Coronavirus: China to give additional $30 million to WHO

People wear protective face masks, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China. (File photo: Reuters)

China said on Thursday it would donate a further $30 million to the World Health Organization (WHO), which is seeking more than $1 billion to fund its battle against the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 180,000 people worldwide.

The pledge comes about a week after US President Donald Trump suspended funding to the WHO and accused the Geneva-based organization of promoting Chinese “disinformation” about the virus, which emerged in the central city of Wuhan last year.

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“At this crucial moment, supporting WHO is supporting multilateralism and global solidarity,” Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman of China’s foreign ministry, said on Twitter.

The donation aimed to support the global fight against COVID-19, in particular strengthening health systems in developing countries, she said, adding that China had already donated $20 million to the WHO on March 11.

On Wednesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hoped the Trump administration would reconsider its decision.

“I hope the US believes that this an important investment, not just to help others, but for the US to stay safe also,” Tedros said during a virtual briefing.

The United States contributed more than $400 million to the WHO in 2019, or roughly 15 percent of the organization’s budget.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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