Ireland will quadruple its funding to the World Health Organisation this year, the country’s deputy prime minister Simon Coveney has said. The news follows US President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend funding to the WHO over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
On Wednesday, Coveney, who is also minister for foreign affairs, called Trump’s decison “indefensible”. Today, he announced Ireland’s annual WHO contribution would reach €9.5 million.
#Ireland strongly supports @WHO in efforts to coordinate a global response to combat #COVID19. So many countries rely on @UN expertise and capacity to save lives. Ireland is quadrupling our normal annual financial contribution to @WHO for 2020 to €9.5 million.
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) April 16, 2020
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also backed the organisation today, saying that “the international community, centring on the WHO, must cooperate to fight this infectious disease, which is having a global impact”. But he added the organisation had “issues and challenges” that leaders would “need to inspect this after this situation is contained.”
The New Statesman’s US editor Emily Tamkin has written about how Trumps is “scapegoating the World Health Organisation to disguise his own blunders”. You can read her full piece here.