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WHO Africa: Polio, HIV programmes will suffer if Trump withdraws funding

WHO Africa regional director Matshediso Moeti on Wednesday responded to President Donald Trump’s announcement to withdraw funding.

WHO’s Africa head Matshidiso Moeti. Picture: Twitter/@MoetiTshidi

JOHANNESBURG - The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the United States (US) contributed half of the continent’s funding annually and if it withdrew its aid programmes such polio eradication and HIV would suffer.

WHO Africa regional director Matshidiso Moeti on Wednesday responded to President Donald Trump’s announcement to withdraw funding.

Moeti said Africa needed $300 million for the next six months to fight the coronavirus.

She said she hoped the US would reconsider its decision to withdraw funding

“The US is the number one contributor to our budget so for the last biennium for example, we had a contribution of about $151 million from the US and we’ve already received for this biennium, which is starting this year, almost $50 million from the United States.”

Moeti outlined some of the projects funded directly by the US: “The impact potentially of this decision will be quite significant on areas such as polio eradication. We are on the way to having a declaration of certification of polio being eradicated in Africa. The US is one of the biggest supporters of that as well as other priority areas of communicable diseases such as HIV and Malaria and the work on strengthening our health systems.”

The US’s total contribution to the World Health Organisation is estimated at $400 million.