The head of emergencies at the World Health Organization warned Wednesday that any end to sizable U.S. funding for the U.N. health agency will have a “major implication for delivering essential health services to the most vulnerable people in the world.”
Michael Ryan was responding to questions from reporters about a letter sent by U.S. President Donald Trump to the WHO’s chief threatening an end — for good — to funding from the United States, the agency’s biggest donor, unless it reforms.
The comments came on a day when a total of 106,000 COVID-19 cases were reported to the WHO over the last 24 hours, the most in a single day since the pandemic began.
Community Interviews with Moose FM
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We have of course received the letter and we are looking into it.”
Story continues below advertisement
Ryan said the U.S. funding that reaches the WHO emergencies program was “on the order of US$100 million a year” and much goes to “humanitarian health operations all over the world, in all sorts of fragile and difficult settings.”
He expressed “concern” about any such funding cuts.