WHO Handling of Coronavirus Pandemic:An Analysis

Structure, Leadership, and Funding of WHO

WHO Handling of Coronavirus Pandemic:An Analysis
Tedros Adhanon-Director General with Other WHO Director

Part 1


The World health Organization is an agency of the United Nations, its membership includes more than 194 countries as of 2016. World States become full members by ratifying the Constitution of the World Health Organization. The WHO has its headquarters in Geneva Switzerland, and as part of its administrative and operational structures, WHO has six regional offices including: Africa with its Headquarters in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo; Western Pacific Headquarters in Manila Philippines; Eastern Mediterranean Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt; South East Asia Headquarters in New Delhi India; Europe Headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Americas Headquarters in Washington D.C United States. The goals of WHO as articulated through its Constitution "is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health”.according to Wikipedia

The WHO was formed in 7th of April, 1948 and is currently led by Tedros Adhanon-Director General, with three Deputy Director Generals;  Soumya Swaminathan; Jane Ellison and Peter Salama.

Goals of the WHO

The World Health Organization goals includes coordination of  health affairs within the United Nations system. The organization's initial priorities were centered on malaria, tuberculosis, venereal disease in addition to other communicable diseases. The WHO also oversees the nutrition and sanitation needs of women and their infant children.

The WHO from the start works with other agencies of the United Nations, donors, NGOs and the Private sector to address disease outbreaks reported to them from member countries. The WHO employs 8,000 Doctors its budget for 2002-2003 was $2, 23 billion (Wikimedia). The organization has many success stories, nonetheless it was criticised for being too slow in its response to HIV/AIDS epidemic along with Ebola outbreak in the Congo Republic in 1995.

Other critics of WHO charge that the organization lacks global public health surveillance and notification system. In 1997 it established its Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN) with the help of Canada. The WHO has worked well in its vaccine projects. According to published reports during the Yellow Fever outbreak in Brazil WHO provided more than 3.5 million doses of vaccine against Yellow Fever.

The WHO also worked harmoniously with Health authorities in Yemen and provided vaccination for about 5 million children under the age of 5. The organization also supported under its World Food Program the airlift of 15 equipped ambulances to assist in trauma cases during the Iraqi war.

Funding and Budget of the WHO

The current budget for WHO 2020-2021 is $484 Billion and its funding comes from two primary sources Assessed Contributions and Voluntary contributions.

Assessed contributions(set amounts expected to be paid by member-state governments, scaled by income and population) and

Voluntary contributions--(other funds provided by member states, plus contributions from private organizations and individuals).(Source: Global Health Factsheet )

For year 2018-2019 Assessed contributions totaled $956.9 Million 17% of its budget while Voluntary Contributions totaled $4.4 Billion or 80% of its budget. The United States and other countries such as China and others make up the assessed contributions.

The information provided by the WHO on its website states“Where the total annual assessed contribution for a Member State is USD 200,000 or greater, that Member's contributions are assessed half in United States dollar and half in Swiss francs, otherwise, contributions are assessed in United States dollars only. WHO accepts Voluntary Supplementary Assessed Contributions (VAC)".

Contributions from member states are reliable and dependable for WHO operational cost but accounts for 17% of total Operational cost.

How Much Does United States Contribute to WHO

According to WHO data US has been invoiced for its 2020-21 period for its Contribution as follows

Details of US Contributions is as follows

United States of America (amount in millions) 57,883,460 and 59,099,013 the outstanding payment is 99,168,375 and 99,128,271. Remember payments are made in two currencies the first amount is in US dollars, and the second amount is in Swiss Francs. To get the total just convert the second amount to US dollars and add to the first number to derive the annual payment for that country. The second amount in Swiss Francs converts to $102,197,183. Total Contribution for US is $99,168,375 plus $102,197,183 = $201,365,558 Mil for 2020/2021

How Much Does China Contribute to WHO Annually

According to the information on WHO website China has also been billed for 20-21 (amount in millions) for 28,719,905 and 29,323,023   outstanding balance 28,719,905 and 29,323,023. Remember payments are billed in two currencies the first amount is in US dollars, and the second amount is in Swiss Francs. To get the total just convert the second amount to US dollars and add to the first number to derive the annual payment for that country

Total Payment for China is 28,719,905 plus 30,236,787 = $ 58,956,692 Mil for 2020/21

Both the United States and China have not yet paid for contributions for the 2020/21 budget year which runs from April 2020 to March 2021.

To be Continued

Part 2 will cover the WHO Coronavirus Response Analysis

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Paul Oranika
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