Portugal stresses “not time to weaken” WHO support

in News · 17-04-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal has stressed that the fight against the pandemic caused by the coronavirus requires that the World Health Organisation (WHO) be supported, not weakened, after the decision of the United States to suspend its contribution to organisation.

“The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic requires the work of all and the strengthening of multilateral organisations”, reads a message published in the official account of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter.
“It is not time to weaken the World Health Organisation, but to support it”, adds the text.
US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he would suspend the country’s contribution to WHO, justifying the decision with the “mismanagement” of the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus.
“I order the suspension of funding for the World Health Organisation while a study is being conducted to examine the role of WHO in mismanaging and hiding the spread of the new coronavirus,” he said.
Donald Trump, who was speaking to journalists at the White House in Washington, said that the US contributes “400 to 500 million dollars a year” (between €364 and €455 million) to WHO, as opposed to about 40 million dollars (more than €36 million), or “even less”, which he said was China’s investment in that organisation.
The American decision was immediately criticised by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who stressed that this “is not the time to reduce funding for operations from WHO or any other humanitarian institution that fights the SARS virus-CoV-2.
“My belief is that the World Health Organisation must be supported as it is absolutely essential to the world’s efforts to win the war against the Covid-19,” said Guterres.
The European Union (EU) reacted to the decision by deploring it “deeply” and considering that “there is no reason to justify” this attitude, especially in the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a message published in his official Twitter account, the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, deplores the measure and maintains that “there is no reason to justify this measure, at a time when its efforts are more than ever needed to help contain and mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic”.
“Only by joining forces can we overcome this crisis that knows no borders”, concluded the head of European diplomacy.


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