressing problems
such as the coronavirus crisis.

The vast majority of the WHO’s
budget is in voluntary
contributions, which go straight
from countries and other donors to
their chosen destination.

The WHO therefore only has control
over the spending of countries’
“assessed contributions” from member
states, which are calculated on
their wealth and population.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus said the creation of the
new foundation was not related to
Trump’s threat.

“It has nothing to do with the
recent funding issues,” he said
Wednesday, detailing that greater
financial flexibility had been among
his long-term reform plans since
taking over the organization in July
2017.

With inputs from AFP, media reports

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