China had already donated $20 million to the WHO early in March.
Rabat – China has announced it is donating $30 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help fight COVID-19.
The donation comes after US President Donald Trump announced the US would stop funding for the WHO, on April 15. Trump says he made the decision because the WHO mismanaged its response to the coronavirus.
China had already donated $20 million to the WHO early in March, bringing the total of its donations to $50 million since the outbreak of COVID-19.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said the donations would “support the global fight against Covid-19 and strengthen developing countries’ health systems.”
“This contribution reflects the support and trust of the Chinese government and people for the WHO,” Geng added.
Another Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, promoted her country’s move in a tweet and labeled it as support to “multilateralism and global solidarity.”
At this crucial moment, supporting WHO is supporting Multilateralism and Global Solidarity.
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) April 23, 2020
Trump has been harshly criticizing the international organization, especially in recent weeks, calling it “China-centric.”
The US is the WHO’s biggest financial contributor, allocating approximately $553 million to the organization in 2019. The WHO’s second-largest contributor, Bill Gates, has pledged to increase his foundation’s contributions to the organization.
Meanwhile, China contributes close to $40 million annually.
The Democrat speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, described Trump’s decision as “illegal,” while Senator Bob Menendez called it a “dangerous and reckless move.”
Trump’s order to stop the WHO funding sparked worldwide controversy, drawing rebukes from Paris, Berlin, and Moscow, among others.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass criticized the decision and said assigning blame to the WHO is “not helping anyone.”
The halting of funding to the WHO comes just days after the UK, a firm ally of the US, announced an additional £65 million contribution to the organization.
The WHO acknowledged, however, the US’s “long standing and generous friendship” to the organization, hoping it will continue to be so.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented on Trump’s halt of funding in a tweet on April 15, saying the organization regrets the president’s decision.
The US contributed $893 million in the years 2018-2019, while China gave $86 million, a Time magazine report said.