China to give WHO additional US$30 mil after US halts funding

BEIJING: China announced Thursday it will donate another US$30 million to the World Health Organization to help in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, days after Washington said it would freeze funding.

“China has decided to donate another US$30 million in cash to the WHO, in addition to the previous donation of US$20 million, to support the global fight against Covid-19 and strengthen developing countries’ health systems,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing.

He added that China’s contribution to the UN agency “reflects the support and trust of the Chinese government and people for the WHO”.

The US, which is the WHO’s biggest contributor, accused the WHO last week of “mismanaging” the Covid-19 crisis, drawing ire from Beijing as both countries spar over the deadly virus.

In announcing the funding freeze last week, US President Donald Trump accused the WHO of covering up the seriousness of the Covid-19 outbreak in China before it spread.

Trump said US taxpayers provided between US$400 million and US$500 million per year to the WHO, while “in contrast, China contributes roughly US$40 million a year and even less”.