After weeks of speculation from the US President, Donald Trump has officially suspended funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO). He announced that this suspension was pending an investigation into what he claimed is “deep concerns whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible. The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion”

The economic hold by the United States is currently for 60 to 90 days pending the review on their conduct of the Coronavirus and China. The nations contribution is between 400 Million and 500 Million dollars, making them the biggest contributor. Contrast, the organisation budget for last year was around 6 Billion. He claims that this body of the United Nations was “severely mismanaging and covering up” the threat, even though they had announced a public health emergency back on 30 January. This was during the time when the President had continued to hold rallies, play golf and compare this virus to the common flu.


This organisation is a specialised agent of the United Nation for which their revenue comes from both assessed and voluntary contributions. To briefly outline, assessed contributions are mandatory membership dues for which all United Nation members are required to pay an amount determined by their size and wealth. The voluntary contributions are the majority of its budget, totaling 80% which comes from member states, international organisation and non-profits.

In the case of the United States, they have yet to pay its 2020 assessed contribution of $115,766,920 and also has approximately $80 million outstanding from previous years. This is not uncommon for the nation as it has previously stopped paying its dues from UNESCO in 2011 when Palestine was voted in as a member state.


The United States, having the third largest population, has now recorded more than 597,000 cases which is three times more than any other country. The decision follows a pattern of behaviour for skepticism prior to these figures. He has argued in the passed about the nations funding to the United Nations, withdrawn from global climate agreements from the previous administration and claimed economic bias from the World Trade Organisation. Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, declared and criticized this decision stating that this was not the time for a reduction of resources in the fight against the virus. While other figures like Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso suggested that organisation should in fact change it’s name to the “Chinese Health Organization” on criticism for their actions on China but have pledged to continue with its funding to WHO.

In any case, this surprise move has shaken the fundamental shift for the United Nations and will have to seek other means to sustain the economic blow. This may pave the way for China to step in and become the economic super power.

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