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WHO director general thanks 'people of Ireland' for pledge to increase funding

Simon Coveney said that Ireland will donate €9.5 million to help with the global response to Covid-19.

Image: Imago/PA Images

Updated Apr 16th 2020, 10:37 PM

THE DIRECTOR GENERAL of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has thanked Tánaiste Simon Coveney for pledging to increase Ireland’s contribution to the WHO.

Coveney said that Ireland will donate €9.5 million to help with the global response to Covid-19.

He highlighted Ireland’s support for the UN health agency, saying “so many countries rely on UN expertise and capacity to save lives”.

In response, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted: “Huge thanks to Tanaiste Simon Coveney and the people of Ireland for your continuous support to the WHO and for your increased contribution for 2020 to 9.5 million euro. Together against Covid19! Together, for a healthier, safer world!”

In a statement this evening, Coveney said: “At today’s Alliance for Multilaterism meeting, I discussed with other foreign ministers the importance of a strong, coordinated international response to the collective challenge posed by Covid-19, in particular the threats posed to developing countries, those in conflict, those whose health systems are weak, and those coping with refugees and displaced persons. 

We were all very conscious that those problems were out problems, as Covid-19 knows no borders. 

“We were agreed on the importance of a strong multilateral response, led by the United Nations, if the virus is to be contained and that immediate support was required for health systems in vulnerable countries.”

On Tuesday, the US suspended its funding to the WHO – pending a review.

President Donald Trump claimed the organisation failed in its basic duty to “adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion”.

Coveney described the move as “an indefensible decision”.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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