Last week US President Donald Trump announced
the US is cutting its funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) – a decision that will have major implications for the global health response to the coronavirus pandemic. He said that the funding has been suspended pending an investigation into what he called its “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” This decision by President Trump is catastrophic for WHO as it throws several key health programs that are partly funded by US contributions into disarray. This includes WHO’s emergency fund to help at-risk countries across the world fight the coronavirus pandemic. The US contributes
more than US$400 million to the WHO per year. It is the organization’s largest donor and gives about 10 times what China does per year. Trump has accused the organisation
of mishandling and covering up the initial spread of COVID-19 in China, and of generally failing to take a harsher stance toward China.
What will Trump’s decision to cut funding mean for the organisation? What will this mean for WHO as an organisation? And what does it mean for countries which rely on global health financing including India? To seek answers for these questions and more, Suno India editor Padma Priya reached out Dr Madhukar Pai, Director of McGill Global Health Programs, and Director of the McGill International TB Centre.