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It’s critical to support WHO: UN Secretary-General

SG Anthony Guetaras official portrait

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has said the World Health Organisation (WHO) requires support now more than ever before in order to respond to COVID-19.

The statement comes as US President Donald Trump revealed Tuesday that he had instructed his administration to suspend funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In response, the UN Secretary-General said the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most dangerous challenges in our lifetime and a humanitarian crisis with severe health and socio-economic consequences hence the need to continue funding WHO.

The World Health Organization, with thousands of its staff, is on the front lines, supporting Member States and their societies, especially the most vulnerable among them, with guidance, training, equipment and concrete life-saving services as they fight the virus.

In that regard, Guterres said the World Health Organization must be supported, as it is absolutely critical to the world’s efforts to win the war against COVID-19. 

“This virus is unprecedented in our lifetime and requires an unprecedented response. Obviously, in such conditions, it is possible that the same facts have had different readings by different entities. Once we have finally turned the page on this epidemic, there must be a time to look back fully to understand how such a disease emerged and spread its devastation so quickly across the globe, and how all those involved reacted to the crisis.

“The lessons learned will be essential to effectively address similar challenges, as they may arise in the future. But now is not that time,” the UN Chief said.

He emphasised that the present moment is not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus.

“As I have said before, now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences.  “

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende