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WHO doctor says no US funding would be hurtful

GENEVA — The head of emergencies at the World Health Organization says an end to U.S. funding for the U.N. health agency would have a “major implication for delivering essential health services to the most vulnerable people in the world.”

Dr. Michael Ryan was responding to questions from reporters about a letter sent by U.S. President Donald Trump threatening an end to funding from the United States, its biggest donor, unless the agency reforms.

The comments came on a day when a total of 106,000 COVID-19 cases were reported to WHO over a 24-hour period, the most in a single day since the outbreak began.

Ryan said the U.S. funding that reaches the WHO emergencies program was “on the order of $100 million a year” and much of it goes to “humanitarian health operations all over the world, in all sorts of fragile and difficult settings.”

Ryan expressed concern about any such funding cuts and said, if necessary, the agency would have to work with other partners to make sure the money is there.

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