Health

UK to increase funding for WHO by 30 percent

LONDON — The U.K. will increase funding for the World Health Organization by 30 percent to £340 million over the next four years, the government said ahead of Boris Johnsons speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

The prime minister will announce the commitment in his speech at the UNGA on Saturday afternoon, in which he will call on the international community to “step up and work together more effectively” to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.K. has long been one of the worlds top government donors to the WHO and this funding boost will help to retain that leadership, according to Simon Manley, director-general for COVID-19 international response at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

“The PM will say in his speech tomorrow that the pandemic has atomized the international community at the moment when we need more than ever to work together,” he said. “We believe we have a real duty to ensure that vaccines, treatments and tests for COVID-19 are available to all. This is a moment for the international community to step up and work together more effectively.”

The WHO is funded by fees from its 194 member countries on the basis of their wealth and population, as well as voluntary contributions.

In his speech, Johnson will also outline a five-point plan to prevent another pandemic, including a proposal to develop a worldwide network of research hubs to identify dangerous pathogens before they jump from animals to humans.

Under the plan, the U.K. will also seek to boost manufacturing capacity for treatments and vaccines, improve pandemic early warning systems, agree on global protocols for health crises and call on other nations to reduce trade barriers and export embargoes that the U.K. thinks “have embodied and impeded” the coronavirus response so far, Manley said.

The proposals have been developed in consultation with the Bill and Melinda Gates FouRead More – Source