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Parliamentary questions
PDF 42kWORD 10k
29 June 2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Petri Sarvamaa (PPE), Henna Virkkunen (PPE), Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE)
 Subject: Safeguarding the operations and funding of the World Health Organization (WHO) during coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) plays a key role in the fight against coronavirus, which has been classified as a pandemic. Coronavirus has caused a great deal of damage, particularly in Europe.

The WHO is carrying out research and coordinating collaboration at a global level to halt the spread of coronavirus worldwide.

The WHO’s funding comes from its member states and private organisations, among others. The WHO’s largest donor is the United States, which contributed approximately EUR 364 million towards the organisation’s operations in 2019. This is roughly 15% of the WHO’s annual budget.

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has announced that his administration will stop funding the WHO. Stopping payments in the middle of the pandemic will have a crippling impact on the organisation’s operations. This decision sends the wrong message and makes it harder to bring the pandemic under control.

It is in the European Union’s interests to reinforce and protect international institutions, which naturally include the UN and WHO. On 24 February, the European Commission announced its decision to contribute EUR 114 million to the WHO’s operations.

Acting on a proposal from the Commission, the European Parliament has approved an investment initiative to alleviate the impact of coronavirus and decided to expand the scope of the European Union Solidarity Fund, which will mobilise nearly EUR 38 billion of European funds to mitigate the consequences of coronavirus.

1. How does the European Commission intend to respond to the decision by the United States to stop funding the WHO?

2. Is it possible for the EU to use a separate aid package to fill the hole in the WHO’s annual budget caused by the suspension of funding by the United States?

3. What funding instruments can the EU use to provide enhanced support to the WHO’s operations and halt the pandemic at global level?

Original language of question: FI
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