World Health Organization | International relief after returning from the United States

World Health Organization | International relief after returning from the United States
World Health Organization | International relief after returning from the United States


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The international community heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday when Washington, taking the opposite view of outgoing President Donald , pledged to reconnect with the WHO and participate in the international response to the pandemic.

Posted on January 21, 2021 at 6:29 am

Updated at 12:55

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France Media Agency

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The World Health Organization “is full again,” said Ilona Kickbusch of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

“Everyone wanted the United States to come back, and having such a multilateralism-conscious American administration is a gift offered to the world,” she added.

Less than 24 hours after his inauguration, the new US President Joe Biden immediately marked his difference from his predecessor – who has always minimized the COVID-19 pandemic and described the WHO as a “puppet” in the hands of China – by bringing in immunologist Anthony Fauci at a meeting of the organization’s executive board.

Dr Fauci is a respected figure in the fight against the pandemic, which has claimed more lives in the United States than anywhere else in the world

In his speech, the doctor, sidelined by Donald Trump and now adviser to Joe Biden, announced that the United States, which was the agency’s main donor, “intends to fulfill its financial obligations to the organization ”.

He also “thanked the WHO for its leadership role in the global public health response to this pandemic”, which has killed more than two million people since the end of December 2019.

And, he said, the United States, the country most bereaved by the new coronavirus in absolute terms, “is ready to work in partnership and in solidarity to support the international response to COVID-19”.

A statement welcomed by Jeremy Farrar, director of the British Wellcome Foundation. “Strong collaboration from the United States on the international scene will be essential to end this pandemic as quickly as possible,” he told AFP.

” A great day ”

Mr. Fauci announced that the United States would join the Covax device set up by the WHO to distribute anti-COVID-19 vaccines to underprivileged countries.

“It’s a great day for WHO and a great day for global health,” the WHO chief replied.

“WHO is a family of nations and we are all happy that the United States remains in the family,” he added.

Summarizing the general sentiment, British Ambassador Julian Braithwaite hailed the US decision to “join the family of nations that are committed to working together” at the WHO and to support the fight against this pandemic, “the greatest challenge of our time “.

In a tweet, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who chairs the African Union Commission, said he was “delighted that President Biden has made the return of the United States to the WHO one of his first decisions”.

Several observers expressed the hope that this return will have positive consequences, in particular on the meager finances of the WHO, weighed down by the American departure.

Last July, Washington, which denounced the “mismanagement” by the WHO of the pandemic and its complacency towards China, officially launched the procedure for the American withdrawal from the institution.

Even though Mr. Biden’s team maintains some of the criticisms formulated by its predecessor, the “expected” change in tone should lead to less “destructive interactions,” Kick bush.


Jagan Chapagain, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), hoped that the American return would translate into more “support, resources and expertise” to end the crisis. pandemic.

Beyond the health crisis, the arrival of a new administration in Washington could also bring improved reproductive health services for women and girls around the world.

Mr Fauci said Thursday that Joe Biden would revoke the rule used by his predecessor and other Republican administrations to prohibit foreign charities from using US federal funds to provide abortion services.

If the euphoria seemed appropriate Thursday, Mme Kickbusch acknowledged that the chances of lasting change in the United States were less certain, stressing that changes made now could be reversed as soon as the Biden presidency ends.

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