The Guardian: What is the role of the World Health Organization and why did Trump suspend its funding?

The Guardian published a report for Peter Beaumont and Sarah Bosselli, entitled “What is the World Health Organization doing and why did Trump stop its funding?”

The report says that the organization was founded in 1948 as a health arm of the United Nations in the aftermath of World War II to support health systems across the world and protect them from outbreaks of diseases and epidemics, especially after the harvest of many lives during the nineteenth century due to outbreaks of epidemics such as cholera, plague and yellow fever.

The report adds that the organization’s program provides health care to about one billion people in various parts of the world, as well as providing emergency care services to another billion, in addition to practically providing cross-border information on the latest developments of epidemics and various diseases and what risks they may pose as it did during the outbreak of Ebola And SARS.

The report shows that the information side is what most citizens of the developed world know about the organization’s activity, and this was evident during the recent period regarding the outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic, but the organization at the same time offers many programs to vaccinate people in the southern hemisphere and to combat epidemics that have spread for decades In addition to supporting health systems in poor countries through a huge budget of $ 4.8 billion in 2018, then it became $ 5.7 billion in 2019 after including health emergency response missions.

The report indicates that US President Donald Trump decided to stop his country’s contribution to the financing of the organization because of what he said was its poor performance in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic and its slowness in warning against its global spread, in addition to identifying with and relying on the Chinese novel.

The report adds that the United States was planning to reduce its contribution to the organization before that, and the American administration proposed two months ago to cut half of the annual funding of the World Health Organization, which amounts to $ 400 million, as part of a program to reduce US health contributions around the world of $ 3 billion.

The report indicates that the organization was subjected to major international criticism for its handling of the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and 2015 under the management of former Director-General Margaret Chan, which led to the emergence of voices calling for its abolition and the establishment of a new international organization to take over, but former US President Barack Obama refused the matter and supported WHO persistence.

The report shows that the organization later came out with a report confirming its poor budget before leaving office and the new general manager Tidros Gebresos took over, which most experts indicated that the organization’s performance improved under his management.

The report adds that the US decision is not expected to affect the organization’s performance quickly, because the United States is already lagging behind in providing its share in the financing budget, and the organization was already looking to reduce its budget even before Trump announced his last decision, which the report sees as coming in the context of a conflict Trump with China, not the global health system itself.