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U.S. withdrawal from WHO

  Aug 01, 2020

U.S. withdrawal from WHO

U.S. officially notified the United Nations of its intention to withdraw membership from the World Health Organization.

Q. Why this decision?

A. US president Mr. Trump alleged WHO on delay in reporting COVID-19 and alleged that it was very “China centric” in its approach.

Q. When was WHO formed?

  1. WHO came into existence on 7 April, 1948 – a date which is now celebrated every year as World Health Day.

Q. Where is its Headquarters located?

A. The organisation has more than 7,000 people working in 150 country offices, six regional offices and at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Q. How WHO is governed?

A. The World Health Assembly (delegations from all members countries) determines the policies of the organisation. The executive board is composed of members technically qualified in health, and gives effect to the decisions and policies of the health assembly. Its core function is to direct and coordinate international health work through collaboration.

Q. How is the WHO funded?

A. There are four kinds of contributions that make up funding for the WHO.

  1. Assessed contributions are the dues countries pay in order to be a member of the Organization. The amount each Member State must pay is calculated relative to the country’s wealth and population.
  2. Voluntary contributions come from Member States (in addition to their assessed contribution) or from other partners. They can range from flexible to highly earmarked.
  3. Core voluntary contributions allow less well-funded activities to benefit from a better flow of resources and ease implementation bottlenecks that arise when immediate financing is lacking.
  4. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Contributions were started in 2011 to improve and strengthen the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential, and to increase the access of developing countries to vaccines and other pandemic related supplies.

Q. Who are its largest contributors? 

  1. The United States is currently the WHO’s biggest contributor, making up 14.67 per cent of total funding by providing $553.1 million.
  2. It is followed by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation forming 9.76 per cent or $367.7 million.
  3. The third biggest contributor is the GAVI Vaccine Alliance at 8.39 per cent, with the UK (7.79 per cent) and Germany (5.68 per cent) coming fourth and fifth respectively.
  4. The four next biggest donors are international bodies: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (5.09 per cent), World Bank (3.42 per cent), Rotary International (3.3 per cent), and the European Commission (3.3 per cent). India makes up 0.48 per cent of total contributions, and China 0.21 per cent.

Q. What will be its implications?

  1. The capricious decision to withdraw from WHO will have dire consequences for global public health.
  2. It will lead to crisis of technical and economical in WHO 
  3. The departure of the U.S. will be a significant blow to the WHO in terms of loss of technical expertise and an annual funding of about $450 million.
  4. The WHO now will have to suspend the country’s voting rights and deny access to its services, as per Article 7 of its Constitution.
  5. It will be devoid of scientists and Health experts from US