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China pours $30 million to WHO after US freezes funds

16:20 | 24/04/2020

China announced on Thursday announced that it will fund another $30 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, days after Washington said it would freeze funding.

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china pours 30 million to who after us freezes funds
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

According to Channel News Asia, “China has decided to donate another US$30 million in cash to the WHO, in addition to the previous donation of US$20 million, to support the global fight against Covid-19 and strengthen developing countries’ health systems,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing.

He added that China’s contribution to the UN agency “reflects the support and trust of the Chinese government and people for the WHO”.

Straitstimes reported that the US, which is the WHO’s biggest contributor, accused the WHO last week of “mismanaging” the Covid-19 crisis, drawing ire from Beijing as both countries spar over the deadly virus.

In announcing the funding freeze last week, US President Donald Trump accused WHO of covering up the seriousness of the Covid-19 outbreak in China before it spread.

According to Trump, US taxpayers provided between US$400 million and $500 million per year to the WHO.

Trump also claimed the outbreak could have been contained with "very little death" had the WHO assessed the situation in China accurately.

The deadly virus, which has claimed more than 181,000 lives worldwide, first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, which was locked down in late January to curb the spread.

It continued its global march, however, with cases reported in 193 countries and territories to date, ravaging economies around the globe.

Beijing has urged the US to support WHO-led international action against the pandemic after it halted funding, while observers warned that the US freeze would have consequences for the WHO's other disease control programmes around the world.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cyber attacks directed at its staff, and email scams targeting the public at large.

This week, some 450 active WHO email addresses and passwords were leaked online along with thousands belonging to others working on the novel coronavirus response.

The leaked credentials did not put WHO systems at risk because the data was not recent. However, the attack did impact an older extranet system, used by current and retired staff as well as partners.

WHO is now migrating affected systems to a more secure authentication system.

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