Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested the President of the United States of America (US) Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), which could have a detrimental impact on the programs in countries like Sri Lanka.
President Trump announced on Tuesday (14) that US funding would be put on hold for 60 to 90 days pending a review of the WHO’s warnings about the coronavirus and China.
He accused the global body of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the threat, even though it declared a public health emergency on 30 January.
Leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a letter addressed to President Trump, said with great concern he learns of the allegations levelled against the WHO by the US which are serious, and should, no doubt, be investigated.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has had a disastrous impact on local economies and cripples civilian lives in all countries in ways that are unprecedented and perhaps even ambiguous at present.
Consequently, it is vital that the WHO continues its program of action at this juncture given the lack of any other multilateral institution to provide global leadership to international health and safety issues in the coming months, he pointed out.
Wickremesinghe went on to say that he understands that US taxpayers provide $400- $500 million in funding to the WHO each year.
The decision to place a hold on all funding to the WHO, while its mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic is investigated, will have a colossal and detrimental impact on the programs in countries like Sri Lanka which are funded by the WHO, he explained.
In view of the grim impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, Wickremesinghe requested President Trump to reconsider his decision on humanitarian grounds and restore US funding to the WHO, pending investigation, and thereafter determine the appropriate course of action. (Colombo Gazette)