Brief on COVID-19: WHO under threat? Maintaining multilateralism and global cooperation in times of COVID-19

In her brief, Danielle Piatkiewicz writes about the need of multilateral and international cooperation when the COVID-19 crisis ends.

If the COVID-19 crisis will teach us anything, is that today’s society has never been more interconnected. The need for multilateral and international cooperation has proven to be vital for the communication and exchange of information, support and resources.

The US currently stands as the top contributor to the WHO along with private foundations and countries including the UK, Germany, Japan and China who currently fall far behind the US’s contribution. While many hope that some European countries may be able to step in to fill the gap, this amount of defunding will have severe near and long-term impact on how the WHO operates and provides support for countries particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. 

Shortly after the statement, many denounced Trump’s move and pledged support towards the organization. EU foreign policy chief responded that “the 27-nation bloc ‘deeply’ regrets the suspension of funds and added that the U.N. health agency is now ‘needed more than ever’ to combat the pandemic.” 
WHO director-general responded that “when we are divided, the coronavirus exploits the cracks between us," and that the WHO will review the impact of the funding gap and will continue its work "without fear or favour.” Overall, global leaders warned that this move could “jeopardise global efforts to stop the coronavirus pandemic.”

You can read the full brief using the PDF button on the right side. 

#COVID-19 # WHO # EU

Danielle Piatkiewicz
Research Fellow

Areas of expertise: Transatlantic and Central and Eastern European foreign and security relations, democracy promotion and NATO.

Publications, events and other activities concerning the pandemic and its consequences

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