The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday the creation of a foundation to tap new sources of funding that could help ease a potential cash shortage as it leads the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing the creation of the WHO Foundation at a virtual briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus denied the move was related to “recent funding issues”, saying it had been in the works for years.
President Donald Trump has threatened to halt funding from the United States, the WHO’s biggest donor, after criticising its handling of the pandemic and accusing it of being China-centric. In a letter to Tedros last week, Trump called on the U.N. agency to initiate reforms within 30 days.
Tedros told a news conference the body had warned “many times” about a pandemic in recent years. Countries had identified gaps in their preparedness for fighting pandemics, but financing had not materialised, he said.