The World Health Organisation, WHO, has just established the WHO-Foundation, to expand its financial base, as it faces more financial demands in the ongoing global fight against COVID-19.
Speaking at the launching of the WHO-Foundation Wednesday, held in Geneva and broadcast live on Facebook, the WHO Director General, Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus Tedros, said it has become imperative for the agency to broaden its contribution base, as funds generated through the Solidarity Response for COVID-19, was not enough to cope with the financial burden of the agency.
It will be recalled that President Donald Trump, of the United States had halted US funding for WHO, alleging that the agency mismanaged the COVID-19 outbreak, as his administration conducted a review of the agency’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also criticised the organisation’s relationship with China.
Tedros explained the amount collected so far through the Solidarity Response with the support of the United Nations to include $ 214 million and $55 million, used in the purchase of laboratory diagnostics, and other personal protective equipment, PPEs.
Tedros further disclosed how the agency partnered an animation organisation in the production of video animations use in advocacy on social media to contain the spread of the virus.
Addressing the conference, Founder of the WHO-Foundation, Prof. Thomas Zeltner, noted the mission of the Foundation is to raise funds for the agency through non-traditional funding. “The mission of the Foundation is to address most pressing funding for WHO from non-traditional sources”.
Zeltner further noted that the Foundation represents true innovative approach to broaden WHO funding for COVID-19 and other public health issues.”WHO deserves a strong independeny external advocate, and this foundation will do that”.
Signing a Momeradum-of-Understanding with Dr Tedros, the WHO-Foundation founder remarked that the Foundation is an independent entity, licensed with terms of agreement with WHO.
The WHO DG, however stated that the agency will maintain close links with the Foundation, and report to member states on funds received.