Germany Drops to No. 2 WHO Donor Despite New Pledge for $140 Million
GENEVA (Reuters) – Germany will give 130 million euros ($141.87 million) to the World Health Organization this year, its health minister said on Thursday following a meeting with the U.N. health agency’s head.
However, the announcement was not enough to return it to the top donor spot after Berlin temporarily overtook the main historical contributor Washington in the last funding period 2020-2021 due to Trump-era funding cuts, WHO data showed.
“We are happy to contribute 130 million euros to WHO this year,” Karl Lauterbach told reporters at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, following a meeting with Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“The WHO must be strengthened financially so that humanity is better prepared for the next pandemic,” Lauterbach added on Twitter.
Lauterbach met with Tedros on the sidelines of the agency’s executive board meeting this week where it is seeking a reinforced role in global health but still seeking answers on how to fund it. The body’s funding system, which currently has a nearly $1 billion gap, is widely seen as needing major reform given its over-reliance on donor whims.
“We appreciate the strategic support,” Tedros told reporters on Berlin’s latest contribution.
Germany, which helped Ethiopia’s Tedros get re-elected for his second term, has so far contributed $776 million for the current finding versus $1.12 billion from the United States, WHO data showed. Those figures did not include the latest announcement.
($1 = 0.9163 euros)
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Miranda Murray in Berlin and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber in Geneva; Editing by Mark Porter)
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