China comes to the aid of the World Health Organization (WHO) after the US disengagement, with the announcement Thursday of a new donation of 30 million dollars to help the institution to fight against COVID- 19.
The United States suspended its funding last week with a crash on the international institution based in Geneva, denouncing its positions in its eyes too favourable to Beijing.
President Donald Trump also denounced the WHO’s “mismanagement” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already killed more than 180,000 people worldwide since its appearance in China in late 2019.
The suspension by the United States of its funding had sparked an uproar, the tenant of the White House putting the international community on its back, from Paris to Berlin via Moscow.
Critics of Donald Trump had also seen the American disengagement as a symbolic victory for the Chinese government, thus likely to further develop its influence within the WHO.
“China has decided to pay an additional $ 30 million (28 million euros) in cash to the WHO,” said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, on Thursday.
“This will be used in particular for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic and to support the development of health systems in developing countries,” he stressed during a press briefing.
Many experts warn in particular of an increase in contamination in Africa, where the number of beds available in intensive care units does not exceed 5 per million inhabitants – against 4,000 in Europe.
Spokesman Geng Shuang also pointed out that China has already paid 20 million dollars (19 million euros) to WHO. A figure that seems to refer to a donation made in March.
“Supporting WHO at a critical time in the global fight against the epidemic means defending the ideals and principles of multilateralism and defending the status and authority of the United Nations,” said Mr. Geng.
Washington is the main donor of the WHO, a multilateral institution created in 1948 whose operations and missions are dependent on the credits granted by its member states and the donations of private benefactors.
According to Donald Trump, American taxpayers write a check for 400 to 500 million dollars a year to the organization, against about 40 million dollars “and even less” for China.
After America’s disengagement, Beijing had accused the United States of “undermining international cooperation” against COVID-19 and urged Washington to “seriously assume its responsibilities and obligations. ”
If the criticisms against the Chinese management of the epidemic remain numerous, the American democratic leaders had firmly denounced the decision to cut the supplies to the WHO at the time when the coronavirus continues to kill.
The United States is now the most mourning country in the world, with more than 46,000 deaths.
For his American detractors, Mr. Trump is mainly looking in Beijing for a scapegoat to make up for his initial procrastination, when he downplayed the extent of the epidemic and welcomed the reaction of … China.