The United Kingdom believes the World Health Organization (WHO) has an “important role” to play in leading the global response to the coronavirus outbreak, the prime minister’s official spokesperson said, adding there are no plans to withdraw funding.
The comments put the UK at odds with President Trump, who has criticized the WHO’s response and announced a suspension of funding.
“Our position is the UK has no plans to stop funding the WHO which has an important role to play in leading the global health response,” the prime minister’s spokesperson said Wednesday.
“Coronavirus is a global challenge and it is essential countries work together to tackle this shared threat, the spokesperson added. “In terms of how we contribute to the WHO, that is an assessment of the WHO’s needs and is not based on other country’s funding.”
Some context: Earlier this week, the UK announced it would boost its contribution to the WHO by £65 million ($81 million).
The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is filling in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will participate in a G7 leaders conference call on Thursday.
According to the prime minister's spokesperson, Raab will underline the need for “global collaboration” to deal with the crisis, including the speed and scale of a vaccine and testing internationally.
“We will also discuss economic concerns and how to support struggling nations,” the spokesperson said.