Trump has cut funding to the WHO over a disagreement about China. Finland is also increasing its humanitarian aid to fight coronavirus in crisis zones.
The Finnish government has pledged to increase its funding for the World Health Organisation by €5.5 million, to help cover a shortfall after US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday evening that he was suddenly stopping America’s contributions over a disagreement with China.
In addition, Finland already gave a one-off million euro grant to the WHO for it’s Covid-19 response plan.
Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) told STT Finnish News Agency that the WHO had been active in developing vaccines for coronavirus, and that the organisation will be involved in important work in the aftermath of the pandemic.
“If Europe gets control of the pandemic, then other continents where the diesase has not yet reached its full potential, such as Africa and Latin America, will be absolutely key, and the work of the WHO will be needed there too” Haavisto is quoted as telling STT.
More Finnish humanitarian aid
Meanwhile Finland is increasing the amount of humanitarian aid it gives to organisations working to stop the spread of coronavirus in crisis zones.
These are areas where people like refugees have difficulty accessing foods and medicines.
“The coronavirus crisis shows how dependent the countries of the world are on each other; we won’t be able to solve this crisis without international cooperation” says Ville Skinnari (SDP), Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade.
“A good level of preparedness and prompt action will reduce the damage caused by coronavirus, and these measures will be needed also in areas where the circumstances are already difficult because of conflicts, poverty or natural disasters” he explains.
Finland participates in the fight against coronavirus by supporting a number of aid agency operations for example the UN’s High Commission for Refugees in East Africa, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Lebanon.
Featured image: File picture of refugee children / Credit: UNHCR