Geneva [Switzerland], April 15 (ANI): Russia's permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva on Wednesday criticised the US decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO), saying that such steps do "significant damage" to the international organisation that has played a key role in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
"We regret the US' announcement of the intention to suspend funding to the WHO. Such steps do significant damage to the international organisation that has played and continues playing the key coordinating role in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic," Gennady Gatilov was quoted as saying to reporters, by Sputnik.
US President Donald Trump, who has more than often criticised the UN health body over handling of pandemic, announced the decision to halt funding to the WHO on Tuesday.
The head of the African Union Commission also criticised the US President's decision.
"The US govt decision to suspend funding to @WHO is deeply regrettable. Today more than ever, the world depends on WHO's leadership to steer the global #Covid_19 pandemic response. Our collective responsibility to ensure WHO can fully carry out its mandate has never been more urgent," Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a tweet.
The US decision to freeze funding for the WHO will weaken the organisation's capabilities, undermine international collaboration and affect all countries including the United States, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.
"China is deeply concerned about the US decision to stop funding for the WHO. As the most respected and professional international organisation in the field of public health security, the WHO plays an indispensable role in resolving public health crises," Zhao said at a briefing, according to Sputnik report.
After the US President's decision, the UN health body D-G Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the WHO's "singular focus is on working to serve all people to save lives and stop the pandemic."
"One of the main things we've learned in the past months about #COVID19 is that the faster all cases are found, tested, isolated & cared for, the harder we make it for the virus to spread. This principle will save lives & mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic," the WHO D-G said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
"There is no time to waste. @WHO's singular focus is on working to serve all people to save lives and stop the #COVID19 pandemic," he said. (ANI)