US to withdraw from WHO
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – International Organization
- 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:
- 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