US Funding Cut Will Not Bring ‘Irreparable Damage’ to WHO: Moscow

US Funding Cut Will Not Bring ‘Irreparable Damage’ to WHO: Moscow

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United States’ decision to halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) will surely affect the organization's budget, but not to the degree of irreparable damage, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin said.

"At the moment, it is quite difficult to assess the impact of the US administration’s decision on WHO. Surely, the organization will suffer, but its budget will probably not suffer irreparable damage,” Pankin said, Sputnik reported.

He added that Washington will likely halt only voluntary contributions from the US government to the WHO — Washington allocated some $656 to the organization in 2018-2019, representing 15 percent of WHO’s total funding.

"Regarding the assessed contributions, (the US allocated $120 million in 2020, or 22% of all assessed contributions) according to the organization's charter, the termination of these payments will result in losing the right to vote in the World Health Assembly, the highest decision-making body of WHO," Pankin said, adding that Washington is not interested in losing this right, thus the US did not announce the full withdrawal from the WHO.

The Russian deputy foreign minister also said that the US has approximately $200 million debt to the WHO.

In mid-April, US President Donald Trump announced that Washington would suspend funding to the WHO, accusing the organization of poor response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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