‘Deeply regrettable’ – AU boss slams Trump for halting WHO funding

Mohammed Awal April 16, 2020
African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat addresses the media during a press conference at the EU Africa Forum in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, has strongly condemned Donald Trump’s decision to cut US funding to the World Health Organization.

Faki said the move by the US was “deeply regrettable”. “The US govt decision to suspend funding to WHO is deeply regrettable. Today more than ever, the world depends on WHO’s leadership to steer the global COVID-19 pandemic response,” he said in a tweet.

Trump on Tuesday announced the halting of US funding to the WHO, accusing the organization of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the spread of the coronavirus.

“I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” Trump told reporters.

The withdrawal of the funding comes days after Trump and the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sparred publicly over the latter’s competence in dealing with the ravaging pandemic. 

The US in 2019, gave the WHO over $550 million of the organization’s $6 billion budget.

Ghebreyesus also criticized Trump’s halting of US funding to the organization, stating: “We regret the decision of the President of the United States to order a halt in the funding to the WHO.”

He further added in a tweet that, “There is no time to waste” and the WHO’s “singular focus is on working to serve all people to save lives and stop the #COVID19 pandemic.”

Philanthropist Bill Gates who is also a major bankroller of the WHO added: “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. 

“Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.”

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: April 16, 2020


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