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US to channel $400 million intended for WHO to other aid organisations

The United States (U.S.) could redirect $400 million it would have paid the World Health Organisation (WHO) this year to other international aid groups, senior U.S. administration officials said.
The announcement comes after President Donald Trump halted funding for the WHO over its mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The officials said the US had already paid about $57 million to the WHO this year, half of what it is required to pay for 2020.
“We’re stopping that second tranche. We can very easily give this money to the Red Cross or other similar organisations”, a senior US official said.
The US also traditionally provides several hundred million dollars annually in voluntary funding to specific WHO programmes like polio eradication, vaccine-preventable disease, HIV and hepatitis, tuberculosis and maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.
“We can find another partner that is not the WHO. That money will be spent with other partners”, a second official added.
Trump’s earlier announcement that U.S. funding to the organisation would be halted came as reported global coronavirus infections passed the two million mark.
Earlier this week, documents leaked to the media showed that after Chinese officials secretly determined they were likely facing a pandemic, they warned the public several days later. During that time, the city of Wuhan hosted a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people, and millions began traveling through for Lunar New Year celebrations.
Many top officials have condemned China for hiding crucial information about the outbreak, in addition to obviously downplaying its number of cases.

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