Nordic development cooperation ministers voice support for WHO

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-17 00:21:21|Editor: huaxia

HELSINKI, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The Nordic ministers for development cooperation jointly expressed their support for the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday.

In a joint social media entry, the ministers underlined the essential work done by the WHO "during these critical times."

The Nordic ministers gave the statement following a video consultation on Thursday, Ville Skinnari, Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, told the media in Helsinki.

The ministers noted that evaluation of the work the WHO has done will come later, and they believed now is the time for "more international cooperation and solidarity, and not less."

The statement came after the announcement early this week by U.S. President Donald Trump that the U.S. would suspend its funding to the WHO.

Also on Thursday, the UN Association of Finland, a non-governmental organization that promotes and supports the actions and principles of the United Nations, described the U.S. decision as an "incomprehensible action". Executive Director Helena Laukko said the U.S. move is "cruel play with human lives".

"Everyone should understand that as long as the virus has not been totally overcome, everyone remains in danger," Laukko told Finnish national broadcaster Yle. She said that the U.S. freezing of contributions to the WHO could affect vaccination programs, for example.

The Finnish government on Wednesday pledged to increase its funding for the WHO by restoring it to the 2015 level -- 5.5 million euros (6 million U.S. dollars). Enditem