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Finland to increase WHO funding

Following the US's decision to cut WHO funding on Tuesday, Finland announced an extra one million euros in support.

Ulkoministeri Pekka Haavisto hallituksen koronatilannekatsauksessa Helsingissä 7. huhtikuuta.
Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced on Wednesday that Finland would be increasing its WHO contribution in response to the US's decision to halt WHO funding on Tuesday. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced on Wednesday that Finland would be granting additional funding to the WHO.

Haavisto told the Finnish news agency STT that the WHO's work is needed now more than ever to beat Covid-19, the coronavirus.

The move came after US President Donald Trump said he would cut American funding for the organisation.

The Finnish government agreed together with the World Health Organization (WHO) to restore Finnish funding to 2015 levels, which equals 5.5 million euros, the government confirmed on Wednesday.

Last year Finland's membership fee to WHO was 1.9 million euros plus additional programme support of 750,000 euros. In addition, some 900,000 euros was paid to various WHO bodies.

The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday also granted the WHO one million euros in additional funding for its COVID-19 contingency and response plan.

The US has been WHO's largest single funder and gave it 400 million dollars in 2019.

US President Trump, who has faced significant criticism for his mismanagement of the coronavirus outbreak, said on Tuesday that the reason for halting funding was because he felt that the WHO had failed in its basic duty in its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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