US to withdraw from WHO

  • IASbaba
  • July 9, 2020
  • 0
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US to withdraw from WHO

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – International Organization

In news:

  • Trump administration formally started the withdrawal of the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO), due to its failed response to the coronavirus.
  • WHO, the Geneva-based body, leads the global fight on maladies from polio to COVID-19. 
  • Trump had threatened to suspend the $400 million in annual U.S. contributions and had that US will withdraw from WHO.

Important Value Additions:

About WHO

  • WHO, founded in 1948, is a specialized agency of the United Nations with a broad mandate to act as a coordinating authority on international health issues.
  • The main decision-making body at WHO is the annual World Health Assembly (WHA), attended by all member-states. 
  • There is also the Executive Board (EB) comprising technically qualified persons from 34 countries, elected based on geographic representation from across the globe.

Consequences of the US decision

  • Politicization of the Pandemic
  • Reduces WHO’s ability to coordinate the fight against pandemic in coming months
  • WHO’s significance will decline in long run if the shortfall in funding is not addressed
  • Impacts the Public Health prospects of Africa: Half of all spending of WHO was in Africa.
  • Impacts Health programs of WHO: A quarter of WHO budget went to polio eradication, 12% on access to healthcare, 5% on outbreak prevention and control
  • It provides further scope for China to increase its funding and influence in WHO
  • Signals US intention of retreating from Global affairs thus creating vacuum in Global Leadership role

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