The World Health Organisation (WHO) is part of the United Nations, and its aim is to ensure that people around the world attain the highest levels of health possible.
Ethiopian microbiologist Tedros Adhanoum Ghebreyesus is the Director-General or leader of the WHO. He has been criticised for his handling of the coronavirus global outbreak. Some feel that China should have shared more information about this dangerous disease much earlier than it did, and that it should have acted more quickly to stop its spread. Some people also believe that the Director-General and the WHO should have acted much more decisively and quickly to stop the spread of the virus and to contain it before it took wings and infected so many people around the world. On the other hand, some people believe that the governments and the WHO acted as best they could in response to the information they received and have done whatever they could in a rapidly changing situation.
Donald Trump, President of the United States, recently announced the the US will halt its funding for the WHO, as this body has failed to do what it is supposed to do. The United States is the largest funder of the WHO, and last year, contributed $900 million of the agency’s $2.4 billion budget in funding.
Is this warranted? The WHO says that it is dangerous to cut funding of this organisation at this critical point where the whole world is fighting to gain control over the pandemic. Furthermore, the officials say they did declare it a pandemic on January 30, 2020, when the number of deaths worldwide was a little less than 10,000 people.
What do others have to say about this decision? Other leaders say that withdrawing funding right now is a dangerous decision. This is a time when all resources are required to slow the spread of this disease and save lives.
Fun Fact: Philanthropist Bill Gates is the second largest funder of the WHO! He gives more money to them than most countries do!
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Written by: Sunaina Murthy