Washington D.C., (Business News Report) – The US funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) decreased by 25% during the two-year period of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the organization.
As a result of this decline, the US is no longer the largest donor to the organization. It was surpassed by Germany, which donated more than one billion dollars in the past two years.
In third place among donors is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided $584 million in the 2020-2021 budget.
According to WHO data included in a budget document seen by Reuters, the US financial contributions to the organization’s budget declined by more than $200 million in 2020 and 2021.
The US funding is heading to rise again in the next two years’ budget after new pledges in December, including $280 million from the administration of President Joe Biden. But the current administration has raised doubts about Washington’s support for the organization in the future.
The significant decrease in the US financial contribution compared to the previous two years resulted from the cut by former President Donald Trump.
WHO was however able to obtain more funding from other donors and increased its total budget.
Provisional data showed that Washington paid $672 million in its last two-year budget, compared to $893 million in the 2018-2019 budget.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. A spokesperson for the organization has not yet made an official comment.
In a related context, the Director-General of WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, secured his second term as the head of the United Nations body. This came after a procedural vote made him the only candidate for the post in the elections to be held in May.
Tedros, the first African to hold this position, said he was “very grateful for the renewed support” he received, after the WHO Executive Board held a procedural vote confirming his sole nomination for the post of Director-General.
After a vote in which the 34 members of the Executive Board almost unanimously supported him, Tedros said “I am actually lost for words.”
Tedros won the votes of 31 members, and the remaining votes are for the representatives of Tonga, Afghanistan and East Timor who were absent from the session, according to a diplomatic source.