Germany, France offer political, financial aid to beleaguered WHO
The UN agency is to receive almost €650m in funding from both countries this yearEuropost
France and Germany expressed on Thursday political and financial backing for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its fight against COVID-19, with Berlin saying it would contribute a record €500m in funding this year. As German Health Minister Jens Spahn said, the contribution was the “highest amount that we have ever donated” to the WHO.
“We need a strong, transparent and accountable WHO today more than ever,” he said during a joint conference in Geneva. “A WHO able to lead and coordinate the global response effort.”
Meanwhile, France announced it would give €90m to a WHO research centre in Lyon as well as an additional contribution of €50m.
“I truly believe the world needs, more than ever, a multilateral organisation,” French Health Minister Olivier Veran said. “I believe the world cannot get rid of partners. We need a global answer (to COVID-19) and only the WHO can provide that answer.”
The move comes after last month US President Donald Trump said that the United States was cutting ties with the “China-centric” WHO, though the UN agency has still not been formally notified. The United States is the biggest overall donor to the Geneva-based WHO, contributing more than $400m in 2019, roughly 15% of its budget.
Yet, European governments are working with the United States on plans to overhaul the WHO, a top European health official said last week, signalling that Europe shares some of the concerns that led Washington to say it would quit.