The Trump administration said Wednesday that it will not pay more than $60m in dues it owes to the World Health Organization (WHO) and will use the money instead to pay down other contributions to the United Nations (UN).
The announcement came just a day after the White House announced the US would not participate in a WHO-run project to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine.
It is reported that the U.S. wants the removal of Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, ending of Communist China’s control over the organization and Taiwan’s return to the health body.
US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, in his press statement on September 3rd, has updates on U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization.
The Statement read,
The United States has long been the world’s most generous provider of health and humanitarian assistance to people around the world. This assistance is provided with the support of the American taxpayer with the reasonable expectation that it serve an effective purpose and reach those in need.
Unfortunately, the World Health Organization has failed badly by those measures, not only in its response to COVID-19, but to other health crises in recent decades. In addition, WHO has declined to adopt urgently needed reforms, starting with demonstrating its independence from the Chinese Communist Party.
When President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from that organization, he made clear that we would seek more credible and transparent partners.
That withdrawal becomes effective on July 6, 2021, and since the President’s announcement, the U.S. government has been working to identify partners to assume the activities previously undertaken by WHO.
Today, the United States is announcing the next steps with respect to our withdrawal from the WHO and the redirection of American resources. This redirection includes reprogramming the remaining balance of its planned Fiscal Year 2020 assessed WHO contributions to partially pay other UN assessments.
In addition, through July 2021, the United States will scale down its engagement with the WHO, to include recalling the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailees from WHO headquarters, regional offices, and country offices, and reassigning these experts. U.S. participation in WHO technical meetings and events will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
According to the Guardian:
The US issued its formal notice of withdrawal from the WHO in July, after Donald Trump accused the body of being pro-China and of failing to contain the coronavirus pandemic. However, the withdrawal does not take effect until next July, and until then – according to a 72-year-old agreement with Congress – the US is obliged to maintain its financial contributions.
By the time of the withdrawal notice, the first tranche of $58m of its “assessed contributions” – national membership dues – had already been paid, leaving a second tranche of about $62m.
The deputy assistant secretary of state for international organisation affairs, Nerissa Cook, said on Wednesday those funds, as well as $18m owing from the previous year “will be reprogrammed to the UN to pay other assessments”. Cook said the details had to yet to be worked out, but made it clear the money would be diverted away from the WHO towards paying other UN dues.
The administration will also make limited voluntary contributions to the WHO in areas where there is no alternative. That includes a “one-time disbursement” of $68 million to WHO humanitarian health assistance in Libya and Syria and its efforts to eradicate polio, mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Source: US State Department/The Guaridan/Aljareeza
Edited by staff