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US opposes plans to strengthen World Health Organization

the United Statesthe First donor to the World Health Organizationis resist proposals to make the agency more independentsaid four officials involved in the talks, raising doubts about the The Biden administration’s long-term support for the UN agency. The proposal, made by the WHO working group on sustainable financing, increase the permanent annual contribution of each Member Stateaccording to a WHO document posted online and dated Jan. 4.

The plan is part of a wider reform process galvanized by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the limits of WHO’s power to intervene early in a crisis. But the US government is against the reform because he is concerned about WHO’s ability to deal with future threatsincluding ChinaUS officials told Reuters.

Rather, it pushes for the creation of a separate funddirectly controlled by donors, who finance the prevention and control of health emergencies. Four European officials involved in the talks, who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media, confirmed the American opposition. The US government had no immediate comment.

The published proposal asks Member States’ mandatory contributions will gradually increase from 2024 they would therefore represent half of the agency’s $2 billion base budget by 2028, compared to less than 20% currently, according to the document. WHO’s core budget aims to fight pandemics and strengthen health systems around the world. It also raises about an additional $1 billion a year to address specific global challenges such as tropical diseases and influenza.

Supporters say the current reliance on voluntary funding from Member States and charities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation forces the WHO to focus on priorities set by donors and makes it less able to criticize members when things go wrong.

The main donors of the European Union, including Germany, support the plan, along with most African, South Asian, South American and Arab countries, three of the European officials said. The proposal is due to be discussed at the WHO’s executive board meeting next week, but the divisions mean no deal is expected.

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