Daily Memo: Weighing Out Costs of the Coronavirus Crisis

The U.S. cut its WHO funding contributions, and major economies are trying to agree how to handle African countries' debt.

WHO will pay for it? The United States has cut off its payments to the World Health Organization (WHO) over the agency’s alleged mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis and preferential treatment toward China. The United States is the largest funder of the WHO’s $4.8 billion budget; it contributed over $400 million (roughly 15 percent) to the organization’s 2018-19 annual budget. U.S. President Donald Trump said this withdrawal of funding will occur during a 60- to 90-day “evaluation” period, during which the United States will continue to engage with the WHO on reforms. China has called on the United States to continue to fulfill its WHO obligations and has said Beijing will step in to fill budgetary gaps in the meantime. Germany, the European Union and numerous other U.S. allies, including Australia and Japan, criticized the U.S. decision to freeze WHO contributions, remarking that the already underfunded WHO is key to developing the necessary tests and vaccines to mitigate a “borderless” pandemic. Delaying debt repayments. The global recession means the question of debt is quickly becoming a major issue. On Tuesday, the major industrialized nations that make up the G-7 proposed a temporary halt on all debt payments, provided China and […]

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