Germany and France Commit to Increased Support to WHO

Just before taking on the EU Presidency on July 1st, Germany announced its commitment to increase support for the World Health Organization (WHO) with €500 million – underlining that the world needs a strong World Health Organization.

We need a strong, efficient, transparent and accountable WHO today more than ever,” said German Health Minister Jens Spahn in a news conference in Geneva,” as per NPR.

Last month U.S. President Trump announced that the U.S. will cut funding for WHO. However, the U.S. has not yet formally informed the United Nations of any funding cuts.

Meanwhile, France has committed to provide €90 million to a WHO research center in Lyon as well as an additional contribution of €50 million.

We are getting today all the support we need, politically and financially. Both Germany and France are long-standing friends of WHO and global health,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a news conference, as per NPR.

The WHO depends on membership fees and voluntary extra contributions from its 194 member states, along with donations from international organizations and private donors. Germany’s total contribution to WHO during the last budget cycle was over $292 million.

The new German support package for WHO must be first approved by Parliament. Health Minister Spahn has said the government is optimistic that it will pass in the beginning of July.

Along with increased financial support Germany is pressing for improvements of the WHO. Germany expects of the WHO that remaining challenges are adequately addressed and needed reforms are pushed forward.