South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the current head of the African Union (AU), has defended the World Health Organization (WHO) following President Trump’s criticism of the WHO’s handling of coronavirus.
In a statement released on Wednesday night, President Ramaphosa reaffirmed the AU’s support for the WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and called for international co-operation in fighting the virus.
“As the world grapples with the challenge of the coronavirus there is a need for solidarity, unity of purpose and better coordination to ensure that we are able to overcome this common enemy,” the statement read.
Mr Ramaphosa went on to say that the AU extends its unwavering support to the WHO, and added that “we should avoid the temptation to apportion blame”.
President Ramaphosa’s support of Dr Tedros and the WHO comes after US President Donald Trump’s criticism of the organisation.
In a briefing on Tuesday, Mr Trump – who’s been accused of acting too slowly against the virus – accused the WHO of providing bad advice when the outbreak started.
He also said the organisation was “China-centric” and threatened to cut down funding.
The WHO’s $2.5bn (£2bn) annual budget comes from member nations, as well as non-profit organisations, foundations, companies and universities.
Contrary to Mr Trump’s comments, the US does not provide the majority of the funding for the WHO, but it is the largest single contributor.