With WHO Withdrawal, U.S. Administration Turns Away from the Collective Fight Against COVID
July 7, 2020—WaterAid America condemns the U.S. Administration’s recent action to begin withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO), a move that may critically weaken the global fight against COVID 19.
“A global pandemic requires a global response, and the WHO is a critical instrument for that,” said Kelly Parsons, CEO of WaterAid America. “Walking away from the WHO is reckless at this time.”
The WHO is a vital leader in addressing the health threats that know no national borders and in facilitating research, developing standards and providing expert support. WHO’s support for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions, and its unprecedented COVID-19 vaccine development and research on potential treatments are key to stopping this pandemic in both the United States and the rest of the world.
The coordination and collective expertise that the WHO provides is indispensable, including in the U.S. where Americans account for more than 25% of the world’s deaths from COVID-19. Yet the current U.S. administration has decided to abandon this major global mechanism for collective capacity to understand, track and defeat COVID-19 and other life-threatening diseases.
Governments, NGOs, healthcare workers and the public around the world rely on the WHO for evidence-based guidance and strategies to address critical health challenges and emerging threats. The WHO is a critical partner in WaterAid’s work as an international NGO. We are currently collaborating with them on a major hygiene awareness campaign that has reached more than 20 million people in Bangladesh with COVID-19 prevention programs. These types of interventions are at serious risk if the U.S. withdraws its support.
WaterAid America calls on U.S. policymakers to support the critical work and recent reform endeavors of the WHO, and it urges other member governments to stand in solidarity with the WHO at this time of immense global need. Lives around the world depend on it.
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Emily Haile, [email protected]