International reactions to Trump's decision to suspend WHO funding

CAPITALS, (ST)- US President Donald Trump's decision to halt the US funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) has received worldwide condemnation.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN office in Geneva Gennady Gatilov said the US President's decision to suspend funding for the WHO aims at breaking down the system of international organizations, especially those Washington doesn’t like.

"Such actions do serious harm to the international organization, which has been playing the leading role in combating the pandemic," he said.

He added that Washington’s claims look "hypocritical" because the Americans have a big say in the work of this organization.

He pointed out that the United States is the biggest debtor, with its debt to the WHO nearing 200 million US dollars.

 On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump announced that he has ordered his administration to suspend US financial contributions to the World Health Organization (WHO) over what he called "mismanagement" of Coronavirus crisis by this international organization.

Germany said blame doesn't help in the period of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted on Wednesday "We have to cooperate to face the pandemic. The best thing to do is to enhance the role of the United Nations and the WHO which lacks the funding necessary to develop and distribute test equipment and produce vaccines."

On its part, China urged the United States to implement its obligations towards the WHO.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Zhao Lijian, the outbreak of Coronavirus, which has infected about two million people around the world, has reached a critical point and the US decision to suspend WHO funding will affect all countries of the world.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel regretted Trump's decision, saying that nothing justifies such a move while the world needs, now more than ever, the cooperation of all countries in order to help contain the outbreak of the pandemic.

The only way to surpass this crisis is through joining efforts he said.

Spokeswoman of the French government Sibeth Ndiaye also regretted Trump's decision, while the official spokesman of the British Prime  Minister Boris Johnson said that the United Kingdom has no plan to stop funding for the World Health Organization, stressing that it is necessary to work together to face this global crisis.

Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reacted to Trump's decision by saying "No time to lose.. The only concern of the World Health Organization is to help all people to save lives and end the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus."

In the same context, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC challenged Trump's decision and praised the performance of the WHO.

Director of the CDC Robert Redfield said that CDC and the WHO have long history of fruitful cooperation and joint action in the field of public health.

 Hamda Mustafa

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