UN chief says funding of WHO, humanitarians should not be cut
The coronavirus pandemic requires an unprecedented global response, and reducing the funding of the World Health Organization (WHO), is untimely, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a Russian news agency. This remark comes in the backdrop of US President Donald Trump's decision to halt WHO funding over negligence, claiming that the UN health agency had impeded the global response to the pandemic.
"Once we have finally turned the page on COVID-19, there will be time to look back fully and understand how such a disease emerged and spread its devastation so quickly across the globe, and how all those involved reacted to the crisis. The lessons learned will be essential to address similar challenges effectively, as they may arise in the future," Guterres said.
UN chief further said that "now is not that time. Nor is it the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the WHO or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus." He described the coronavirus pandemic as "unprecedented in our lifetime" and therefore requiring an "unprecedented response."
"The World Health Organization is leading our response to the pandemic by supporting countries to prepare and to address the virus, with special attention to the most vulnerable countries," the UN chief said.
Guterres reiterated his call for a global ceasefire amid the pandemic, saying that the UN was working with more than 100 governments and armed groups which had pledged commitment to a humanitarian truce.